Military (& related) obituaries

Squadron Leader John Sauvage, bomber pilot who took part in the operation immortalised in the film ‘I Was Monty’s Double’
A truly humbling Obit, a bomber command veteran of 64 missions, a double DFC and DSO. On top of that he sounds like a jolly nice guy.
Squadron Leader John Sauvage, bomber pilot who took part in the operation immortalised in the film ‘I Was Monty’s Double’ and later became a charter holiday pioneer – obituary
Squadron Leader John Sauvage, who has died aged 100, was decorated three times during his career as a bomber pilot. After the war he was a pioneer in the development of air charter and the holiday airline business.
In April 1943 he joined 97 Squadron, part of Bomber Command’s Pathfinder Force, having already completed a tour of operations flying Hampden bombers, for which he was awarded the DFC.
 
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Brigadier Maurice Sutcliffe, soldier who served with the SOE in the Balkans and went on to be a pioneer of army aviation
Another of those lunatics of old. While recovering from being wounded he opted to fly missions with the RAF - as you do! Makes a change from slouching round the lines with a bottle of lucozade!
Brigadier Maurice Sutcliffe, soldier who served with the SOE in the Balkans and went on to be a pioneer of army aviation – obituary
Brigadier Maurice Sutcliffe, who has died aged 96, served with the SOE in the Balkans in the Second World War and was a pioneer of army aviation.

Sutcliffe was badly wounded while serving in North Africa with the Royal Irish Fusiliers (RIF) in 1942. He recovered but was medically downgraded, and took the opportunity while attached to the RAF to serve as an extra crewman on daylight raids over Nazi-occupied France.
 

Awol

LE
Bernard Dargols, only French GI to fight at Omaha Beach in WWII, dies at 98

Former soldier, whose family has Jewish origins, left France in 1938 for an internship in the US and enlisted after seeing France’s Vichy leader shake hands with Adolf Hitler
By AFPToday, 3:47 pm 0
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In this photo dated May 8, 2014, Bernard Dargols poses during an interview with the Associated Press at his home in La Garenne-Colombes, outside Paris, France (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
CAEN, France — Bernard Dargols, the only French soldier to fight in an American uniform as Allied forces stormed the coast of Normandy at Omaha Beach in a battle heralding the end of World War II, has died aged 98, the Caen Memorial war museum said Tuesday.
“We are deeply saddened by Bernard’s passing… surrounded by his loved ones, a few days from his 99th birthday. We will miss him terribly,” the museum said on Twitter.

His death comes just a few weeks before France is hosting ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, which are to be attended by US President Donald Trump.
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Dargols had left France in 1938 for an internship in the United States, and after seeing France’s Vichy leader Philippe Petain shake hands with Adolf Hitler, he enlisted in the US Army, later obtaining joint French-American citizenship.

German Chancellor Adolf Hitler, right, shaking hands with Head of State of Vichy France Marshall Philippe Petain, in occupied France, October 24, 1940. (AP Photo)
He was just 24 when he crossed the Channel from England to France on June 8, 1944, two days after Operation Overlord was launched to help wrest back France from Germany.
“Some GIs were killed in the water. By what miracle was I going to make these last few meters” to the beach, he recalled in a 2012 memoir written with a grand-daughter.
“If the Liberty Ship had been able to quickly go into reverse, I think I would have asked them to do it,” he said.
A jeep named Bastille
A few hours later, aboard a jeep nicknamed “La Bastille,” he found himself surrounded by his fellow Frenchmen who couldn’t believe their ears.
“What a feeling to hear French spoken, to be taken in the arms of all these people older than me, calling me their liberator,” he recalled.
“If I had kept all the bottles of calvados brandy they were giving me, I think I could have opened my own specialist shop!”

US reinforcements wade through the surf from a landing craft in the days following D-Day and the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France at Normandy in June 1944 during World War II (AP Photo/Bert Brandt, File)
Dargols, whose family had Jewish origins, had an aunt and uncle who were deported to the Nazi death camps where they died, though his mother managed to remain in Paris during France’s occupation.
After the war he took over his father’s sewing machine shop, but he often spoke about the bloodshed he witnessed, giving interviews to ensure younger generations never forgot the high price paid.
“Today we’re seeing the signs of anti-Semitism,” he told AFP in a 2014 interview.
“I want young people to fight back against it.”
 
Fort Drum, NY just did a fly-by with 5 helicopters today in memory of Levi Oakes, the last Mohawk code-talkers of WWII. I was looking over the St. Lawrence and saw them go by.

