Field Marshal Lord Harding, who commanded armed forces at the World War II battle of El Alamein and shrugged off death threats as governor of Cyprus in the 1950s, died Friday at the age of 92.

The former chief of the Imperial General Staff died at home in Nether Compton in southwestern England following a long illness, said his son, John."He will be remembered most of all for his distinguished leadership in the second World War, more especially with the 8th Army (known as the Desert Rats) in the Western Desert," said Alfred Morris, a member of Parliament.

Lord Harding was a month from retirement as chief of the Imperial General Staff when he was appointed governor and commander-in-chief of Cyprus, then a British colony, in 1955.

Throughout his two-year tour, he was the target of a "Death to Harding" campaign by the EOKA guerrilla organization. A bomb was once found beneath his bed - "an occupational hazard," Harding said in later years.