Military (& related) obituaries

QRK2

LE
There is plenty about him out there. Not just in regard to that incident but to his other work, one of the issues with having a relatively rare name on google.

 

exspy

LE
Finally, an insider's account from someone who was there at the time.

Ghost Force (1998 ) Ken Connor

Pages 181-182

By way of background, the author was a member of D Squadron when it was sent to NI after a public announcement of the commitment of a Sabre Squadron by PM Harold Wilson in January 1976. D Squadron had just arrived back in Britain from Oman and had fewer than a dozen fighting men in it. As Connor writes, the Squadron OC had originally left the Regiment as a Corporal and had gone back to his own regiment, got commissioned, and, returning to the SAS, became the Adjutant for several years. He took command of a Sabre Squadron "without any sympathy for how the squadron operated." Connor describes him as an inexperienced officer who lacked the stomach for the darker end of special forces operations.

"A major political row blew up in May 1976 when two SAS troopers in plain clothes and driving a car registered in the Republic were stopped at a Gardai checkpoint half a mile over the border from the crossing point 'Hotel One' near Newry. The excuse that they had made a map-reading error was not believed. In any event two more car-loads of SAS men, searching for their missing comrades, were then stopped at the same checkpoint.

To the considerable political embarrassment of both the British and Irish governments, a total of eight SAS men were arrested and taken to Dublin for interrogation. They were then charged with possession of firearms with the intent to endanger life.

The Squadron OC effectively washed his hands of the men who had been caught. After twenty-four hours' of interrogation in Dublin they were bailed and helicoptered back to Bessbrook, but instead of allowing the exhausted men to get a night's sleep, the OC sent them straight on to Aldergrove to be interrogated by the Army Investigation Branch.

Despite furious protests from [Connor] and the other senior men in the Squadron, the OC refused to rescind his order, provoking a near mutiny. The commanding officer of the Regiment and the Director SAS, both flew out to pacify [the Squadron's senior men] and both said they would resign if the men were returned to Dublin to face charges.

They were duly sent back for trial to Dublin, but neither officer offered his resignation. When the case came to court the eight men were acquitted on the main charge of possession of firearms with intent to endanger life, but were fined [100 Pounds] for possession of unlicenced weapons.

The RUC remained implacably opposed to the SAS and there was a strong suspicion that the arrests of our men over the border had been a set-up engineered by the RUC Special Branch and their colleagues in the Gardai, neither of whom had any love for the Regiment."
 
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Another of the international military family, now riding in the clouds. No more of that bloody Polish chit-chat. RIP.


'The last known Polish fighter pilot to fly for the RAF during World War Two has died aged 97.

'Jerzy Główczewski passed away in New York on 12 April. Mr Główczewski fled Poland in 1939 and went on to undergo flight training in the UK, eventually flying Spitfires as part of No. 308 "City of Kraków" Polish Fighter Squadron. He was awarded the Polish Cross of Valour three times.

'On the news of Mr Główczewski's death, the Royal Air Force said: “The RAF is saddened to hear of the passing of Jerzy Główczewski, the last known Polish WWII RAF fighter pilot. “We remember the heroism of the Polish men & women who served in the RAF, especially the Poles of 'the Few' as we mark Battle of Britain 80.”


Repeat please …..
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, radar observer who was one of the last of the Few – obituary
‘I would not have missed it for the world. Every sailor, soldier, airman did their bit. They should all be thanked’

Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, who has died aged 101, was one of only two surviving members of “The Few”, the men of Fighter Command who fought in the Battle of Britain.

Clark was an Aircraftman Second Class (the lowest rank in the RAF) when he joined No 219 Squadron as an air gunner in late July 1940. The squadron, based at Catterick, operated the Blenheim Mark I in the night-fighter role.

On August 3, newly promoted to sergeant, he and his pilot took off to investigate an unidentified aircraft, but spotted nothing. They flew further patrols, but with the early generation of air intercept radar still in its infancy, contacts with enemy aircraft were rare, resulting in no successful engagements.

With the onset of the heavy German night raids, which began on the night of September 7/8, the squadron moved south. Towards the end the month, as the Battle was coming to a close, the squadron re-equipped with the outstanding Beaufighter with its more advanced radar.


Clark and his fellow air gunners were given a short course on the radar before becoming a radar observer. “Now we have an aircraft built for the job,” Clark commented.