Levi Oakes - Wikipedia
 

QRK2

LE
WALTER Peter Frederick MBE MC*: Lieutenant Colonel 432312

Peter Walter of Alderney, CI on 28 June 2019 aged 91. He enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters in December 1944 and served in the ranks until 1952 when he was granted a Short Service Commission. In 1955 he was granted a regular commission with the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment then on amalgamation served in 2nd Battalion The East Anglia Regiment until 1963 when he transferred to the Parachute Regiment. Peter then served with 22 SAS before returning to the Parachute Regiment where he went on to become CO Depot Para and Airborne Forces. After varied staff appointments he retired from the Regular Army in 1981 then enlisted into The Honourable Artillery Company as a Trooper before re-commissioning as a Major followed by being appointed Honorary Colonel in 1988.

Stand Firm-Strike Hard - Obituaries

With Charlie Beckwith circa 1963

15625397_1781698602047746_9050246956034555904_n.jpg


Full Times Obit (not one of their best efforts):

Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Walter obituary

Peter Walter was aggressive — a comrade swore he heard him fighting in his sleep lying in the Malayan jungle “basha” next to his. There were some, even in the Parachute Regiment, who found his relentless, restless belligerence disconcerting.

He had enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters as a boy soldier aged 16. When the Malayan Scouts — soon to become 22nd Special Air Service (22 SAS) regiment — called for volunteers he was already a junior NCO, but answered the call. Serving with B Squadron in Malaya, he became an expert in jungle warfare and a squadron sergeant-major at 25 before returning to the Foresters with a commission.

Seeking further active service he transferred to the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment on hearing of their impending move to Malaya. Walter made an immediate impact, was mentioned in dispatches for jungle operations and won his first Military Cross as a patrol leader in Perak state in June 1957.

Following up a report of communist terrorists (CTs) in a local rubber estate, he led a six-man patrol into the jungle, leaving three other men at his overnight base near the edge. Spotting a CT sentry crouching behind a large tree root, he shot and knocked him over. This brought a fusillade of retaliatory fire from the terrorist group and a grenade, which exploded, blowing Walter off his feet and briefly stunning him. Appreciating that the terrorists had the advantage of numbers and ground, he withdrew his patrol to a sunken riverbed, called forward the three men from his base and made a flanking attack on the CTs’ position with such ferocity that they fled. The next day he led a larger patrol in pursuit of the gang, engaged them again and personally killed one of their leaders.

The next year, by then a company commander, Walter planned and led an operation on the perimeter of the predominantly Chinese village of Yong Peng, which sat astride the north-south road in western Johor state. Reputedly a place of communist sympathies, Sir Gerald Templer had visited it early in his tenure as high commissioner and director. No stranger to military invective, Templer had announced to the assembled villagers: “I warn you bastards that I can be a bastard too.” This was innocently translated as: “The general’s mother and father were not married either.”

The attitude of Yong Peng showed little improvement and when, several years later, it was reported that the CTs planned an overnight food lift from the perimeter wire, Walter’s company was ordered to mount an ambush. Walter made a series of night-time reconnaissance missions to site the enemy’s ambush positions and gain an advantage. He then planned the points on which the battalion’s 3in mortars could fire to best effect.
The history of operations on such a scale by that late stage of the campaign was not good, because the CT grapevine was widespread and effective. Knowing this, Walter made meticulous arrangements to preserve secrecy. The CTs came in to collect the food one night later than expected after he and his men had lain in ambush for 72 hours, dozing in shifts. The terrorists had learnt to be cautious and appeared in groups of just three or four to avoid heavy casualties. The engagement lasted 25 minutes, after which one CT was found dead and two wounded. Intelligence from a surrendered CT revealed that another four were wounded, but had escaped, thus crippling the CT group in west Johor.

Walter was appointed MBE for his exemplary leadership and action. He won his second MC with the Parachute Regiment during the Radfan Campaign in the Western Aden Protectorate in 1964. Walter’s company played a key role in securing a fortified Arab village.

Peter Frederick Walter was born in 1928, the eldest of four sons of Frederick and Hilda Walter, who ran a mixed arable and livestock farm near Retford in Nottinghamshire. They were all educated locally.

After his exploits in Malaya, the rest of Walter’s military service was peaceful. He commanded the Parachute Regiment’s battle school at Brecon and a Nato patrol course in Bavaria.

