Major General A J Deane-Drummond CB DSO MC*

Major General A J Deane-Drummond CB DSO MC*

It is with great sadness that the Corps announces that Major General A J Deane-Drummond CB DSO MC* died during the early hours of 4thDecember.

Tony Deane-Drummond was commissioned into Royal Signals in 1937 and first saw active service with the British Expeditionary Force in 1939. Following his evacuation from Dunkirk in July 1940 he volunteered for service with No 2 Commando which became 11th Special Air Service Battalion. He took part in experimental parachuting culminating in his selection to join X Troop and participate in the first British operational parachute jump to destroy the Tragino Aqueduct (Operation COLLOSUS) in Southern Italy on the night of 10th February 1941. Although successful all members of X Troop were captured. Tony eventually became, following his second escape attempt, the second only prisoner to make a ‘home run’ before the Italian Armistice. For his courage and perseverance which won him his freedom he was awarded the MC. He saw active service in Italy with 1st Airborne Division Signal Regiment and then, as Regimental 2IC, participated in Operation MARKET GARDEN in September 1944. At one point in the battle he led a company of 1st Battalion the Parachute Regiment in the attempt to reach Arnhem Bridge. Nearly out of ammunition and surrounded, he and the twenty survivors swam the 400m wide Rhine to escape from the Germans but he was nevertheless captured. Whilst in the house being used to hold the British POWs he discovered a cupboard in which he hid whilst the other prisoners were taken away. Unfortunately, the Germans then occupied the house and he had to stand for thirteen days before finally escaping and being helped by the Dutch Resistance to cross the Rhine. One of the Dutch family members who helped conceal him was a young girl who went on to become the successful Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn and a lifelong friend of the family. For his actions at Arnhem he was awarded a bar to his MC. In 1957 he was appointed to command 22 SAS in Malaya. He seized an opportunity to take his men to the Oman where he conducted a short but brilliantly effective campaign against the tribes rebelling against the Sultan. His seizure of the Jebel Akhdar in January 1959, where he personally led the assault, was widely acclaimed as a turning point in Omani affairs and is credited with ensuring the survival of the SAS Regiment. For these feats he was awarded the DSO in 1959. He went on to Command 44th Independent Parachute Brigade Group (TA) from 1961-63 and was GOC 3rd Infantry Division from 1966-68. He was awarded the CB in the New Year’s Honours list in 1970 and retired from the Army in 1971. He was a Colonel Commandant from 1966-71. Tony is the author of “Return Ticket”, “Riot Control” and “Arrows of Fortune”. He was the British Single Seater Gliding Champion in 1957.
Impressive isnt the word is it puts my efforts to shame, dont think we will ever get the chance to see the like again - unless some one decides to hold WWIII.

Never knew Hepburn was a cheese head though!
Imagine standing upright in a cupboard for 13 days whilst a bunch of Germans occupied the house - awesome!
RIP, Sir.
Another great gone... can't help thinking Dygbi's avatar is a little unappropriate ;D
I remember reading Return Ticket in my youth and being seriously impressed. I must admit, though, that I thought he had died long ago! How old was he? He must have been well into his 90's.
Fair one Choccy, clearly unintentional in this case but hopefully rectified.
He was one hell of a soldier. Read 'Return Ticket ' as a lad and several times since.

In interviews he came across as a modest and no-nonsense kind of chap.

I often wondered if he was one of the 2 bods who appear in 'A Bridge Too Far' struggling with the radios.

I normally don't bother with the whole grief thing on here but this in one man I feel duty bound to honour. RIP Sir !

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