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Offline daftandbarmy

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The Obituaries
« on: September 06, 2010, 23:54:26 »
Lieutenant-Commander Tony Bentley-Buckle

Lieutenant-Commander Tony Bentley-Buckle, who has died aged 88, spent the last 18 months of the Second World War as a prisoner-of-war in Germany, when he and his fellow inmates of Marlag-O, a PoW camp for naval officers in northern Germany, built a man-sized dummy called “Albert RN”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/7982962/Lieutenant-Commander-Tony-Bentley-Buckle.html

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2010, 23:55:12 »
Able Seaman Arthur Collins

Able Seaman Arthur Collins, who has died aged 90, was on board the British destroyer Sikh when she was sunk in a disastrous raid on Tobruk in September 1942 – thought lost at sea, he subsequently made a celebrated "return from the dead".

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/7968465/Able-Seaman-Arthur-Collins.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2010, 23:57:01 »
Michael Burn

Michael Burn, who died on September 3 aged 97, was one of the last survivors of the naval commando raid on St Nazaire, after which he was captured and imprisoned at Colditz. A Nazi admirer (who later became a communist), he had met Adolf Hitler in pre-war Germany.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/books-obituaries/7985475/Michael-Burn.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2010, 23:58:32 »
The Reverend Robin Roe

The Reverend Robin Roe , who has died aged 81, played rugby for Ireland and the British Lions and was awarded an MC for his courage in Aden while an Army chaplain

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/religion-obituaries/7971834/The-Reverend-Robin-Roe.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2010, 00:00:16 »
Keith Batey

Keith Batey, who died on August 28 aged 91, was one of the leading codebreakers working on the German Enigma machine ciphers at Bletchley Park during the Second World War

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/special-forces-obituaries/7978325/Keith-Batey.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2010, 01:09:56 »
Joe Fowells

Joe Fowells, who has died aged 94, was ordered to torpedo and sink the British cruiser Edinburgh, which was laden with the 465 ingots of what became known as “Stalin’s gold”.

In April 1942 Fowells was torpedo officer on the destroyer Foresight, which was part of an escort under the command of Rear-Admiral Stuart Bonham-Carter in Edinburgh, for the 17-strong convoy QP-11 from Murmansk. The cruiser was carrying a payment, in gold, for supplies which the Allies had shipped to the Soviet Union.

On April 28 the German submarine U-456 torpedoed Edinburgh twice, blowing off her stern and leaving her to stagger drunkenly around the ocean on her two outer propellers. For the next three days attempts were made, under constant air attack, to tow her back to Russia. After the line broke twice, it was found easier for Foresight to be towed by Edinburgh and substitute for her lost rudders.

At dawn on May 2, three German vessels attacked, led by the large destroyer Hermann Schoemann. Casting off her tow, Edinburgh could only steam in circles, and in the ensuing mêlée Foresight’s sister ship Forester was hit and stopped.
In Foresight, Fowells recalled that the freezing weather meant that the ship and crew were probably at less than half their fighting efficiency. The wind ripped through duffel coats and icicles formed on the men’s ears, while guns repeatedly iced up and the spray froze on shells as they emerged from the hoist so that they would not fit in the breech. The German ships emerged intermittently out of the mist to fire a few salvoes, and both sides fired torpedoes, until Edinburgh ran into a torpedo aimed at the helpless Forester.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/7995240/Joe-Fowells.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline old medic

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2010, 12:46:12 »
Wartime secret agent's life comes to light after her death
By Estelle Shirbon, Reuters

LONDON - A reclusive old lady who died alone in her flat in southwest England and had no one to pay for her funeral has posthumously shot to fame after it emerged she was an intrepid World War Two secret agent.

Eileen Nearne died aged 89 at her home in the town of Torquay on Sept. 2. In the absence of any known relatives to make funeral arrangements, authorities entered the flat to take charge several days later, a local council spokeswoman said. A search for documents that might help locate relatives instead yielded a treasure trove of medals and papers that revealed the life of a woman once known as "Agent Rose," who defied the Nazis as a wireless operator in occupied France.

British media compared her death to that of the fictional Eleanor Rigby, who died alone in a Beatles song.

"She was to be buried, like Eleanor Rigby, along with her name," said the Times newspaper, which published on its front page a large black-and-white photo of a young Nearne in a beret.

"That may now change. It ought to, given Eileen Nearne's service to her country ... Her courage was capped only by her humility. Her life deserves to be sung about every bit as much as Eleanor Rigby's," said the Times in an editorial.

A member of the secretive Special Operations Executive (SOE), the 23-year-old Nearne took a night flight into France in March 1944 to work as an undercover agent helping coordinate a network of resistance fighters and spies.

She was arrested by the Gestapo four months later but was able to hide her true identity thanks to her fluent French, acquired during childhood when her family lived in France.

However, Nearne was arrested again weeks later and was imprisoned at Ravensbrueck concentration camp before being transferred to a forced labour camp in Silesia. She escaped in April 1945 but was re-arrested, before escaping one last time.

After the war, Nearne was awarded an MBE, or Member of the Order of the British Empire, in recognition of her services. She lived for most of the rest of her life with her sister Jacqueline, who had also served in the SOE.

Since her sister's death in 1982, Nearne had lived alone and never spoke about her wartime exploits.

"Isn't it ironic that this lady, with her Special Operations Executive training, carried this through for the rest of the life and remained under cover, so much so that we're talking about her with such surprise just after her death," said John Pentreath, of the Royal British Legion, in a BBC interview.

The Legion, an organisation dedicated to the welfare and memory of members and veterans of the British armed forces, has taken over preparations for Nearne's funeral, which will take place next week. "We began to realise that a large bit of our history has just left us and it is hugely important to us that even now, after she's died, we do something about it, which is what we're going to do at her funeral," Pentreath told the BBC.

"We will pay her the honour and respect that she deserves."

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Features/2010/09/14/15345556.html
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2010, 00:21:43 »

Lieutenant-Colonel Joe Symonds

Lieutenant-Colonel Joe Symonds, who has died aged 95, took part in 22 attacks in the north-west Europe campaign and was awarded an MC and Bar.

On February 15 1945, Symonds was in command of “A” Company during the Battle of the Ardennes. They were east of the Forest of Cleve and it was estimated that the enemy had more than 300 guns in support of the sector. Their objective were some fortified farm buildings at the top of a dominant feature and, as they formed up, they came under very heavy fire.

The CO wrote afterwards: “I shall always carry a vivid picture of the tall figure of Major Symonds standing up, blowing his whistle, and bowling his steel helmet in the direction of the Germans. The Company appreciated this typical gesture by its commander and followed him to a man.”

They soon ran into very tough opposition from German paratroops but, disregarding the accurate Spandau fire and intense mortar and shell fire, put in three attacks before finally taking the strongpoint. Many of the Germans decided to run, and in the subsequent pursuit no quarter was given.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/8007540/Lieutenant-Colonel-Joe-Symonds.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2010, 02:20:50 »
Group Captain Mike Judd

Group Captain Mike Judd, who has died aged 92, was a veteran of the fighting in the North African desert campaign, and recognised as one of the RAF's outstanding fighter-bomber pilots.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/air-force-obituaries/8016807/Group-Captain-Mike-Judd.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2010, 18:25:23 »
Captain 'Mickie’ O’Brien, who has died aged 89, was awarded an immediate MC at Normandy.

In the early morning of July 23 1944 O’Brien, commanding Y Troop of 47 (RM) Commando, was leading a patrol on a covert raid on the German lines east of Sallenelles, behind the beaches, when a man trod on a mine and surprise was lost. The enemy lit the battlefield with flares and opened fire with heavy machineguns. O’Brien, with total disregard for danger and by his personal example and determination, rallied his patrol and charged forward to quell the enemy.