Clark, 1943
Clark, 1943
William Terence Montague Clark was born on April 11 1919 at Croydon. He left school when he was 14 and worked at the Croydon Gas works for the next two years. Wanting more adventure, he answered an advert seeking air gunners for the newly formed No 615 Squadron at nearby Kenley.

He joined in March 1938 as an aircrafthand – groundcrew – before beginning his training as an air gunner on the biplane Hawker Hector, coordinating and passing reports back for the Army. In July 1940 he was transferred to No 219 Squadron.

After a period of training with the new Beaufighter, the squadron started operations in early 1941 from RAF Tangmere in Sussex. In February the squadron had a new commanding officer, Wing Commander Thomas Pike, a future marshal of the RAF and chief of the air staff.

On April 16 Clark was tasked to fly with the CO whose own navigator was unfit. Later that evening they were scrambled. Clark soon picked up a contact on his radar at 17,000 ft and directed Pike astern of a Junkers 88 bomber, which Pike shot down over Surrey.

Shortly afterwards, Clark gained another contact, and after closing to 200 yards, Pike destroyed a Heinkel III. Clark saw two parachutes emerge from the stricken aircraft.

On April 27, flying with his usual pilot, Flying Officer Dudley Hobbis, they intercepted a Junkers 88, which they shot down into the Solent. Their next success came on June 13 when Clark gained radar contact with an enemy aircraft; Hobbis closed in to 100 yards and a Heinkel III fell to his cannon fire.

After the war, Clark made contact with Herbert Schick, one of the German crew from that Heinkel, and started up a correspondence with him. After Schick’s death, his son and Clark would exchange Christmas cards every year.

Clark ready for a night flying test, Bradwell Bay
Clark ready for a night flying test, Bradwell Bay
In July 1941 Clark was awarded an immediate DFM and his pilot received the DFC. They were then posted to a Havoc night-fighter squadron, a period both men found frustrating because the Havoc was not very effective as a fighter.

After a period as instructors, the two were posted back on operations, this time with No 488 (RNZAF) Squadron. An accident grounded Clark, and it was not until October 1943 that he was able to resume flying.

On November 25, his pilot Dudley Hobbis took off on his final flight before leaving the squadron. Clark was disappointed that his long-standing pilot – they had been together for three years – would be flying that night with another radar operator. The aircraft caught fire over the North Sea and the crew were lost. Clark was deeply upset at the loss of his old friend.

Flying with a new pilot on December 20, Clark gained a contact at 15,000  ft and after closing in, the crew shot down a Messerschmitt 410 night fighter over Sussex. In March 1944 he was rested and worked in the sector operations room at RAF North Weald in Essex where he trained as a fighter controller, giving instructions to the patrolling night fighters.

During a brief few days visiting 488 Squadron in late July, he flew a night patrol with his old pilot and they intercepted a Junkers 188 bomber. After a lengthy combat, they shot the bomber down. It was Clark’s sixth and final success.

He moved on to a ground control approach school – training in the use of radar to direct aircraft as they approach and land – before a brief spell in France, then he was based with No 1 Ground Control Approach unit at RAF Prestwick. He was released from the RAF in November 1945 as a flight lieutenant.

He returned to Croydon Gas as the store’s manager, and joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve as a fighter controller serving at weekends and on annual two-week camps.

He took up an appointment as the company secretary of an engineering firm and later became a director. A personable, likeable figure, he became a dedicated supporter of the Battle of Britain memorial trust.

Looking back on his time in the RAF, and the events of 1940 and 1941, he remarked: “Straight after the war, I wasn’t really aware of what we had been involved in. It was just another part of the war. I was pleased I was part of it. I would not have missed it for the world. Every sailor, soldier, airman did their bit. They should all be thanked.”

Terry Clark married his wife Margaret in July 1944 and she predeceased him; and they had two sons.

Terry Clark, born April 11 1919, died May 7 2020
 
Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, radar observer who was one of the last of the Few – obituary
‘I would not have missed it for the world. Every sailor, soldier, airman did their bit. They should all be thanked’

Flight Lieutenant Terry Clark, who has died aged 101, was one of only two surviving members of “The Few”, the men of Fighter Command who fought in the Battle of Britain.

Clark was an Aircraftman Second Class (the lowest rank in the RAF) when he joined No 219 Squadron as an air gunner in late July 1940. The squadron, based at Catterick, operated the Blenheim Mark I in the night-fighter role.