In 1963 he married Elizabeth Hall, with whom he had two sons: Hugh, who initially followed his father into the army, but is now a computer-aided designer; and Guy, a master joiner. The marriage was dissolved in 1980.
After leaving the army to settle in Alderney in the Channel Islands, he married Annabel (Annie) Chase, a solicitor working in England with family connections on the island. They had met when she was planning a charity expedition to the Great Wall of China and they walked many miles of it together. She survives him, along with his sons and a stepdaughter, Elizabeth, who is a business director.

Walter became a member of the States council in Alderney, ran a small holding similar to his family farm, and travelled back several times to China to walk the wall with Annie.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Walter, MBE, MC and Bar, soldier, was born on January 26 1928. He died from cancer on June 28, 2019, aged 91
 
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Yokel

LE
Captain David Pentreath obituary

Captain David Pentreath messaged Lieutenant-Commander Alfredo Astiz of the Argentine navy explaining that, if he did not surrender, Pentreath would shell the cliff behind his camp on South Georgia so that an avalanche of rocks would land on it. Eventually concluding that this was not worth the risk, the Argentine officer capitulated.

Astiz came aboard Pentreath’s frigate, HMS Plymouth, on April 26, 1982, to formally surrender his men, part of the occupying force that had seized control of South Georgia on April 3. Although Astiz was known as the Blond Angel of Death because of the barbaric acts he had carried out against thousands of his own people, he was charm itself to the crew of Plymouth and turned out to have an exceptional knowledge of English.

Escorted by a Royal Marine clutching a gun, Astiz was brought down from the executive officer’s cabin to sign the surrender document in the wardroom while Pentreath sat opposite. The photograph of that scene became one of the iconic shots of the conflict. As for Astiz, in 2011 he was jailed for life by a court in Argentina for crimes against humanity during the military rule of 1976-83.

Plymouth had been heavily involved in the battle for South Georgia. She was among the first warships to arrive in the South Atlantic after the Argentine invasion and one of a handful tasked with reclaiming the island. The frigate accompanied HMS Antrim in bombarding enemy positions on April 25, firing 129 shells from her 4.5in guns before Marines and special forces were put ashore. Argentine troops across the island soon realised that they were up against a superior enemy and caved in.

After briefly acting as a prison ship for captured forces Plymouth sailed to the Falkland Islands, where she was one of the conflict’s naval workhorses. Pentreath stood on a darkened bridge as she was the first ship to enter San Carlos Water on the night of May 20, escorting landing craft to the beaches then providing air-defence support for the amphibious assault.

On June 8 Plymouth had been sent to shell an enemy observation point on West Falkland when lookouts spotted five Argentine Mirage jets on the horizon. Seeing Plymouth alone and outside the relative safety of San Carlos Water, the aircraft turned and homed in at low altitude. Swiftly Pentreath issued the emergency order of “full ahead”, then weaved the course of his ship in an attempt to evade the attack. Plymouth shot down two of the Mirages and damaged two more, but was hit by four 1,000lb bombs. Remarkably none exploded, probably because they were released too low for the fuses to arm, but one struck a primed depth charge.


“The bombs bounced over the ship and across the flight deck, to the astonishment of the anti-submarine warfare mortars crew, who were crouching within feet of annihilation,” Pentreath recalled. “The ship returned to the anchorage at full speed, with thick clouds of brown smoke pouring over the flight deck a sure sign to consorts that she was in trouble.” Fires raged below decks for more than an hour and five injured sailors were taken off the frigate by helicopter.


Pentreath was a measured and compassionate man with a stubborn streak whose assured, cool-headed authority was magnetic. A gifted ship-handler, he could spin his frigate around the ocean as though it were a Lamborghini.


Affectionately known as “eagle eyes” by his men, Pentreath toured the decks daily, checking morale and explaining the developing battle to the 236-strong ship’s company. In Britain his wife, Judy, supported the sailors’ families, and used her talents as a potter to make each Plymouth sailor a mug.


After confirmation of the final unconditional surrender of the Falklands by Argentina, Plymouth, patched up and back on the gun line, was the first British warship to enter Port Stanley on June 17. She returned to an ecstatic welcome at Royal Naval Dockyard Rosyth on July 14, after which Pentreath was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his role in the campaign. He posted a photocopy of the Astiz surrender document to the Ministry of Defence, then framed the original and hung it in his study.