When he returned to his own lines with an officer prisoner, O’Brien learned that some of his patrol were missing and immediately returned through defensive fire into the minefield. He stayed there until daybreak to supervise the rescue of the wounded.

 Asked later how he coped with the horror and destruction around him and the prospect of imminent death, O’Brien replied he had the perfect temperament: a strong sense of fatalism and no imagination.

He was awarded an immediate MC.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/naval-obituaries/8042171/Captain-Mickie-OBrien.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2010, 17:02:24 »
Tugwell, Maurice Arthur John   

TUGWELL, Maurice Arthur John Died peacefully on Oct. 10, 2010 in Victoria, BC. He is survived by his wife Claire, their children Andrew and Julia, and his children Belinda, Justin and Gail by a previous marriage. Born on the Isle of Wight in 1925, he attended Bedford School, and enlisted in the British Army in 1943. He was commissioned in the Parachute Regiment in 1944, and in the course of his career served in Germany, India, Palestine, Malaya, Cyprus, Bahrain, Aden, N. Ireland and Iran. In 1973 he was appointed a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for his service in N. Ireland. He retired with the rank of Brigadier in 1978, and was awarded a PhD from the Dept. of War Studies at the University of London in 1979. After emigrating to Canada with his family in 1978, he co-founded the Centre for Conflict Studies at the University of New Brunswick, and six years later established the Mackenzie Institute for the Study of Terrorism, Revolution and Propaganda in Toronto. He retired in 1990 and moved to Victoria with his family. He wrote Airborne to Battle 1971; Arnhem, A Case Study 1975; Skiing for Beginners 1977; Peace with Freedom 1988; Herzl Street 1998; and contributed to The Unquiet Peace 1957; Armies in Low-Intensity Conflict 1989; Deception Operations: Studies in the East-West Context 1990; and Democratic Responses to International Terrorism 1991. Maurice was an avid skier, hiker and traveler, a keen music lover, and a prolific reader. He suffered from Parkinson's for the last few years of his life, and will be sorely missed by his family and friends on both sides of the Atlantic. A memorial service will be held at 3:00pm Monday, October 18 at St. Luke's Anglican Church, Cedar Hill X Road, followed by a reception. 606885
Published in the Victoria Times-Colonist from 10/14/2010 - 10/16/2010

http://www.legacy.com/can-victoria/Obituaries.asp?Page=SearchResults
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline 54/102 CEF

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2010, 19:26:03 »
Tugwell, Maurice Arthur John   

TUGWELL, Maurice Arthur John Died peacefully on Oct. 10, 2010 in Victoria, BC. ........He wrote Airborne to Battle 1971; Arnhem, A Case Study 1975; Skiing for Beginners 1977; Peace with Freedom 1988; Herzl Street 1998; and contributed to The Unquiet Peace 1957; Armies in Low-Intensity Conflict 1989; Deception Operations: Studies in the East-West Context 1990; and Democratic Responses to International Terrorism 1991. Maurice was an avid skier, hiker and traveler, a keen music lover, and a prolific reader. He suffered from Parkinson's for the last few years of his life, and will be sorely missed by his family and friends on both sides of the Atlantic. A memorial service will be held at 3:00pm Monday, October 18 at St. Luke's Anglican Church, Cedar Hill X Road, followed by a reception. 606885
Published in the Victoria Times-Colonist from 10/14/2010 - 10/16/2010

http://www.legacy.com/can-victoria/Obituaries.asp?Page=SearchResults

He was a great writer - really led you through the Airborne Story in Airborne to Battle. I suppose he had seen the big stick down to the end of the Empire and I remember he looked past the end of the Cold War with a thought that ran "The Day of the Airborne may be longer than many have thought."
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #12 on: October 24, 2010, 01:50:50 »
Brigadier Dennis Rendell

Brigadier Dennis Rendell, who has died aged 89, had an adventurous career in the Parachute Regiment and the Royal Military Police, rising to become Provost Marshal, one of the most ancient of Crown appointments.

In November 1942, 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment (2 PR) dropped at Depienne, Tunisia, with orders to destroy the enemy landing ground at Oudna. During the initial attack Rendell, then a lieutenant, led his platoon under heavy fire from armoured vehicles. Ignoring the dangers, he went forward alone to ascertain the best approach and played a notable part in the capture of the railway station.

After four days and nights of fierce fighting, Rendell's platoon covered the battalion's withdrawal. Despite being surrounded and virtually out of ammunition, with Rendell wounded and most of his men casualties, they fought on, enabling the remnants of the battalion to disengage. Rendell and the survivors were captured and taken to a German regimental aid post. Rendell was subsequently awarded a Military Cross.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/8081640/Brigadier-Dennis-Rendell.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #13 on: October 24, 2010, 02:01:34 »
A Kamloops boy who dun good....


Wing Commander 'Butch' Barton

Wing Commander 'Butch' Barton, who has died aged 94, became a fighter ace during the Battle of Britain and went on to lead his squadron with distinction during the fierce air battles over Malta.
 
Barton was flight commander of the Hurricane-equipped No 249 Squadron based in Yorkshire when it was transferred to Boscombe Down on August 14 1940; the aim was to reinforce the hard-pressed fighter squadrons in the south. He was immediately in action, and the following day shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 110 fighter and damaged a second.

On August 16, Barton's deputy, Flight Lieutenant JB Nicolson, was attacked and his Hurricane caught fire. Despite suffering burns, Nicholson immediately attacked another German fighter before baling out. He was later awarded a Victoria Cross, the only pilot in Fighter Command to receive the supreme award for valour.

Over the next three weeks, Barton's successes mounted. On September 3, now flying from North Weald in Essex, his Hurricane was hit by return fire from a Dornier bomber and he was forced to bale out. On his return to the squadron later in the day he was ribbed by his colleagues for allowing himself to be shot down by a bomber.

When his CO was wounded, Barton led the squadron into battle during the most hectic phase of the Luftwaffe's onslaught, sometimes flying four times in a single day. On September 15, the day of the greatest air battle, he shot down a Dornier bomber over the Thames Estuary and damaged a second.

By the end of the Battle of Britain on October 31, Barton had accounted for two more enemy fighters and damaged two others. He was awarded a DFC for his "outstanding leadership".

The son of a Canadian civil engineer and a Scottish mother, Robert Alexander Barton was born on June 7 1916 at Kamloops, British Columbia. He was educated in Vernon, requiring a weekly journey by steamship to and from his home at Penticton. When he was 19 he went to a recruiting office in Vancouver and was accepted into the RAF. He travelled to England to take up a short service commission in January 1936.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/air-force-obituaries/8074133/Wing-Commander-Butch-Barton.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2011, 20:42:40 »
Major Don Low

Major Don Low, who has died aged 90, won an MC as a field gunner in 1943.

Early that year Low was in Tunisia, serving with 72nd Anti-Tank Regiment RA (72 ATR). On March 3 his troop was deployed near Sedjenane. They were on boggy ground on either side of a road which was bounded by deep ditches and ran through a clearing in a heavily wooded area. They had been shelled all day and that night no one got any sleep.

The next day he was ordered to hold the line until 3pm, when all the infantry in front of him would have withdrawn and established a new position a mile behind him. He was then to pull back his four 25-pounder guns and join them.

As the deadline approached, shells began falling in the clearing. Low realised that he could not order the drivers of the quads (gun tractors) to cross the open area to hook up the guns and decided to drive each of them himself.
As he charged along the road with the first quad, two shells burst in front of him. He wheeled left and slammed the vehicle at the ditch. It scrambled across and bounded on with Low bouncing up and down in his seat like a rubber ball.

He got close to the waiting gun team but had to stop because of the boggy ground. No sooner had he jumped out and begun to run towards them than a shell fell and knocked out the quad.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/8232376/Major-Don-Low.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2011, 01:32:59 »
Squadron Sergeant Major Tom Parnell

Squadron Sergeant Major Tom Parnell, who died on January 11 aged 92, was a Chelsea Pensioner and former cavalryman who rescued Lippizaner horses of the Spanish Riding School in war-torn Austria.
 