On August 3, newly promoted to sergeant, he and his pilot took off to investigate an unidentified aircraft, but spotted nothing. They flew further patrols, but with the early generation of air intercept radar still in its infancy, contacts with enemy aircraft were rare, resulting in no successful engagements.

With the onset of the heavy German night raids, which began on the night of September 7/8, the squadron moved south. Towards the end the month, as the Battle was coming to a close, the squadron re-equipped with the outstanding Beaufighter with its more advanced radar.


Clark and his fellow air gunners were given a short course on the radar before becoming a radar observer. “Now we have an aircraft built for the job,” Clark commented.

Clark, 1943
Clark, 1943
William Terence Montague Clark was born on April 11 1919 at Croydon. He left school when he was 14 and worked at the Croydon Gas works for the next two years. Wanting more adventure, he answered an advert seeking air gunners for the newly formed No 615 Squadron at nearby Kenley.

He joined in March 1938 as an aircrafthand – groundcrew – before beginning his training as an air gunner on the biplane Hawker Hector, coordinating and passing reports back for the Army. In July 1940 he was transferred to No 219 Squadron.

After a period of training with the new Beaufighter, the squadron started operations in early 1941 from RAF Tangmere in Sussex. In February the squadron had a new commanding officer, Wing Commander Thomas Pike, a future marshal of the RAF and chief of the air staff.

On April 16 Clark was tasked to fly with the CO whose own navigator was unfit. Later that evening they were scrambled. Clark soon picked up a contact on his radar at 17,000 ft and directed Pike astern of a Junkers 88 bomber, which Pike shot down over Surrey.

Shortly afterwards, Clark gained another contact, and after closing to 200 yards, Pike destroyed a Heinkel III. Clark saw two parachutes emerge from the stricken aircraft.

On April 27, flying with his usual pilot, Flying Officer Dudley Hobbis, they intercepted a Junkers 88, which they shot down into the Solent. Their next success came on June 13 when Clark gained radar contact with an enemy aircraft; Hobbis closed in to 100 yards and a Heinkel III fell to his cannon fire.

After the war, Clark made contact with Herbert Schick, one of the German crew from that Heinkel, and started up a correspondence with him. After Schick’s death, his son and Clark would exchange Christmas cards every year.

Clark ready for a night flying test, Bradwell Bay
Clark ready for a night flying test, Bradwell Bay
In July 1941 Clark was awarded an immediate DFM and his pilot received the DFC. They were then posted to a Havoc night-fighter squadron, a period both men found frustrating because the Havoc was not very effective as a fighter.

After a period as instructors, the two were posted back on operations, this time with No 488 (RNZAF) Squadron. An accident grounded Clark, and it was not until October 1943 that he was able to resume flying.

On November 25, his pilot Dudley Hobbis took off on his final flight before leaving the squadron. Clark was disappointed that his long-standing pilot – they had been together for three years – would be flying that night with another radar operator. The aircraft caught fire over the North Sea and the crew were lost. Clark was deeply upset at the loss of his old friend.

Flying with a new pilot on December 20, Clark gained a contact at 15,000  ft and after closing in, the crew shot down a Messerschmitt 410 night fighter over Sussex. In March 1944 he was rested and worked in the sector operations room at RAF North Weald in Essex where he trained as a fighter controller, giving instructions to the patrolling night fighters.

During a brief few days visiting 488 Squadron in late July, he flew a night patrol with his old pilot and they intercepted a Junkers 188 bomber. After a lengthy combat, they shot the bomber down. It was Clark’s sixth and final success.

He moved on to a ground control approach school – training in the use of radar to direct aircraft as they approach and land – before a brief spell in France, then he was based with No 1 Ground Control Approach unit at RAF Prestwick. He was released from the RAF in November 1945 as a flight lieutenant.

He returned to Croydon Gas as the store’s manager, and joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve as a fighter controller serving at weekends and on annual two-week camps.

He took up an appointment as the company secretary of an engineering firm and later became a director. A personable, likeable figure, he became a dedicated supporter of the Battle of Britain memorial trust.

Looking back on his time in the RAF, and the events of 1940 and 1941, he remarked: “Straight after the war, I wasn’t really aware of what we had been involved in. It was just another part of the war. I was pleased I was part of it. I would not have missed it for the world. Every sailor, soldier, airman did their bit. They should all be thanked.”