David Pentreath was born in 1933 in Westminster, central London, the son of the Rev Canon Guy Pentreath, a schoolmaster, and his wife, Lesley (née Cadman). The next year his father was appointed headmaster of St Peter’s College, Adelaide, and the family emigrated to Australia, where young David joined the independent school as a pupil.

In February 1944 they set out to return to Britain in the cargo ship Glenstrae. Before joining a wartime convoy she crossed the Indian Ocean alone. The ship’s officers were fearful of attack by enemy aircraft or submarine, so young passengers were asked to act as lookouts. Thus ten-year-old David undertook his first “watch”, an experience that deeply resonated.

Back in Britain he completed his schooling at Haileybury in Hertfordshire, where he was a college prefect, head of house and captain of sailing. Encouraged by the head of his naval CCF section and having relished time spent on his father’s ketch, David made the logical choice of a career in the senior service. He entered Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth in 1951, winning the Queen’s Sword as the best cadet of his entry.

Opting for the Fleet Air Arm, Pentreath became a fighter pilot, flying Sea Hawk and Scimitar aircraft from the carriers HMS Ark Royal and HMS Victorious in what he described as “a flurry of aeronautical joy”. In the early 1960s he served as flag lieutenant to Rear- Admiral “Percy” Gick, flag officer naval air training at the time, his favourite role of his career.

The admiral was nothing if not decisive. Pentreath once watched as he dumped an overflowing in-tray out of a carrier porthole so that sensitive documents fluttered away across the waves. When Gick received a twin-seated Hunter in which to zip between appointments, its military-grey hue left him uninspired. He immediately ordered his flag lieutenant to fly it to the Hawker factory for a repaint in colours befitting an “admiral’s barge”. When Pentreath returned with the aircraft it was bright blue and white.

Pentreath met Judith Waite when he was best man at a wedding at which she was chief bridesmaid. Bumping into each other at the reception, the pair danced before Pentreath took her hand in his. Judith thought that he was on the point of making a romantic declaration, but instead he said: “I can tell you’ve been pulling on a mainsheet.”

He was right. Judith was in fact unamused at missing a day of Cowes Week to attend the nuptials in London. Given a mutual love of yachting, their own union was soon a done deal; they married in Cowes on the Isle of Wight in April 1963. Judith died this year, and he is survived by their three sons: Tim, who is a paraglider pilot, Jon, a rear- admiral in the Fleet Air Arm, and Ben, an architect involved in the Prince of Wales’s Poundbury development, as well as six grandchildren.

Pentreath’s successful flying career was halted when he developed Ménière’s disease, which left him unable to work for several months, but in 1966 he became executive officer of the destroyer HMS Daring, assuming command mid-deployment in the Far East when the captain broke his ankle playing deck hockey.

Pentreath was also captain of the frigate HMS Brighton, and on his promotion to captain in 1977 became assistant director for naval recruiting, successfully snaring a young George Zambellas, who would go on to become first sea lord. With the Plymouth captaincy in 1980 came command of the 6th Frigate Squadron.

After the Falklands conflict Pentreath became director of the staff course at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, and Commodore Clyde, running the naval base at Faslane. He left the navy in 1986 and became the Royal Navy senior schools liaison officer (south), based in Southampton, before retiring in the early 1990s and moving to West Wight on the Isle of Wight, and then in 2017 to Poundbury, near Dorchester. He was president of the Haileybury Society from 1993-94 and a member of the Royal Cruising Club.

Throughout his retirement Pentreath and his wife were intrepid travellers, with trips including intricately planned sailing expeditions around the Baltic states, the Mediterranean and Ireland. A keen artist all his life, Pentreath even sketched during quieter moments of the Falklands conflict. He died four months after Judy, whom he missed deeply. Days before his death he attended the annual service to commemorate the liberation of the Falkland Islands, accompanied by his son Jon.

Captain John Coward, the commanding officer of HMS Brilliant, said of Pentreath’s time in the Falklands: “Of course Plymouth was always going to cop it. She did not really have the right kit to fight these kinds of action. But I’ll never forget her in Carlos Water when we were under such serious attack — she just steamed round and round the other ships in a gesture to the Args of total defiance. She had comparatively little to fight with, just guns and an old Sea Cat, but she gave it everything.”

He added: “Pentreath? Bravest chap I’ve ever seen.”

Captain David Pentreath, DSO, CBE, commander of HMS Plymouth during the Falklands conflict, was born on April 9, 1933. He died after a stroke on June 26, 2019, aged 86.
 