In 1945 his regiment, the 10th Hussars, was at Graz. When his colonel sent him to collect four horses, Parnell, remembering the Hussars’ pre-war reputation for polo, assumed he was adding to horses already acquired for that purpose.

In fact they were Lippizaners from the Spanish Riding School which had been dispersed to secret locations because of the war. Unbeknown to Parnell, General Patton, a cavalryman, wanted to get to the horses before the Russians – whom he feared might eat them – and had enlisted the help of the 10th Hussars .

Parnell and a fellow NCO set off with two three-ton lorries; the drivers were armed, and they were joined by a guide. Two hours out of Graz, in mountainous country, they pulled off the road, following a forest track leading to a camouflaged and guarded cave. Inside was a makeshift stable and, to the men’s astonishment, four Lippizaners in good condition.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/8289396/Squadron-Sergeant-Major-Tom-Parnell.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2011, 22:38:47 »
Mario Traverso

Mario Traverso, who died on January 4 aged 94, was a leading officer in what is generally considered to be the last successful battlefield cavalry charge, on the Russian front at Isbuschenskij on August 24 1942; after the war he created a highly successful knitwear company

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8334018/Mario-Traverso.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2011, 10:26:34 »
Knew him fairly well. A genuine gentleman.


Friends pay tributes to one of country's top-ranked ex-Army officers

FRIENDS and family have raised a glass to bid a final farewell to one of the country's highest-ranking former Army officers.

Hundreds of mourners packed into Beverley Minster yesterday to pay respect to Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Gray.
Known for his "generosity of spirit", the distinguished officer had one last gift for them.

And so the congregation celebrated his life by sharing the last of his stocks of Champagne, that he had hidden away for the event.
 
http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/news/Remembering-officer-generous-end/article-3397820-detail/article.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2011, 21:49:38 »
The old soldier who kept D-Day memories alive: Paratrooper who helped win at Pegasus Bridge dies aged 94

Among the list of those who bravely parachuted into the dark skies over Normandy on D-Day, the name of Major Jack Watson always stood out.

He returned to the scene of the Allies’ greatest triumph year after year to preserve the memory of those who took part in Operation Overlord but never made it home.

And yesterday, after his death at the age of 94, Major Watson was finally added to that illustrious roll call.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377031/Major-Jack-Watson-dies-aged-94.html

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1377031/Major-Jack-Watson-dies-aged-94.html#ixzz1JYIYdf8k
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2011, 12:17:11 »
Knew him fairly well. A genuine gentleman.


Friends pay tributes to one of country's top-ranked ex-Army officers

FRIENDS and family have raised a glass to bid a final farewell to one of the country's highest-ranking former Army officers.

Hundreds of mourners packed into Beverley Minster yesterday to pay respect to Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Gray.
Known for his "generosity of spirit", the distinguished officer had one last gift for them.

And so the congregation celebrated his life by sharing the last of his stocks of Champagne, that he had hidden away for the event.
 
http://www.thisishullandeastriding.co.uk/news/Remembering-officer-generous-end/article-3397820-detail/article.html

Tory-graph obit....

Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Gray

Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Gray , who has died aged 78, combined wide operational experience and first-rate organisational skills with great energy and an exceptional gift for getting on with people; these qualities took him to within reach of the top rank in the Army.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/8444071/Lieutenant-General-Sir-Michael-Gray.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2011, 22:52:46 »
A bloody shame… met him once, top bloke

Professor Richard Holmes

Professor Richard Holmes, who died on April 30 aged 65, was one of Britain's most distinguished military historians, and a distinctive broadcaster with a soldierly mien, imparting knowledge and enthusiasm in equal measure.

Battlefields were Holmes's natural habitat, and defined him as a television presenter, often up to his knees in mud for the BBC series War Walks in the 1990s, in which he toured the trenches of the First World War. He went on to make documentaries about the American Revolution in Rebels and Redcoats (2003), an acclaimed profile of Oliver Cromwell as part of the 100 Greatest Britons series in 2002, and the wide-ranging In The Footsteps Of Churchill (2005), which he accompanied with a book.

Although a born communicator with a quiet but decisive air and always at ease in front of the camera, Holmes was an unlikely media star. His old-school persona and academic background in a field of study that had lain largely neglected by modern television might have consigned him to obscurity, but he lit the vital spark to fire the viewer's interest and, simply by being himself, struck the perfect balance between erudition and populism. "I don't really see myself as a TV presenter," Holmes explained. "I'm a historian who likes telling stories."

His subject was war, described where possible from the point of view of the soldier of the line. He always sought to balance his innate gung-ho enthusiasm with a desire to keep the ordinary soldier centre stage. Although one critic mocked him as "the Sister Wendy Beckett of blood and guts", Holmes was always at pains never to glorify war.

Holmes's passion for the history of conflict was fired during his last year at school when he was transfixed by the BBC series The Great War, shown in 26 parts in 1964. "I was hooked from the start," he recalled. "It was the first time I had seen early film slowed down so that men and horses did not walk with a jerky quickstep. And although I was about to go to Cambridge to read History and thought myself no end of a scholar, it was the first time I had seen it suggested that the war's generals might be anything other than mindless and inarticulate butchers."

Forty years on, in his book Tommy (2004), Holmes continued to repudiate the view, promoted by the war poets, that the troops of the First World War were poorly led. He also re-examined the enduring legends about the prevalence of shellshock, drunkenness in the trenches, and soldiers shot at dawn for cowardice or desertion, pointing out that 90 per cent of death sentences were commuted.

Another major influence on Holmes was the landmark ITV series The World At War, produced by Jeremy Isaacs in 1973. Isaacs had shot discursive interviews with many important figures from the Second World War, but had been able to use only a fraction of the material in his final cut. Nearly 30 years later Holmes mined the full transcripts of the interviews for his book about the war based on previously unpublished archives.

Holmes was also an accomplished military biographer. He published a life of Sir John French in The Little Field Marshal in 1984, another of Wellington: The Iron Duke in 2002, and, in 2008, Marlborough, acclaimed by The Daily Telegraph as "the best, because fairest" biography of the victor of Blenheim.

As the author of more than 20 books on military history, Holmes tended to avoid drawing on the reminiscences of veterans, mindful of the frailties of human recall. "If you look at what veterans were writing just 10 years after the end of the war, it's quite different from what they were writing at the time," he noted. "The closer we get to events, the better our chance of finding out how people really felt."

Edward Richard Holmes was born on March 29 1946 at Aldridge, Staffordshire, the son of an engineer. He shared his father's love of the outdoors, but combined country pursuits with an appetite for books, and at Forest School, Snaresbrook, read an account of the Franco-Prussian war by the eminent military historian Professor Sir Michael Howard. It proved such a powerful influence on the young Holmes that in August 1970 he marked the centenary of the war by visiting the sites of the battlefields. Thereafter Holmes strove to emulate Howard's "penetrating but not pettifogging" approach to historical research.

Having won a scholarship to read History at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Holmes graduated and spent a year at the Northern Illinois University, completing a PhD on the French army during the second empire before joining the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst as a lecturer in 1969, eventually becoming deputy head of the department of war studies.

It was at Sandhurst that Holmes was first approached by ITV to make a television series about the relationship between Montgomery and Eisenhower during the Second World War.

In 1964 he had joined the Territorials as a squaddie in the Essex Yeomanry – illicitly, he liked to recall – and was commissioned as an officer while still at Cambridge. Promoted first to lieutenant and then to major while teaching at Sandhurst, in 1986 he was invited to take command of the 2nd Bn Wessex Regiment, a post in which he held the rank of brigadier.

Working with a permanent staff of 30 supplemented by 500 part-timers, Holmes was struck by the calibre of the people under his command. This enthusiasm for the military life consistently informed his books and his television programmes.

