General Whiteley was born on 13th December 1920 and attended Bembridge School. In September 1939 he was awarded a scholarship to Kings College London but on 1st January 1940 gave up his university place and was commissioned into the Royal Marines. He saw wartime service on HMS Resolution, HMS Renown and was involved in the British Pacific Fleet Air Operations against the Japanese in HMNZS Gambia, which was part of Task Force 37 under Admiral Rawlings.
By 1945 General Whiteley had become bored with the peacetime Royal Marines barracks routine and was seconded to the Fleet Air Arm. Having qualified as a pilot in 1946 he was appointed to 807 Squadron (Sea Fury) in 17 Carrier Air Group in HMS Theseus. At one time this squadron had three RM Pilots, Whiteley, Joughin and Highett.
On return to the UK General Whiteley became Lieutenant Commander (Air) at RNAS Abbotsinch, until returning to Corps Duty on 13 January 1951. He was then promoted to the rank of Captain RM and became a Troop Commander and then later Adjutant of 40 Commando RM. Army Staff College followed in 1954 and he was then promoted Major and served as the Brigade Major of 3 Commando Brigade RM in 1957.
In 1960 General Whiteley was awarded the OBE and served on the Directing Staff of the Staff College at Camberley. Command of 42 Commando RM followed in 1965 when he was Mentioned in Despatches during operations in East and West Malaysia.
In 1968 General Whiteley attended the NATO Defence College and in 1969 he was promoted to Brigadier and Commander 3 Commando Brigade. In1970 he was promoted to Major General and served as MGRM Commando Forces. He was appointed Chief of Staff to CinC Allied Forces Northern Europe in 1972 and in 1975 he was promoted to Lieutenant General and served as CGRM. In 1976 he was appointed KCB and in 1977 he became Commander in Chief Allied Forces Northern Europe.
In 1979 General Whiteley was appointed GCB and served as Lieutenant Governor and Commander in Chief of Jersey from 1979 - 1984. In 1980 he was appointed Knight of Justice of the Order of St John and in 1983 Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Pleiade.
General Whiteley retired from military service in 1986 and in retirement has been Vice Chairman of the Theatre Royal Plymouth, County President of The Order of St John, Governor of Kelly College and Bembridge School and Vice Patron of Tomorrow's People.