Terry Clark married his wife Margaret in July 1944 and she predeceased him; and they had two sons.

Terry Clark, born April 11 1919, died May 7 2020
If correct, we're literally down to the last of 'The Few'.

One of the final two pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain died at 101 years old just hours before VE Day. Terry Clark hunted German bombers throughout World War Two and protected troops from the air as they charged the beaches of Normandy during D-Day. He passed away from natural causes at a care home on Thursday evening as the nation prepared to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe.

It means John ‘Paddy’ Hemingway is the last surviving member of ‘The Few’ – a crew of RAF pilots who defended the UK from the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain in 1940.

Read more: Battle of Britain veteran dies on eve of VE Day leaving one survivor of RAF crew
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
Finally, an insider's account from someone who was there at the time.

Ghost Force (1998 ) Ken Connor

Pages 181-182

By way of background, the author was a member of D Squadron when it was sent to NI after a public announcement of the commitment of a Sabre Squadron by PM Harold Wilson in January 1976. D Squadron had just arrived back in Britain from Oman and had fewer than a dozen fighting men in it. As Connor writes, the Squadron OC had originally left the Regiment as a Corporal and had gone back to his own regiment, got commissioned, and, returning to the SAS, became the Adjutant for several years. He took command of a Sabre Squadron "without any sympathy for how the squadron operated." Connor describes him as an inexperienced officer who lacked the stomach for the darker end of special forces operations.

"A major political row blew up in May 1976 when two SAS troopers in plain clothes and driving a car registered in the Republic were stopped at a Gardai checkpoint half a mile over the border from the crossing point 'Hotel One' near Newry. The excuse that they had made a map-reading error was not believed. In any event two more car-loads of SAS men, searching for their missing comrades, were then stopped at the same checkpoint.

To the considerable political embarrassment of both the British and Irish governments, a total of eight SAS men were arrested and taken to Dublin for interrogation. They were then charged with possession of firearms with the intent to endanger life.

The Squadron OC effectively washed his hands of the men who had been caught. After twenty-four hours' of interrogation in Dublin they were bailed and helicoptered back to Bessbrook, but instead of allowing the exhausted men to get a night's sleep, the OC sent them straight on to Aldergrove to be interrogated by the Army Investigation Branch.

Despite furious protests from [Connor] and the other senior men in the Squadron, the OC refused to rescind his order, provoking a near mutiny. The commanding officer of the Regiment and the Director SAS, both flew out to pacify [the Squadron's senior men] and both said they would resign if the men were returned to Dublin to face charges.

They were duly sent back for trial to Dublin, but neither officer offered his resignation. When the case came to court the eight men were acquitted on the main charge of possession of firearms with intent to endanger life, but were fined [100 Pounds] for possession of unlicenced weapons.

The RUC remained implacably opposed to the SAS and there was a strong suspicion that the arrests of our men over the border had been a set-up engineered by the RUC Special Branch and their colleagues in the Gardai, neither of whom had any love for the Regiment."

Ken Connor was the senior WO in Brixmis a few years before my time:


[Footnotes p64 and p74]
 
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QRK2

LE
Unfortunately I can't find an non paywall version:

ETA: There can't have been many ABs wandering around with a DSC even in the 1950s.


Commander Jim Speed, who has died aged 96, was a beach commando who landed on Sword beach before H-Hour on June 6 1944, leading a two-man “underwater clearance marking party”.

Before dawn, the 19-year old newly-promoted Sub-Lieutenant Speed RNVR was one of the first men to set foot on red sector of Sword Beach. He was part of “Roger” Royal Navy Commando, the specially trained beach commandos whose task on D-Day was to hurry men, vehicles and supplies off the landing beaches – where otherwise they were subjected to enemy fire – and to prevent bottlenecks which might stem the flow of reinforcements.

Speed ran forward across a quarter of a mile of exposed sand to the dunes, where he lay on his belly to dig a slit-trench, but every attempt to hold up a signal flag on a 9ft pole was greeted by a rattle of machine-gun bullets fired from a pillbox, which killed or wounded many of his section of the commando.
In a pause between bursts of fire, Speed ran forward and, he recalled, “popped a hand grenade through the slit”, before he could resume his task of marking safe passages through the mined, German obstacles. Planting large signs amid a hail of mortar fire made him an obvious target, and when the beachmaster arrived later, “he was a little surprised to see I was still there.”