As Britain's senior reservist, he worked at the Ministry of Defence in charge of all reserve forces, and from 1999 until 2007 was colonel-in-chief of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/tv-radio-obituaries/8486836/Professor-Richard-Holmes.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2011, 19:00:47 »
Lord Middleton

The 12th Lord Middleton, who died on May 27 aged 90, was a Yorkshire landowner who exemplified the aristocratic tradition of dedication to soldiering, public service and country pursuits. He served with distinction as an officer of the Coldstream Guards during the Second World War, and was later a hard-working Conservative peer.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/politics-obituaries/8578099/Lord-Middleton.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2011, 23:41:26 »
Captain Paul Badcock

Captain Paul Badcock, who has died aged 81, was fleet engineer during the Falklands conflict and from his base at sea repaired ships of the Task Force after they had been damaged by the weather or the enemy.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/8766364/Captain-Paul-Badcock.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #23 on: March 18, 2012, 18:16:01 »
Lieutenant-Commander Peter Cobby

Lieutenant-Commander Peter Cobby, who had died aged 82, was twice commended for his bravery in defusing German mines and established a world-class diving school in Scotland.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/9146704/Lieutenant-Commander-Peter-Cobby.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2012, 12:02:42 »
Brigadier Tony Hunter-Choat

Brigadier Tony Hunter-Choat, who has died aged 76, was a special forces soldier who served with the SAS; his remarkable military career began, however, with the French Foreign Legion, with which he was three times decorated and took part in a coup to unseat Charles de Gaulle.

Anthony Hunter-Choat was born on January 12 1936 in Purley, south London, the son of Frederick, who worked in insurance, and Iris, a schoolteacher. The family would later move to Ascot.

Tony was educated at Dulwich College and then Kingston College of Art, where he trained as an architect. On holidays he hitchhiked around Europe, developing a taste for travel and an affinity for languages.

In March 1957, having decided that architecture was not for him, he decided to indulge his thirst for adventure and made his way to Paris to enlist in the Foreign Legion. He was pursued by his mother, keen to get her errant son back to his studies, but by the time she caught up with him he had signed up.

Hunter-Choat was sent for basic training to Algeria, then in the throes of increasing anti-colonialist insurrection, and volunteered to complete the extra training necessary to become a paratrooper. He was duly posted, on October 15, to the 1st Battalion, Régiment Etranger de Parachutistes (1e REP), with which he would be involved in continuous operations for almost five years.

By the late 1950s the Algerian War of Independence had become a high-intensity conflict fought on a wide scale, and required the presence on the ground of 400,000 French and Colonial troops to maintain a semblance of order.
Hunter-Choat and his comrades were involved in hundreds of operations, and suffered and inflicted considerable casualties. In February 1958, as a young machine-gunner, he took part in the battle of Fedj Zezoua, in the woods east of Guelma, in the north-east of the country. Two armed units of the rebel Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) were dug in on a hillside. The legionnaires began their attack at 7am and met stiff resistance, but after being dropped by helicopter (balancing precariously on a cliffside) in the midst of the FLN positions, they overwhelmed the enemy. Hunter-Choat was awarded the Cross of Valour – the first of three. He would also be awarded the Médaille Militaire

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/9221907/Brigadier-Tony-Hunter-Choat.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2012, 20:01:41 »
Ted Sismore: RAF veteran of daring low-level air raids


Ted Sismore planned and navigated Second World War RAF low-level
daylight raids which were the most precisely timed, the
deepest-penetrating, and the most appreciated by those for whom
they were targeted. His skill freed prisoners and destroyed papers
held by the Gestapo, preventing many executions and hundreds of
arrests, with the minimum of civilian damage. The raids were made
in answer to requests by the French and Danish resistance
movements. "The difficulty was to achieve this kind of success
without killing a lot of people," he wrote. "It was a very
difficult decision of what to drop and how much to drop."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/ted-sismore-raf-veteran-of-daring-lowlevel-air-raids-7879643.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2012, 20:36:41 »
Seem to recall the movie "Mosquito Squadron" was based on one of those raids...they dropped miniature versions of the Dam Buster bombs to knock down the walls of a prison IIRC.

MM
MM

Remember the basics of Medicine - "Pink is GOOD, Blue is BAD, Air goes in AND out, Blood Goes Round and Round"

I may sound like a pessimist, but I am a realist.

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #27 on: December 05, 2012, 23:41:25 »
Not a bad run for a signaller, eh?

With my platoon in 1 PARA, it took me a week to cover the same terrain these guys covered in a couple days on the Jebel Akhdar in Northern Oman. Amazing…

Maj-Gen Tony Deane-Drummond

Major-General Tony Deane-Drummond, who has died aged 95, won a DSO and two MCs and escaped three times from enemy hands.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/army-obituaries/9722273/Maj-Gen-Tony-Deane-Drummond.html

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2013, 01:10:50 »
Fred Marafono

Fred Marafono, who has died aged 72, was one of the first Fijians to join the SAS. Later he became passionately involved in Sierra Leone, deploying his considerable combat experience to influence the blood diamond war there.

Kauata Vamarasi Marafono was born on the Fijian island of Rotuman on December 13 1940, one of five children. His father was a farmer who had served in the British Army in Burma during the Second World War.

Fred’s early ambition was to study Veterinary Science, which he pursued first at Navuso Agricultural School, and then at college in Australia. But he came from a warrior society, and when the British Army arrived to launch a recruiting drive in Fiji he signed up without telling his parents. He later admitted that the decision was “an impulse”. “I was young and that was it. I was told I’d be leaving the next day, so I called my parents – my mother cried.”

In Britain he joined the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, serving as a corporal until 1963, when he applied with 90 others to join the SAS; only six were successful.

His 21-year career with 22 SAS, B Sqn, is subject to a non-disclosure agreement, which he signed, and which, in his retirement, he firmly adhered to. But it is known that he saw service in Borneo, Aden, Oman, Northern Ireland and the Falklands. An idea of the hair-raising nature of his engagements can be gleaned the fate of one fellow Fijian in the SAS, Sergeant Talaiasi Labalaba, who was killed in the battle of Mirbat in Oman in 1972 – when nine SAS men fought for their lives against an attack by some 250 communist guerrillas. Sergeant Labalaba had been Marafono’s best man.

In his final months in the SAS, Marafono was recruited by David Stirling, founder of the SAS, to work for the security company KAS. He considered selection by Stirling to be an immense honour: “I was lost for words, and only managed to say, 'Thank you.’”

He worked in several countries with the company. Then, in 1990, after Stirling’s death, Marafono began a two-year spell providing security at a gold mine in Guyana. This led to him being recruited by Golden Star Resources, a mining company which was expanding its operations across Africa. As a result, Marafono moved to Sierra Leone.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/military-obituaries/special-forces-obituaries/9961915/Fred-Marafono.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #29 on: July 26, 2013, 00:47:38 »
Lance-Corporal Paul Burns

Lance-Corporal Paul Burns, who has died aged 52, survived the Warrenpoint massacre, the deadliest IRA attack of the Troubles, overcoming the loss of both legs to take a highly active leading role in charitable events that raised money for fellow wounded servicemen.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10203064/Lance-Corporal-Paul-Burns.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #30 on: August 05, 2013, 06:08:13 »
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #31 on: January 13, 2014, 23:28:32 »

Sir Alfred Blake - obituary

Sir Alfred Blake was a commando who fought with Tito and became director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme


Sir Alfred Blake, who has died aged 98, was decorated during his active wartime service with the Commandos and later became director of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme.

The Award Scheme, originally for boys aged 15 to 18, started in 1956 under the directorship of Sir John Hunt, leader of the conquest of Mount Everest in 1953. The purpose was to encourage young people to enrich their lives by providing training in citizenship, and the opportunity to improve their physical fitness and attractiveness to employers.