WALTER Peter Frederick MBE MC*: Lieutenant Colonel 432312

Peter Walter of Alderney, CI on 28 June 2019 aged 91. He enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters in December 1944 and served in the ranks until 1952 when he was granted a Short Service Commission. In 1955 he was granted a regular commission with the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment then on amalgamation served in 2nd Battalion The East Anglia Regiment until 1963 when he transferred to the Parachute Regiment. Peter then served with 22 SAS before returning to the Parachute Regiment where he went on to become CO Depot Para and Airborne Forces. After varied staff appointments he retired from the Regular Army in 1981 then enlisted into The Honourable Artillery Company as a Trooper before re-commissioning as a Major followed by being appointed Honorary Colonel in 1988.

Stand Firm-Strike Hard - Obituaries

With Charlie Beckwith circa 1963

View attachment 404934

Full Times Obit (not one of their best efforts):

Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Walter obituary

Peter Walter was aggressive — a comrade swore he heard him fighting in his sleep lying in the Malayan jungle “basha” next to his. There were some, even in the Parachute Regiment, who found his relentless, restless belligerence disconcerting.

He had enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters as a boy soldier aged 16. When the Malayan Scouts — soon to become 22nd Special Air Service (22 SAS) regiment — called for volunteers he was already a junior NCO, but answered the call. Serving with B Squadron in Malaya, he became an expert in jungle warfare and a squadron sergeant-major at 25 before returning to the Foresters with a commission.

Seeking further active service he transferred to the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment on hearing of their impending move to Malaya. Walter made an immediate impact, was mentioned in dispatches for jungle operations and won his first Military Cross as a patrol leader in Perak state in June 1957.

Following up a report of communist terrorists (CTs) in a local rubber estate, he led a six-man patrol into the jungle, leaving three other men at his overnight base near the edge. Spotting a CT sentry crouching behind a large tree root, he shot and knocked him over. This brought a fusillade of retaliatory fire from the terrorist group and a grenade, which exploded, blowing Walter off his feet and briefly stunning him. Appreciating that the terrorists had the advantage of numbers and ground, he withdrew his patrol to a sunken riverbed, called forward the three men from his base and made a flanking attack on the CTs’ position with such ferocity that they fled. The next day he led a larger patrol in pursuit of the gang, engaged them again and personally killed one of their leaders.

The next year, by then a company commander, Walter planned and led an operation on the perimeter of the predominantly Chinese village of Yong Peng, which sat astride the north-south road in western Johor state. Reputedly a place of communist sympathies, Sir Gerald Templer had visited it early in his tenure as high commissioner and director. No stranger to military invective, Templer had announced to the assembled villagers: “I warn you bastards that I can be a bastard too.” This was innocently translated as: “The general’s mother and father were not married either.”

The attitude of Yong Peng showed little improvement and when, several years later, it was reported that the CTs planned an overnight food lift from the perimeter wire, Walter’s company was ordered to mount an ambush. Walter made a series of night-time reconnaissance missions to site the enemy’s ambush positions and gain an advantage. He then planned the points on which the battalion’s 3in mortars could fire to best effect.
The history of operations on such a scale by that late stage of the campaign was not good, because the CT grapevine was widespread and effective. Knowing this, Walter made meticulous arrangements to preserve secrecy. The CTs came in to collect the food one night later than expected after he and his men had lain in ambush for 72 hours, dozing in shifts. The terrorists had learnt to be cautious and appeared in groups of just three or four to avoid heavy casualties. The engagement lasted 25 minutes, after which one CT was found dead and two wounded. Intelligence from a surrendered CT revealed that another four were wounded, but had escaped, thus crippling the CT group in west Johor.

Walter was appointed MBE for his exemplary leadership and action. He won his second MC with the Parachute Regiment during the Radfan Campaign in the Western Aden Protectorate in 1964. Walter’s company played a key role in securing a fortified Arab village.

Peter Frederick Walter was born in 1928, the eldest of four sons of Frederick and Hilda Walter, who ran a mixed arable and livestock farm near Retford in Nottinghamshire. They were all educated locally.

After his exploits in Malaya, the rest of Walter’s military service was peaceful. He commanded the Parachute Regiment’s battle school at Brecon and a Nato patrol course in Bavaria.