On the second night, after little sleep or food, “R” Commando had to dig in to fight off a German counterattack, though this was thought to be less difficult than dealing with the congestion on the beaches. The first days passed in a blur of activity – Speed mostly remembered missing his lunch – amid persistent fire from a hidden German howitzer “which made things a little bit unpleasant”.

As the landings progressed, Speed’s task changed, to clearing the beaches of damaged ships, bodies and unexploded munitions, and scavenging the wrecks for valuable equipment, including the rum ration. Later he borrowed a motorbike to visit the hinterland to buy eggs and cheese to supplement his iron rations.
Speed was wounded three times before he was evacuated to England; to him it was all “a bit of an adventure”, but he was awarded the DSC for his courage under fire.

James Henry Speed was born near Southampton on November 20 1924 and educated in the area. He wanted to follow his father into architecture, but joined the Navy aged 18 years and four days. He volunteered for hazardous duties and trained in Scotland as a beach commando.

Hazardous duties allowance doubled his pay as a midshipman, but he had little idea where he was going to land until briefed on the eve of D-Day. Later he trained for the invasion of Japan, but never deployed to the Far East.

Speed was demobbed in 1946 and resumed his studies briefly, but abandoned these to work in forestry in North Wales and Shropshire. Falling on hard times, he was declared bankrupt in 1953; he rejoined the Navy as an able seaman but was quickly put through for a commission.

While on exchange in the Royal Australian Navy, in HMAS Cootamundra (1957-60), he married an Australian, Olga Natalie Dickson, but his request to transfer to the RAN was denied by the Admiralty, and he was obliged to return to the UK to serve a further three years.

However, in 1963 he emigrated and began a 20-year career in the RAN, ending as an acting commander and in command of HMAS Lonsdale, the navy’s Melbourne depot, before retiring in 1984.

Subsequently Speed was Man Friday and general factotum at a prep school for 14 years before retiring to live in Melbourne, where he enjoyed painting, walking, and reading.
 
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If correct, we're literally down to the last of 'The Few'.

One of the final two pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain died at 101 years old just hours before VE Day. Terry Clark hunted German bombers throughout World War Two and protected troops from the air as they charged the beaches of Normandy during D-Day. He passed away from natural causes at a care home on Thursday evening as the nation prepared to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe.

It means John ‘Paddy’ Hemingway is the last surviving member of ‘The Few’ – a crew of RAF pilots who defended the UK from the Luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain in 1940.

Read more: Battle of Britain veteran dies on eve of VE Day leaving one survivor of RAF crew
The Few included Bomber Command, probably all gone - but shame that they're rarely mentioned. Churchill included them for a reason.
 
Unfortunately I can't find an non paywall version:



Commander Jim Speed, who has died aged 96, was a beach commando who landed on Sword beach before H-Hour on June 6 1944, leading a two-man “underwater clearance marking party”.
Before dawn, the 19-year old newly-promoted Sub-Lieutenant Speed RNVR was one of the first men to set foot on red sector of Sword Beach. He was part of “Roger” Royal Navy Commando, the specially trained beach commandos whose task on D-Day was to hurry men, vehicles and supplies off the landing beaches – where otherwise they were subjected to enemy fire – and to prevent bottlenecks which might stem the flow of reinforcements.

Speed ran forward across a quarter of a mile of exposed sand to the dunes, where he lay on his belly to dig a slit-trench, but every attempt to hold up a signal flag on a 9ft pole was greeted by a rattle of machine-gun bullets fired from a pillbox, which killed or wounded many of his section of the commando.
In a pause between bursts of fire, Speed ran forward and, he recalled, “popped a hand grenade through the slit”, before he could resume his task of marking safe passages through the mined, German obstacles. Planting large signs amid a hail of mortar fire made him an obvious target, and when the beachmaster arrived later, “he was a little surprised to see I was still there.”


On the second night, after little sleep or food, “R” Commando had to dig in to fight off a German counterattack, though this was thought to be less difficult than dealing with the congestion on the beaches. The first days passed in a blur of activity – Speed mostly remembered missing his lunch – amid persistent fire from a hidden German howitzer “which made things a little bit unpleasant”.

As the landings progressed, Speed’s task changed, to clearing the beaches of damaged ships, bodies and unexploded munitions, and scavenging the wrecks for valuable equipment, including the rum ration. Later he borrowed a motorbike to visit the hinterland to buy eggs and cheese to supplement his iron rations.
Speed was wounded three times before he was evacuated to England; to him it was all “a bit of an adventure”, but he was awarded the DSC for his courage under fire.