The inspiration came from the example set by Kurt Hahn, headmaster of Gordonstoun school, where the Duke had been educated. It was thought that the scheme would attract boys who were not interested in joining uniformed organisations such as the Boy Scouts, and in the first 12 months 7,000 enrolled. In 1958 a modified scheme was opened to girls.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10569080/Sir-Alfred-Blake-obituary.html

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #32 on: February 17, 2014, 18:57:43 »
Major-General Logan Scott-Bowden - obituary

Major-General Logan Scott-Bowden was a sapper who carried out daring missions to ensure the Normandy beaches were ready for D-Day


Major-General Logan Scott-Bowden, who has died aged 93, carried out secret reconnaissance missions to the Normandy beaches which paved the way for the D-Day landings.

Scott-Bowden was a member of the Combined Operations Pilotage Parties (COPP), a small unit which specialised in the clandestine survey of potential sites for the Allied landings in Italy and later France. On the night of New Year’s Eve 1943, he and Sergeant Bruce Ogden-Smith, clad in rubber swimsuits, swam for 400 yards from a landing craft to the area west of Ver-Sur-Mer, later known as Gold Beach.

Each carried a Colt 45, a commando knife, wire cutters, wrist compass, emergency rations, waterproof torch and an earth auger for testing the bearing capacity of the beach. The objective of their mission was to determine whether the landing area would stand up to the weight of heavy vehicles disembarking in great numbers. If armour and supply vehicles became bogged down in a hitherto undetected substratum of clay or peat bog, it would put the whole operation in jeopardy.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10644481/Major-General-Logan-Scott-Bowden-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2014, 23:00:29 »
John Tyson - obituary

John Tyson was an explorer who mapped the Kanjiroba Himal, won an MC in Malaya and ran a school in Nepal


John Tyson, who has died aged 85, was a modest English schoolmaster who made it his personal mission to map the Kanjiroba Himal, a remote group of mountain peaks in north-west Nepal — among the most rugged and forbidding in the Himalayas.


The topography of the region features several enormous and highly complex mountain ranges, surrounded and divided by steep-sided river gorges. While the lower hillsides suffer landslides from monsoon rain all summer, the upper hillsides are prone to avalanches all winter.


A detailed topographical mapping of Nepal had been carried out in the 1920s, but the Kanjiroba Himal was one of the regions left blank. While Tyson did much to rectify that omission, it remains the least explored part of Nepal to this day.



http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10695779/John-Tyson-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #34 on: April 20, 2014, 23:12:19 »
Colonel Tresham Gregg - obituary

Colonel Tresham Gregg was a serial escaper who posed as a member of the Hitler Youth and led a brigade of Italian partisans

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/10724730/Colonel-Tresham-Gregg-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2014, 14:23:54 »
Major-General Dare Wilson - obituary

Major-General Dare Wilson was an SAS commander and free fall parachutist who won a wartime MC and did the Cresta Run at 80

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11070735/Major-General-Dare-Wilson-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #36 on: November 24, 2014, 08:43:28 »
Squadron Leader Terry Bulloch - obituary

Squadron Leader Terry Bulloch, who has died aged 98, was a pilot in Coastal Command who made the greatest number of sightings and attacks against German U-boats during the Battle of the Atlantic.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11248705/Squadron-Leader-Terry-Bulloch-obituary.html

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2015, 15:28:26 »
Staff Sergeant Arthur Shackleton - obituary

Staff Sergeant Arthur Shackleton was a glider pilot who survived relentless enemy fire during the Battle of Arnhem

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11342863/Staff-Sergeant-Arthur-Shackleton-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2015, 23:58:30 »
John Sheppard - obituary

First soldier of the war to destroy German light panzers while under fire


John Sheppard, who has died aged 99, was the first British soldier of the Second World War to knock out a German tank.

As the Platoon Sergeant Major commanding his battalion’s mortar platoon, John Sheppard landed at Andalsnes in Norway with 1/5 Leicesters (TA) in the spring of 1940. After moving some 50 miles inland by rail to secure a road and rail junction at Dombas to prevent the Germans from reinforcing Trondheim, the British forces made contact with the Norwegians, coming under the latter’s authority.

The British thereby lost operational control and were split into detachments to cover a wide front. This pre-empted all possibility of a co-ordinated movement, so when the battalion had to consolidate to defend Faaberg, they had no transport and had to discard equipment they could not carry. Under German attack Faaberg had to be abandoned and it was at Tretten, some 10 miles north of Faaberg, that the Leicesters made their stand.

It was St George’s Day and, as one present later recalled: “All hell was let loose.” The battalion was outflanked, sniped at and mortared, then attacked by armour from the front, including three tanks. Creeping into the open and lying in the snow, Sheppard fired his 0.55 in anti-tank rifle, destroying two German light panzers. Having been ordered to protect an exposed flank and remain in position until 21:00 hours, they were attacked at 18:30 hours but fought on for a further hour and a half.

By this time their ammunition had been expended and the surrounding buildings and woods had also caught fire. According to the citation for his DCM, Sheppard had “set an example of courage and devotion to duty and his action helped the remainder of the battalion beyond measure”. Sheppard himself was captured, however, and spent the rest of the conflict as a PoW in Germany, Poland and Bavaria.

His citation for the DCM makes no mention of his knocking out German tanks. When, in 1999, he wrote to The Daily Telegraph about doing so, he ended his letter with “until now, it had never occurred to me that I may have put the first dents into Hitler’s panzers”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11552551/John-Sheppard-obituary.html

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #39 on: May 07, 2015, 13:01:52 »
Brigadier Tony Hunter-Choat

Brigadier Tony Hunter-Choat, who has died aged 76, was a special forces soldier who served with the SAS; his remarkable military career began, however, with the French Foreign Legion, with which he was three times decorated and took part in a coup to unseat Charles de Gaulle.


Anthony Hunter-Choat was born on January 12 1936 in Purley, south London, the son of Frederick, who worked in insurance, and Iris, a schoolteacher. The family would later move to Ascot.






Brigadier Tony Hunter-Choat


Tony was educated at Dulwich College and then Kingston College of Art, where he trained as an architect. On holidays he hitchhiked around Europe, developing a taste for travel and an affinity for languages.


In March 1957, having decided that architecture was not for him, he decided to indulge his thirst for adventure and made his way to Paris to enlist in the Foreign Legion. He was pursued by his mother, keen to get her errant son back to his studies, but by the time she caught up with him he had signed up.


Hunter-Choat was sent for basic training to Algeria, then in the throes of increasing anti-colonialist insurrection, and volunteered to complete the extra training necessary to become a paratrooper. He was duly posted, on October 15, to the 1st Battalion, Régiment Etranger de Parachutistes (1e REP), with which he would be involved in continuous operations for almost five years.


By the late 1950s the Algerian War of Independence had become a high-intensity conflict fought on a wide scale, and required the presence on the ground of 400,000 French and Colonial troops to maintain a semblance of order.


Hunter-Choat and his comrades were involved in hundreds of operations, and suffered and inflicted considerable casualties. In February 1958, as a young machine-gunner, he took part in the battle of Fedj Zezoua, in the woods east of Guelma, in the north-east of the country. Two armed units of the rebel Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) were dug in on a hillside. The legionnaires began their attack at 7am and met stiff resistance, but after being dropped by helicopter (balancing precariously on a cliffside) in the midst of the FLN positions, they overwhelmed the enemy. Hunter-Choat was awarded the Cross of Valour – the first of three. He would also be awarded the Médaille Militaire.

Less than two weeks later he was wounded as the 1e REP pursued FLN groups through the wooded territory close to the border with Tunisia.

It was an odd fact of life in the Legion that one in four of his NCOs was German, and many had fought on the Russian Front. Hunter-Choat recalled that their homes had become marooned behind the Iron Curtain and that, to his brothers-in-arms named Adolf, Rolf, Hans or Karl, the Legion had “become their country”. Some of them were former SS troops and were, Hunter-Choat noted, “superb soldiers and great trainers of men”. “They would expose themselves to danger in order to bring on the young soldiers,” he said.