In 1963 he married Elizabeth Hall, with whom he had two sons: Hugh, who initially followed his father into the army, but is now a computer-aided designer; and Guy, a master joiner. The marriage was dissolved in 1980.
After leaving the army to settle in Alderney in the Channel Islands, he married Annabel (Annie) Chase, a solicitor working in England with family connections on the island. They had met when she was planning a charity expedition to the Great Wall of China and they walked many miles of it together. She survives him, along with his sons and a stepdaughter, Elizabeth, who is a business director.

Walter became a member of the States council in Alderney, ran a small holding similar to his family farm, and travelled back several times to China to walk the wall with Annie.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Walter, MBE, MC and Bar, soldier, was born on January 26 1928. He died from cancer on June 28, 2019, aged 91
@haloman

Edit to add @ beefer
 
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Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
So glad you saw it, I dashed it off as I was fleeing out the door to a meeting.
It was a sad and sobering read, but from a medical perspective the MO's on Corporate did an amazing job when you consider what was available at the time.
I was at IDB at the time and remembered that the School of Infantry MO was married to a Para Captain who was killed at Goose Green with A company. So that would have hit him as well.
As you put it so well - 'At peace at last'.

Would that be a surname beginning with 'D' for the Captain?
 
WALTER Peter Frederick MBE MC*: Lieutenant Colonel 432312

Peter Walter of Alderney, CI on 28 June 2019 aged 91. He enlisted into the Sherwood Foresters in December 1944 and served in the ranks until 1952 when he was granted a Short Service Commission. In 1955 he was granted a regular commission with the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment then on amalgamation served in 2nd Battalion The East Anglia Regiment until 1963 when he transferred to the Parachute Regiment. Peter then served with 22 SAS before returning to the Parachute Regiment where he went on to become CO Depot Para and Airborne Forces. After varied staff appointments he retired from the Regular Army in 1981 then enlisted into The Honourable Artillery Company as a Trooper before re-commissioning as a Major followed by being appointed Honorary Colonel in 1988.

Stand Firm-Strike Hard - Obituaries

With Charlie Beckwith circa 1963

View attachment 404934

Full Times Obit (not one of their best efforts):

Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Walter obituary

Peter Walter was aggressive — a comrade swore he heard him fighting in his sleep lying in the Malayan jungle “basha” next to his. There were some, even in the Parachute Regiment, who found his relentless, restless belligerence disconcerting.

He had enlisted in the Sherwood Foresters as a boy soldier aged 16. When the Malayan Scouts — soon to become 22nd Special Air Service (22 SAS) regiment — called for volunteers he was already a junior NCO, but answered the call. Serving with B Squadron in Malaya, he became an expert in jungle warfare and a squadron sergeant-major at 25 before returning to the Foresters with a commission.

Seeking further active service he transferred to the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment on hearing of their impending move to Malaya. Walter made an immediate impact, was mentioned in dispatches for jungle operations and won his first Military Cross as a patrol leader in Perak state in June 1957.

Following up a report of communist terrorists (CTs) in a local rubber estate, he led a six-man patrol into the jungle, leaving three other men at his overnight base near the edge. Spotting a CT sentry crouching behind a large tree root, he shot and knocked him over. This brought a fusillade of retaliatory fire from the terrorist group and a grenade, which exploded, blowing Walter off his feet and briefly stunning him. Appreciating that the terrorists had the advantage of numbers and ground, he withdrew his patrol to a sunken riverbed, called forward the three men from his base and made a flanking attack on the CTs’ position with such ferocity that they fled. The next day he led a larger patrol in pursuit of the gang, engaged them again and personally killed one of their leaders.

The next year, by then a company commander, Walter planned and led an operation on the perimeter of the predominantly Chinese village of Yong Peng, which sat astride the north-south road in western Johor state. Reputedly a place of communist sympathies, Sir Gerald Templer had visited it early in his tenure as high commissioner and director. No stranger to military invective, Templer had announced to the assembled villagers: “I warn you bastards that I can be a bastard too.” This was innocently translated as: “The general’s mother and father were not married either.”

The attitude of Yong Peng showed little improvement and when, several years later, it was reported that the CTs planned an overnight food lift from the perimeter wire, Walter’s company was ordered to mount an ambush. Walter made a series of night-time reconnaissance missions to site the enemy’s ambush positions and gain an advantage. He then planned the points on which the battalion’s 3in mortars could fire to best effect.
The history of operations on such a scale by that late stage of the campaign was not good, because the CT grapevine was widespread and effective. Knowing this, Walter made meticulous arrangements to preserve secrecy. The CTs came in to collect the food one night later than expected after he and his men had lain in ambush for 72 hours, dozing in shifts. The terrorists had learnt to be cautious and appeared in groups of just three or four to avoid heavy casualties. The engagement lasted 25 minutes, after which one CT was found dead and two wounded. Intelligence from a surrendered CT revealed that another four were wounded, but had escaped, thus crippling the CT group in west Johor.