James Henry Speed was born near Southampton on November 20 1924 and educated in the area. He wanted to follow his father into architecture, but joined the Navy aged 18 years and four days. He volunteered for hazardous duties and trained in Scotland as a beach commando.

Hazardous duties allowance doubled his pay as a midshipman, but he had little idea where he was going to land until briefed on the eve of D-Day. Later he trained for the invasion of Japan, but never deployed to the Far East.

Speed was demobbed in 1946 and resumed his studies briefly, but abandoned these to work in forestry in North Wales and Shropshire. Falling on hard times, he was declared bankrupt in 1953; he rejoined the Navy as an able seaman but was quickly put through for a commission.

While on exchange in the Royal Australian Navy, in HMAS Cootamundra (1957-60), he married an Australian, Olga Natalie Dickson, but his request to transfer to the RAN was denied by the Admiralty, and he was obliged to return to the UK to serve a further three years.

However, in 1963 he emigrated and began a 20-year career in the RAN, ending as an acting commander and in command of HMAS Lonsdale, the navy’s Melbourne depot, before retiring in 1984.
Subsequently Speed was Man Friday and general factotum at a prep school for 14 years before retiring to live in Melbourne, where he enjoyed painting, walking, and reading.
What an ungrateful nation we could be at times…
 
Major General Gus Sinclair, staff officer who helped to prepare for Britain’s H-Bomb tests – obituary
As Engineer-in-Chief during the Falklands war he came into conflict with Mrs Thatcher and her defence minister John Nott
Gus was my dads boss at MoD and watched his back politically when Dad as a Brigadier did the Falklands recce for the Sappers and the subsequent reconstruction plans of the Island post Corporate.
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Another Floyd has answered the Sunset Call, this time a far, far better man than the dead criminal currently in the news, WO1 Trevor Floyd VRM PMM MMM, passed away of a heart attack.
One of Colonel Jan Breytenbach's original "Dirty Dozen" Recces, Oom Trevor will be sorely missed.

Rear, right of the photo of the remaining six.






Edited so the Dirty Dozen Soiled Six image was visible.
 
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For a fighter pilot, a lawyer, an intelligence officer for MI6 and a Wimbledon tennis champion, Bob Caruana cut a self-deprecating figure: it was hard to winkle out of him any detailed descriptions of his more daring exploits.

Sadly this is a pay for subscription so can't post it all. Would love to see the full Obit if any one has it. Sounds quite a player!
 

Poppy

LE
Major Jeffrey Noble, paratrooper who served in Operation Market Garden – obituary
Losing half his battalion, and heavily outgunned by tanks and anti-aircraft guns, he was captured and spent the rest of the war as a PoW

ByTelegraph Obituaries21 June 2020 • 7:00pm

Jeffrey Noble

Jeffrey Noble
Major Jeffrey Noble, who has died aged 96, served with a parachute battalion at the battle of Arnhem in 1944.
Noble commanded a medium machine gun (MMG) platoon of 156 Parachute Battalion, part of 4th Brigade, 1st Airborne Division, in Operation Market Garden, an audacious attempt to capture the road and rail bridges over the Rhine and bring the war to a swift end.
On September 18 1944, he and his men took off in two Dakota aircraft from Saltby Airfield, near Grantham. The Dakota carrying half his platoon was hit by flak and crashed, killing all on board. Noble’s aircraft flew on and dropped its men near Ede, eight miles from Arnhem.
At Battalion HQ, finding that he had only one machine gun instead of four and 10 men instead of his original 36, Noble commandeered a gun from another unit. At first light the next day, in an attempt to get through to the beleaguered paratroopers at the Arnhem bridge, Brigadier Hackett ordered 4th Brigade to attack the strongly defended German positions on the Dreijenseweg (German blocking line).
Noble’s small force, heavily outgunned by tanks and multi-barrelled anti-aircraft guns, was ordered to pull back to the village of Wolfheze. As dawn broke on September 20, some 130 men of 156 Para Bn found themselves surrounded.
Noble led a charge with fixed bayonets in an effort to break through and reach tree cover but, with their ammunition exhausted and hundreds of Germans moving into the area, they were forced to surrender. Noble spent the rest of the war imprisoned in Oflag 79, near Braunschweig in Germany.
General Montgomery inspects 156 Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, in 1944