After recovering from his wounds he was repeatedly involved in intense fighting against the FLN. But as the tide of war turned, and it became clear that Paris was preparing to negotiate Algeria’s independence, Hunter-Choat found himself fighting his own side.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/9221907/Brigadier-Tony-Hunter-Choat.html?fb_ref=Default
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #40 on: May 07, 2015, 13:57:39 »
Not mentioned in the obit is the fact that the late Brig Hunter-Choat's daughter, Sarah Hunter-Choat, topped her class at Sandhurst in 2012.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #41 on: May 07, 2015, 14:05:49 »
Either his age (76) or year of birth (1936) is wrong, and I suspect the former.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #42 on: May 07, 2015, 14:26:38 »
Either his age (76) or year of birth (1936) is wrong, and I suspect the former.

Probably part of an SF disinformation campaign to allow him to reach deeper cover....
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

jollyjacktar

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #43 on: May 07, 2015, 16:34:27 »
What cannot be disputed is he lived an interesting life in interesting times.

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #44 on: September 03, 2015, 18:09:14 »

Major John Campbell - obituary

Officer who survived shellfire and swamps as he advanced through Italy with Popski’s Private Army

Major John Campbell, who has died aged 93, was awarded two Military Crosses while serving with Popski’s Private Army (PPA) and subsequently worked in the Colonial Service and as a diplomat.


In 1944, he joined No 1 Demolition Squadron in Italy. This irregular unit, better known as Popski’s Private Army, was commanded by Major Vladimir Peniakoff, born in Belgium to Russian parents.


PPA had become operational two years earlier in the Western Desert when it undertook raiding and reconnaissance missions behind enemy lines. It was equipped with heavily armed jeeps and was trained in parachuting, mountain warfare, demolition and intelligence gathering. Patrol members carried a tommy gun or a rifle, a semi-automatic pistol and a fighting knife.


Peniakoff had misgivings about recruiting Campbell and set him a test of finding his way across 60 miles of rough, mountainous country carrying 40 lbs of equipment and getting back in record time. Campbell passed the test and, having been made adjutant, impressed “Popski” with his ability to scrounge kit, equipment and stores from niggardly quartermasters.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11842074/Major-John-Campbell-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #45 on: September 24, 2015, 16:52:08 »
There will be a few pints hoisted in the UK at this news:

General Mario Menéndez, Argentine commander - obituary

Military governor of the Falklands during Argentina’s brief occupation of the islands in 1982

General Mario Menéndez, who has died aged 85, was the military governor of the Falkland Islands during Argentina’s brief occupation of the archipelago in 1982; 30 years later he was arrested and detained for his alleged role in human rights abuses.


Argentine troops arrived on the islands on April 2 1982 and swiftly overwhelmed a 78-strong detachment of Royal Marines who put up a courageous defence of the islands’ capital, Port Stanley. As commander of the occupying troops, Menéndez, a military hard-liner, arrived in Stanley on April 7 to take over as governor.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11888536/General-Mario-Menendez-Argentine-commander-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2015, 13:10:35 »
Denis Winston Healey, Baron Healey, CH MBE PC (30 August 1917 – 3 October 2015) has died; he was 98.

He was a major in the Royal Engineers in World War II and later served as a (Labour) British Minister of Defence 1964 to 1970 and as Chancellor of the Exchequer (1974 to 1979).

Various obits and tributes, here, here and here.


Major Denis Winston Healey speaking at the Labour Party Conference in 1945
                                                                                                                     Photo: Kurt Hutton/Getty Images


I have quoted him often as the author of The First Law of Holes:

It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2015, 14:55:13 »
Major Mike Hutchinson - obituary

Infantry officer who led a high-risk assault in a battle that was 'hell on earth'



At 0500 hours on July 10, an attack was launched on Hill 112, which the Germans believed was a key feature in holding Normandy.

Hutchinson described the battle as “hell on earth”. The Hill was captured but at an immense cost in casualties. After just three weeks in the theatre, 4 SOM LI required reinforcements of 19 officers and 479 other ranks.

In the darkness of early morning on March 8 1945, Hutchinson commanded a company attack on Xanten, south-east of Nijmegen and close to the Rhine. This was carried out behind a rolling barrage and was supported by two flame-throwing Crocodile tanks.

As the forward troops reached a large anti-tank ditch they were pinned down by heavy fire from spandaus. Fire from the Crocodiles proved ineffective and Hutchinson realised that he had lost the benefit of both the artillery and the armour and must fight an infantry battle against a crack paratroop unit.

He issued fresh orders to his platoon commanders. The assault was entirely successful and resulted in the killing or capture of many of the enemy. His courage in exposing himself to danger throughout the battle and his inspiring leadership were recognised by the award of a Bar to his MC.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11929233/Major-Mike-Hutchinson-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #48 on: January 07, 2016, 18:42:44 »
Fred Walker, Chelsea Pensioner - obituary

Commando who witnessed the 1942 raid on Dieppe and was wounded behind enemy lines in Sicily

Fred Walker, who has died aged 91, was a former Army Commando who, in June 2014, was one of 19 Pensioners at the Royal Hospital Chelsea appointed Chevaliers of the Légion d’honneur by the French ambassador, Sylvie Bermann, in recognition of the part they played in the liberation of France and Europe.

Frederick John Walker was born in London on July 29 1924 and volunteered for military service with a friend during the early years of the Second World War, when both were under age. As neither could provide parental letters of consent they each wrote a signed letter for the other and Walker was accepted for the Commandos.

Following basic training with the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, he joined 3 Commando, and in his first action was involved in the disastrous 1942 raid on Dieppe, on a leading gunboat towing smaller craft. The boats came under fire from German E-boats, “creating havoc,” as he recalled, and the gunboat had to return to Newhaven.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/12087422/Fred-Walker-Chelsea-Pensioner-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #49 on: February 07, 2016, 23:57:40 »
Brigadier Peter 'Scrubber' Stewart-Richardson - obituary

Soldier and adventurer who built clinics in Afghanistan and was roughed up by the Taliban

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/12118419/Brigadier-Peter-Scrubber-Stewart-Richardson-obituary.html
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

jollyjacktar

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #50 on: July 21, 2016, 09:10:31 »
Commander Ian Inskip, attacked by an Exocet missile in the Falklands – obituary   :salute:

Commander Ian Inskip, who has died aged 72, saved his ship after an Exocet attack during the Falklands War.

Inskip was on the bridge of Glamorgan on the night of June 11/12 1982 as 45 Commando advanced on Two Sisters ridge. Soon after midnight, Inskip, who was the navigator and officer of the watch, nudged the destroyer closer to the coast. There was little wind and half a moon that night as Glamorgan, in response to calls from ashore, rained 145 shells, nearly four tons of high explosive, on enemy positions.

Towards dawn the Royal Marines signalled “VMT [very many thanks]  and good shooting”, and, as Inskip worked out a course for Glamorgan to take up her daytime role of air defence of the task force, there was a sudden lull in the fighting ashore.

Everyone’s eyes were caught by the very bright efflux coming from Eliza Cove: watchers ashore followed the flare seawards until there was an equally dazzling flash in the distance followed by an ominous red glow.

At 0636, Inskip, looking at the radar screen, realised that Glamorgan was under attack by an Exocet missile, and ordered full starboard rudder. 

“I concentrated very hard on the turn,” he recalled, “since I would need to reverse the wheel at precisely the right moment to steady on 190 degrees if we were to successfully bounce the missile off the ship’s side; I had less than 5 degrees leeway for error… Too soon and I would have to ease the rudder, thereby lengthening the time to turn, and time was not on our side. Too late, and I risked the missile and its debris running the length of the Seaslug [missile] magazine…

"On the bridge we heard a seemingly unremarkable thud, followed almost immediately by a 'whooomph’ as the fuelled helicopter in the hangar erupted into flame… Night turned into day as 100 ft flames towered above masthead height.”