Walter was appointed MBE for his exemplary leadership and action. He won his second MC with the Parachute Regiment during the Radfan Campaign in the Western Aden Protectorate in 1964. Walter’s company played a key role in securing a fortified Arab village.

Peter Frederick Walter was born in 1928, the eldest of four sons of Frederick and Hilda Walter, who ran a mixed arable and livestock farm near Retford in Nottinghamshire. They were all educated locally.

After his exploits in Malaya, the rest of Walter’s military service was peaceful. He commanded the Parachute Regiment’s battle school at Brecon and a Nato patrol course in Bavaria.

In 1963 he married Elizabeth Hall, with whom he had two sons: Hugh, who initially followed his father into the army, but is now a computer-aided designer; and Guy, a master joiner. The marriage was dissolved in 1980.
After leaving the army to settle in Alderney in the Channel Islands, he married Annabel (Annie) Chase, a solicitor working in England with family connections on the island. They had met when she was planning a charity expedition to the Great Wall of China and they walked many miles of it together. She survives him, along with his sons and a stepdaughter, Elizabeth, who is a business director.

Walter became a member of the States council in Alderney, ran a small holding similar to his family farm, and travelled back several times to China to walk the wall with Annie.
Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Walter, MBE, MC and Bar, soldier, was born on January 26 1928. He died from cancer on June 28, 2019, aged 91
Thank you most sincerely for that. As the cliche, though I socialised with Peter via my ILLRP association, I didn't know that.

May the deep Peace of the watching shepherds look after his soul.
May the Peace of the running wave look after him.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Yes that's him.
I was showing some people around the Royal Memorial Chapel last autumn and a lady said she used to visit RMAS to see her boyfriend in 1974. Same chap.

So I was able to show her his name in the Book of Commemoration (immediately above that of Col H).
 
I was showing some people around the Royal Memorial Chapel last autumn and a lady said she used to visit RMAS to see her boyfriend in 1974. Same chap.

So I was able to show her his name in the Book of Commemoration (immediately above that of Col H).
I think they had a son two months before Corporate kicked off which makes it all the more poignant.
 

QRK2

LE
Thank you most sincerely for that. As the cliche, though I socialised with Peter via my ILLRP association, I didn't know that.

May the deep Peace of the watching shepherds look after his soul.
May the Peace of the running wave look after him.
His last significant exercise whilst serving was my first with that unit, it was hard work (45 years after he joined up?). He was a phenomenon.
 
PtP agreed that this was something many individuals would endorse. Torygraph seems main source, but i am sure the other qualities will be represented.

Lets hope it becomes a Sticky.

To start off:

The DT, 14 Feb 04

COLONEL GEOFFERY POWELL

Colonel Geoffrey Powell, who has died aged 90, won an MC leading 156 Parachute Battalion at the Battle of Arnhem; later he served in MI5 and became a notable writer on military history.

Brigadier "Shan" Hackett's 4th Parachute Brigade was dropped north-west of Arnhem on September 18 1944 in the second lift of "Market Garden", an audacious attempt to capture the road and rail bridges over the Rhine. The Brigade had the task of moving into Arnhem to establish a defensive perimeter on the high ground to the north of the town in order to block the movements of German forces from that direction.

As Powell - then a major in command of C Company - left the Dakota, the Germans were on the dropping zone shooting up at him, and one of the bullets grazed his fingers. On the ground, the lightly equipped paras, without artillery, armour or air cover, found themselves confronted by determined, well-armed German troops in strong defensive positions.

A dawn attack by C Company the next morning was successful, but assaults by A and B Companies, with the objective of capturing a dominating feature, were repulsed with very heavy casualties. In the first 36 hours, two-thirds of the battalion was lost and food and ammunition were running short.

Amidst the carnage, there were acts of the greatest gallantry. Powell said afterwards that one of the Dakotas that had flown over them had been hit and was on fire; it was rapidly losing height, but the RASC dispatchers stood in the doorway throwing out supplies until it was too late for them to jump. The pilot was awarded a posthumous VC.