General Montgomery inspects 156 Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, in 1944
Jeffrey Fraser Noble was born at Ilford, Essex, on October 15 1923 and educated at Southend High School. He joined the Queen’s Royal Regiment in May 1942 and transferred to the Parachute Regiment soon after he was commissioned.
After rigorous training, he was posted to 156 Para Bn and deployed to Sousse, Tunisia, as commander of the MMG Platoon. In September 1943 the battalion, part of 1st Airborne Division, made a successful seaborne landing at Taranto, Italy.
Noble saw his first action against German paratroopers as his guns supported C Company’s attack on the hillside village of Mottola, driving off the Germans and repeating this achievement in a subsequent action at Castanelletta. After the capture of the strategically important airfield at Gioia del Colle, in December 1943 the battalion returned to England, to Melton Mowbray, to train for Operation Market Garden.
While in Melton Mowbray his fun-loving personality came to the fore: he and two fellow subalterns became great friends and pranksters, known as “the Three Must Get Beers”.
In July 1945 Noble joined 1st Parachute Battalion and went to Palestine as a company second-in-command. After staff appointments at HQ 6th Airborne Division and RAF Fairford, in late 1948 he joined the Royal Fusiliers and served in Egypt.
Jeffrey Noble in 2018

Jeffrey Noble in 2018
A spell in Palestine as GSO3 with 3 Brigade was followed by a return to the Parachute Regiment. In October 1956, he retired from the Army. He pursued a successful career in human resources, culminating in a senior appointment with ITT-Europe in Brussels.
In 1980 he and his wife Bobbie moved to Annecy in south-eastern France. They became closely involved with the veterans of the French Resistance who fought at the Battle of Glières in the mountainous, wooded region of Savoie, and Noble played a leading part in setting up exhibits for a new museum in Annecy illustrating the struggle.
When the Queen Mother visited the region in 1991, he showed her around the museum and introduced her to veterans. In 1996 he was awarded the French Ordre National du Mérite.
Jeffrey Noble married, in 1945, Rebecca (Bobbie) Robinson; she survives him with their son and two daughters.
Jeffrey Noble, born October 15 1923, died June 4 2020
Related Topics
 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Another Floyd has answered the Sunset Call, this time a far, far better man than the dead criminal currently in the news, WO1 Trevor Floyd VRM PMM MMM, passed away of a heart attack.
One of Colonel Jan Breytenbach's original "Dirty Dozen" Recces, Oom Trevor will be sorely missed.

Rear, right of the photo of the remaining six.






Edited so the Dirty Dozen Soiled Six image was visible.
SASFA tribute to Trevor Floyd:


Tribute to an ICON departed

WO1 Trevor Ian Floyd was one of the Dirty Dozen. They were the men chosen to be the incumbents of the first SA Special Forces operator posts.

Sadly, "Oom" (uncle) Trevor Floyd passed away on 11 June 2020 at the age of 78 years old. A senior officer once said that "Oom" was a higher rank than General. It conveys a level of respect beyond explanation here.

His funeral was attended by many over the world through a digital transmission of the service.

We will not hear Oom Trevor's laugh again. Nor will we listen to him telling from his vast arsenal of stories and anecdotes, flowing without effort to entertain all and sundry.

But rest assured, his stories will live on. It will carry his legacy every time someone has a smile on their face upon learning of the exploits of him and his fellows. Nothing remained sacred if fun was to be had with humour as the result, including himself!

He loved 32 Battalion, the Parabats and of course the Recces and all their accomplishments.

As the Old Bill at his local MOTH club, he was an active member and loved to attend SASFA functions. Here he would often become a small center of attraction as the stories flowed.

Lists of numbers and citations are not required to sing the praise of this legend of the SA Special Forces.

Oom Trevor, you will live on in our fond memories and we appreciate the privilege to have experienced you in our lives.

We raise our right hands in a salute to you!
We fear naught but God.

Oom Trevor 11 JUL 41 - 11JUN 20.jpg

Oom Trevor #002.jpg
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Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
As reported in the SA thread, Jean Louis Maximilian Winand, aka Le Frog, has answered the Sunset Call.
Not a man I ever met, but other okes speak of him with happy memories.

Jean Louis Maximilian Winand, aka Le Frog  #001.jpg
 

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