The flash of the explosion was seen as far away as Darwin and Goose Green, and after a few minutes’ lull, the fighting ashore resumed.

Inskip’s action in turning the ship undoubtedly saved her from worse damage; nevertheless, 14 men were killed. The fight to save Glamorgan, however, had just begun, and Inskip played a major part in fighting the fire which followed.

His mention in despatches recorded that Inskip’s personal stamina and leadership had inspired others, in the face of extreme danger from exploding ammunition, to act with the determination and resolve which undoubtedly prevented the fire from spreading.

Throughout the three months of the Falklands War, Inskip displayed fortitude, resolve and determination, which, combined with his professionalism and cheerful influence, made a marked contribution to the ship’s readiness for and achievements in action. He was promoted to commander in 1983.

Ian Inskip was born at Thorpe Bay, Essex, on November 2 1943 and educated at Alleyn Court prep and Felsted School. He learnt to sail in a 12ft Gunter-rigged dinghy on the Thames, explaining to his anxious mother that his irregular absences and returns for meals at unusual times were dependent on the tides and visits to the Kent coast.

In 1962 he entered the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, where he became coxswain as the captain of the college’s fast motorboat, and learnt a love of precise seamanship which endured throughout his naval career and extended to family canal boat holidays.

Inskip qualified as a ship’s diver while in the destroyer Cambrian in 1966, and, unusually, retained his qualification throughout his 30-year naval career, recording an extraordinary 30,000 minutes in his diving log.

In 1968 he became a submariner, serving in the diesel-driven boats Onslaught, Sealion, Odin, and Onyx, where he particularly enjoyed the challenge of navigation in the Far East without radar, becoming – before the days of GPS – an astronavigation expert, using hand-held and artificial horizon periscope sextants.

Promoted to lieutenant-commander in 1975, Inskip reached “dagger N”, the highest level of navigating expertise in the Royal Navy in 1979. He celebrated by bringing his ship, the frigate Apollo, into the confined Mevagissey harbour and startling bystanders in the quay by playfully asking: “Where are we?”

He was appointed flotilla navigation officer in Glamorgan in 1980. One of his successes came during an exercise in the Arabian Sea when, by disguising the ship’s electronic signature and her lights, he closed undetected to within firing range on a US carrier battlegroup.

After the Falklands, Inskip served (1982-97) in a series of key training and planning and security roles before retiring to Cornwall. There he lectured on health and safety at Cornwall College Business School, and rented out self-catering holiday homes at Croft Farm. He also served as a governor of Goonhavern primary school and as a Crantock parish councillor, and was a keen competitor at the Goonhavern Horticultural Show.

Inskip wrote Ordeal by Exocet – HMS Glamorgan and the Falklands War 1982 (2002, reissued 2012), one of the best books about war at sea in the age of the missile. He drew on his contemporary journal plus four other diaries and the letters of his shipmates, to create a moving portrayal of the daily life of a destroyer in modern war. Inskip, as a master storyteller, contrasted the gruesome  realities of war with glimpses of what the families and friends were doing at home.

Inskip was much in demand to talk about his Falklands experience, but all fees and the profits from book sales were donated to charities, including Combat Stress, the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel, and the HMS Glamorgan memorial which was erected at Hookers Point in the Falkland Islands in 2011.

Later Inskip was the Royal British Legion’s county events officer and the Poppy Appeal organiser for the Perranporth Area (2007-12), tripling the monies raised.

Inskip was a family man and though of few words, he had a strong sense of duty, a competitive nature, and a wicked sense of humour. When he died he was working on a 6 ft model of Glamorgan.

Inskip married Marianne Petersen in 1975; she survives him with their two daughters, one of whom, inspired by her father, is an astrophysicist.

Cdr Ian Inskip, born November 2 1943, died June 24 2016

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2016/07/20/commander-ian-inskip-attacked-by-an-exocet-missile-in-the-falkla/



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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #51 on: July 21, 2016, 09:34:44 »
Commander Ian Inskip.....
Sounds like a pretty amazing guy.     :cheers:
There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
~Chris Evans

jollyjacktar

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #52 on: July 21, 2016, 10:56:26 »
Sounds like a pretty amazing guy.     :cheers:

You can say that again.  I would have thought he would have received more than just a MID for his actions in the Falklands.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #53 on: July 21, 2016, 12:50:39 »
You can say that again.  I would have thought he would have received more than just a MID for his actions in the Falklands.

It was an interesting war from the 'honours and awards' perspective.

Unlike a COIN campaign, being a general conflict with so much going on everywhere it was almost impossible for those who deserved them to get the awards they likely merited. It was therefore likely similar to WW 1 & 2 from that point of view.

I spoke to several people I know, who were in the thick of it, who said things like 'he should have got something for that but al those who might have been witnesses were killed or wounded'.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #54 on: March 11, 2018, 11:22:27 »
Lieutenant Colonel Sam Mallett

Exemplary member of the SAS who saw service in Aden, Oman, Northern Ireland and the Falklands

LIEUTENANT COLONEL SAM MALLETT, who has died aged 77, was one of a select cadre of officers and NCOs who formed the backbone of Britain’s 22nd Special Air Service Regiment during the last decades of the 20th century.
Born at Shoreham on January 14 1941 and brought up at Portslade, East Sussex, he was one of seven children of Andrew Mallett, a Royal Marine Commando during the Second World War, and his wife Bridget.
Sam left school at 15 and at 17 decided to join the Army with the primary aim of obtaining a driving licence.
He enlisted into the Royal Army Service Corps and, upon discovering that paratroopers received several extra shillings per day “jump pay”, immediately applied to undergo the physically and mentally demanding “P” Company selection, which he passed at his first attempt. After undergoing parachute training at RAF Abingdon he received his parachute wings while still only 17.
He was posted to 63 Company RASC (Parachute Brigade), later 63 Parachute Squadron, Royal Corps of Transport.
Paras from the supporting arms such as 63 Squadron often found themselves acting as infantrymen in support of members of the Parachute Regiment battalions.
It was in such a role in the mid-1960s in Aden and the Radfan campaign in South Arabia that he first encountered members of the Special Air Service Regiment. As a result, in 1967 Mallett volunteered for and passed the notoriously difficult SAS selection.
In the early 1970s much of the SAS effort was devoted to fighting the Communist-backed rebels, the Adoo, and sometime Yemeni army regulars, in the Dhofar region of Oman. Mallett, along with everyone else, did multiple tours and was involved in a great many actions.
Although the campaign gained little coverage at the time, the fighting was by no means low key. One colleague noted that early in the campaign they had 30 “contacts” with the enemy in just 10 days. During one five-month tour of duty Mallett was the only one of two patrols who was left unscathed. In total 14 SAS men were killed or died of wounds.
Mallett decided that he would make himself more useful if he could speak the language and accordingly learnt Arabic fluently. This was especially useful because the SAS men trained local soldiers, the Firquat, many of whom were surrendered enemy personnel and were persuaded to switch sides. Instrumental in this persuasion was the hearts-and-minds work carried out by the SAS.
After Oman the SAS found itself having to change and develop its role, not only for the situation prevailing in Northern Ireland but for counter-terrorism worldwide.
New skills included bodyguard duties, close-quarter battle, aircraft and house assaults and the room clearing for which the SAS became famous and entered public awareness during the Iranian Embassy siege in London in May 1980.
In training Mallet found his forte and with some close colleagues was instrumental in developing the expertise for which the SAS became the benchmark for Special Forces throughout the world. At one time or another he commanded every training sub-unit within the regiment and he was also the Commanding Officer of the Nato Long Range Patrol School in Germany.
He served in Northern Ireland and was of assistance to the RUC when they were desperately in need of professional training.
Commissioned in 1977, he enjoyed several operational roles before being made adjutant, the key administrative officer within the unit. Here, yet again, he found his métier.
One commanding officer, later General, Sir Michael Rose, said: “Sam’s undoubtedly sound advice and wise counsel kept me on the right path, allowing me to take decisions which not only made good sense but also had humanity. 
“Whenever a decision was required on how heavy I should go with the disciplinary action, Sam’s judgment was always impeccable and what was even more remarkable was that he remained to the end a very modest person, in spite of his great achievements.”
One of Mallett’s saddest duties was during the Falklands war in 1982 when he and his commanding officer had to arrange the delivery of simultaneous death messages to relatives of 20 members of the regiment who were killed after a helicopter crashed while cross decking between ships.
Much of the success enjoyed by the SAS in that campaign can be attributed to the training regimes instigated by Mallett and his colleagues.
In retirement he was a tireless worker for the SAS Association in welfare and associated matters.
Sam Mallett is survived by his wife Judith and their daughter.
 