As the Brigade attempted to move from the woodland into the Oosterbeek Perimeter, it encountered ferocious German attacks from machine-gun fire and mortar bombs which burst in the trees with deadly effect. An attack by Messerschmitts on the Brigade HQ caused more casualties.

After his CO and second-in-command were killed, Powell took command of the remnants of 156 Battalion and elements of Brigade HQ, leading them out of the dense woodland towards Oosterbeek. When he took cover in a house, a round of solid shot came through the wall, passed over his head and exited through the other, showering him with debris and leaving a hole a foot in diameter.

Facing virtual annihilation, Powell led one bayonet charge to clear the enemy from a hollow in a wood and afford a brief respite for the beleaguered survivors. Then, Hackett led another to break through the encircling Germans and reach Oosterbeek, where 1st Airborne Division was clinging to a small bridgehead north of the Neder Rijn.

For the next six days, Powell and what was left of his battalion fought a rearguard action to defend the eastern sector of the perimeter. Here they saw some of the most bitter fighting of the week. Most of the British anti-tank guns had been destroyed, and German armoured vehicles were able to stand off out of range and smash each building in turn, compelling the defenders, by now hungry and exhausted, to fight from slit trenches in the gardens.

When orders were given to evacuate, Powell led the survivors downstream in darkness and pouring rain, guided by lines of parachute ropes, each man holding on to the smock of the man in front. At the riverbank, the first boat that he saw was riddled with bullet holes and its sapper crew dead.

As his men started to swim across a boat appeared, and Powell put half his group on board and waited for it to return, before departing with the remainder. Harassed by scarlet tracer from the German spandaus and with shells dropping around them, they reached the southern bank.

Powell formed up his 15 men and marched them, bayonets fixed and rifles at the slope, five miles back to the reception area. Although recommended for a DSO, he was awarded an MC. The citation stated that his bravery was an inspiration to all around him. Brigadier Hackett described him as a great fighting man in a great tradition; competent, courageous and self-effacing.

Geoffrey Stewart Powell was born at Scarborough, Yorkshire, on Christmas Day 1914, a few days after the German naval bombardment of the town. After attending Scarborough College, he started work with a firm of estate agents, but decided that it was not for him and was commissioned as a regular subaltern into The Green Howards in 1939.

Powell served with the 2nd Battalion at Ferozepore in the Punjab before transferring to 151 British Parachute Battalion (later 156 Parachute Battalion) in 1942.

Promoted major and given command of C Company, he served in Palestine and Tunisia, but broke a leg in a night drop and missed the invasion of Italy.

Arnhem was the end of Powell's participation in the Second World War. After attending Staff College, Camberley, he was posted to Java, and subsequently Malaya as brigade major of 49 Indian Infantry Brigade; he was mentioned in dispatches.

In 1954 Powell returned to the 2nd Battalion Green Howards to command C Company in the Canal Zone and then in operations against Eoka terrorists in Cyprus.

The next year, he was promoted lieutenant-colonel and appointed to the planning staff of the CIGS, Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templer.

Powell commanded the 11th Battalion King's African Rifles in Kenya in 1957 and then moved to the MoD. In 1962, in his final appointment in the Army, he served as Brigade Colonel Yorkshire Brigade. He then applied for an appointment in the Security Service, took the Civil Service Commission examination and, having passed out close to the top, was accepted. For the next 12 years he worked for MI5, initially on security policy and then on counter-espionage.

In 1977 Powell moved to Chipping Campden and was able to devote more time to writing. He founded and ran the Campden Bookshop and helped to start the Campden & District Archaeological and History Society. He lectured on Army Staff College battlefield tours of Arnhem, and he was proud of being elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

As a young man, he enjoyed polo, hunting and beagling. In his latter years, he took to climbing and was a vigorous walker into his eighties.

Powell published a number of books, among them Men at Arnhem (1976); The Devil's Birthday: The Bridges to Arnhem (1984); Plumer: The Soldier's General (1990); and Buller: a Scapegoat? (1994). The History of The Green Howards (1992) was updated in collaboration with his son, Brigadier John Powell, Colonel of the Green Howards, and republished in 2002.

Geoffrey Powell died on January 5. He married, in 1944, Felicity Wadsworth, who survives him with their son and daughter.

Just don't make 'em like this anymore

I read this, and without warning, the room became a little bit dusty. When the next unpleasantness' starts, will the UK still have men of backbone and qualities shown by the honourable gentleman?
 

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