Lt Col Sam Mallett, born January 14 1941, died January 31 2018



https://digitaledition.telegraph.co.uk/editions/edition_nLHav_2018-03-09/data/459785/index.html?share=1&WT.mc_id=tmgapp_inar_share&utm_source=tmgapp&utm_medium=inar&utm_content=share&utm_campaign=tmgapp_inar_share&Expires=1522972800&Signature=NKIwZKf98i981VCdtWHcl4aPUTsJL9P9FIaUwwoKQ5%7E5Ab8KbxMcuoH2DStd65%7EgxDTra50wheFuskV-whIjizZAN4-H93-PAgXw%7ElMgRD6gnwYOCYucbV2mVlOX6iL-ChV%7EBfXp3NCcetCzmu-N62x%7EIG3HSD1iIqbM2%7E6cnCsSK9DSJ7WaNLzLRUCKruqhKCHpjgwQohvm%7EiL0GkHl36YMwampjsKSF9VGjnysfJ6fJxL%7E4%7Enct7gAydCGENtfnTRnxtsWTs%7EEBkB-Fvqrm7Hp5w-2TAbaxmipfMTZF%7ESjAjSw2p9pSA-8BZ1TdqvJZQ2Vob-o-NmyURbWscA1nA__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJLCEPDGCTPVKXNOA
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #55 on: March 11, 2018, 11:38:44 »
Lt Col Sam Mallett, born January 14 1941, died January 31 2018
Wow, fascinating career.  A trucker, you say?     :salute:
There’s nothing more maddening than debating someone who doesn’t know history, doesn’t read books, and frames their myopia as virtue. The level of unapologetic conjecture I’ve encountered lately isn’t just frustrating, it’s retrogressive, unprecedented, and absolutely terrifying.
~Chris Evans

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #56 on: March 11, 2018, 12:30:34 »
I think I met him once back circa 1994 just before I retired.

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #57 on: March 11, 2018, 16:58:13 »
I've never really been much for history; not sure why, it just never caught my eye.  But out of curiosity I clicked on the most recent post in this thread, read that, read the one before it, and then ended up reading the entire thread.  To say many of these people have colourful pasts is a huge understatement.  A very interesting read!

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Re: The Obituaries
« Reply #58 on: July 17, 2018, 01:58:54 »
The 'beer bottle' VC:


Bill Speakman, VC obituary


Soldier awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery and leadership during the Korean war
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2018/jun/26/bill-speakman-vc-obituary

As a rank-and-file professional soldier, Bill Speakman, who has died aged 90, won the Victoria Cross in the Korean war with a sustained display of indomitable personal bravery of a kind no writer of fiction would have dared to invent. He spent much of his later life trying with varied success to live down the resulting fame.

It was during one of many large-scale counterattacks by the Chinese during this to-and-fro phase that Private Speakman, a Black Watch soldier temporarily attached to the 1st battalion of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, was acting as a runner for B company, positioned on a ridge known as Hill 217 at the beginning of November 1951.

The battalion came under fierce artillery fire in its exposed position. The Chinese then sent in 6,000 infantry troops, advancing in waves on B company. At dusk the company’s position looked hopeless, but Speakman, who was imposing and well-built at 6ft 6in tall, decided otherwise. Filling his pouches and all available pockets with the hand grenades he had been priming, he rose to his feet. Asked where he thought he was going, Speakman was reported as saying, in contemporary speech: “I’m going to shift some of them bloody Chinks.”

Standing in the dark, he pelted the attackers with grenade after grenade, aiming at their rifle flashes, pausing only to return to refill his pockets. Inspired by his actions, six men then joined him in a concerted drive to clear the ridge of the enemy.

War broke out in divided Korea in June 1950, when the communist north invaded the western-backed south by crossing the 38th parallel of latitude which was (and remains) the provisional border between them. Korea, occupied by Japan during the second world war, was divided in 1945 between the Soviet Union in the north and US forces in the south.

Protracted negotiations failed to reunify the two segments and the north made its bid to overrun the south. At first the massed northern troops carried all before them and all but expelled the smaller, ill-prepared southern army and its US reinforcements from the entire peninsula.

But the American General Douglas MacArthur was appointed commander-in-chief of UN forces in Korea in July and led a daring counterattack. A temporary boycott of the UN security council meant there could be no Soviet veto of the American proposal for UN intervention. British and Commonwealth units with other allied troops joined in. The US Marines made a bold amphibious landing at Incheon, near the southern capital of Seoul, and allied forces then advanced north to the Chinese border, whereupon the Chinese army entered the war and forced them back to the 38th parallel.
 
It seemed only a bullet could stop the furious defender. Yet even that was insufficient: he was indeed shot – in a leg and again in the shoulder – but, directly ordered to seek medical help, he went back to the fight when the medics were not looking. His rage reached new heights when a medic treating a comrade was shot and killed. He and his friends were finally reduced to throwing stones, ration tins and even, the legend has it, beer bottles (their contents had been used to cool gun barrels) before a final charge cleared the ridge and the remnants of the company could withdraw.

The citation for the VC said he had imposed enormous losses on the enemy and saved the lives of many of his comrades as they withdrew. It was the first such award to be presented by the Queen, shortly after she came to the throne.

Bill was born in Altrincham, Cheshire (now Greater Manchester) to Hannah Speakman, an unmarried domestic servant; he never knew his father and she never named him. About seven years later she married Herbert Houghton, a veteran of the first world war, who became his stepfather. Bill left Wellington Road secondary school in Timperley aged 14 and held various ordinary jobs before volunteering for the Scottish Black Watch regiment at the age of 17 near the end of the second world war, seeing service in Germany, Italy and Hong Kong. Returning to Germany in 1950, he volunteered for Korea and was detached to the King’s Own Scottish Borderers.

A month after he received his VC, Speakman returned to Korea at his own request, to get away from all the adulation. Demobilised in 1953, the year the Korean war ended in an armistice, he could not settle down to civilian life without qualifications and volunteered for the army again, to fight the communist insurrection in Malaya. In 1955 he served for a short period with the SAS, rejoining the King’s Own Scottish Borderers when they arrived in Malaya and rising to his final rank of sergeant.

He left the army after 22 years in 1968, the year following his arrest in Edinburgh for stealing £104 from a woman’s purse. He received an absolute discharge after repaying the stolen sum in full: his decoration probably saved him from prison.

Once again unable to settle down into civilian life, the “beer-bottle VC” tried various jobs, sold his medals to raise money, and was married and divorced three times, fathering seven children, all of whom survive him.

He emigrated to South Africa, called himself Speakman-Pitt for a while, returned to Britain and spent a year as a pensioner at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, before going back to South Africa for a second time. Eventually he returned to Altrincham before retiring permanently as a Chelsea pensioner in 2015.

• William Speakman, soldier, born 21 September 1927; died 20 June 2018
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon