Biographies

Grand Party- Lt Colonel Graham Brooks MC

Lieutenant-Colonel Graham Brooks, MC Herbert Reginald Graham Brooks was born in 1895 in Orsett, Essex.  He was educated at Clifton College, Bristol and served in the Great War as an Artillery officer.  In 1918 he was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry. After the First World War, Brooks worked as primarily as a barrister but...

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Lt Col Cedric J. Odling TD

Lieutenant-Colonel Cedric J. Odling, TD Commanding Officer, 140 (5th London) Field Regiment RA  Cedric Jameson Odling was born in 1895 in New South Wales, Australia, the son of Herbert and Maud Odling.  Herbert Odling was a marble merchant, working at the time of Cedric's birth in Australia for a business started in 1870 by his...

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Major Nevill Christopherson TD MC

Major Nevill Christopherson was one of the senior Officers of 140th Regiment and authored the War Diary, upon which this account is largely based, from 10th-29th May 1940. Early Years Christopherson was born in 1894 and was educated at Lockers Park School, where his father (an ex-England rugby player) was headmaster, and then at Winchester...

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Major Cecil (‘Tommy’) Hood RA

  Cecil A. ('Tommy') Hood was born in 1905 in Kingston, Surrey.  He was educated at Kings College School in Wimbledon and then worked, before and after the war, as a stockbroker for the Union Discount Co. (a bank-to-bank finance provider). Whilst working with Union Discount Co, Cecil Hood joined 'A' Battery, Honorary Artillery Company...

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Major Edward Milton TD

Edward Alfred Milton was born on 14th June 1893 in Forest Gate, East London. He lived with his father and grandmother and was one of three children. Great War 1914-18 He joined the Royal Artillery in the Great War as a 2nd Lieutenant at the age of 21 years and was promoted to Lieutenant during...

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Captain F.N. ‘Paddy’ Sirkett

Captain Frank Henry ('Paddy') Sirkett was born in 1908 and grew up on the Isle of Wight.  He was part of 367 Battery and captured at Cassel on 30th May 1940 at the age of 32 years. Gerald Sirkett His brother Gerald Sirkett was a bomb disposal officer in the Royal Engineers and also served...

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Captain Coll Lorne MacDougall

Captain Coll Lorne MacDougall was born in 1906 in Trujillo, Peru, the son of Coll and Jane MacDougall from Islay, Scotland.  His parents had been posted to South America, where his father managed a sugar plantation.  In the 1911 census he is recorded as  living in West Hampstead, London with his aunt, Colqishan MacDougall and...

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Lieutenant Ronald Baxter

Lieutenant Ronald Baxter was promoted to acting Captain in the 140th Field Regiment as the campaign evolved during May 1940.  He was the leader of 'F' troop, 367 Battery and was involved in the battery's last stand at Cassel.  Baxter was captured at Watou during the breakout from Cassel on 30th May 1940.   Acting...

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2nd Lieutenant Robert Crichton-Brown

Robert Crichton-Brown was born in Melbourne, Australia on August 23rd 1919 and educated at Sydney Grammar School.  After leaving school, Crichton-Brown joined his father at the Lumley insurance group. England and Honourable Artillery Company In 1937, Crichton-Brown travelled to London to work as a trainee broker with Lloyd's, where it seems likely that he met...

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2nd Lieutenant Dennis Clarke

Dennis Waddington Clarke was born 1912, the son of the famous journalist Tom Clarke.  He was 'proud of his Cockney roots' and Oxford educated. While at Oxford he joined the Officer cadet force. In 1937 he married Marguerite (Rita) Raepsaet who was of Belgian origin. Daily Express In the 1930's the Daily Express newspaper, owned...

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Sergeant Frank Felstead

  Francis John Raymond Felstead, known as 'Frank', was born on 22nd April 1919 and in the 1930s was brought up in Mitcham, Surrey. Territorial Army In 1936, at the age of 17 years, he and his older brother Harold enlisted in the 23rd London (7th East Surrey) Regiment Territorial Army.  This was a T.A....

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Sergeant Alfred Sheppard

  Alfred ('Alf') Sheppard was born on 28th May 1915 in Greenwich, London.  In 1932, at the age of 16 years, he joined the Territorial Army and initially served in 366 Battery of the 92nd (5th London) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery.  He had followed in the footsteps of his father, who had been a driver...

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Gunner Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson was born on the 11th October 1920 and was one of 140th Regiment's early recruits.  At the age of 19 years he joined the Woolwich section of 140th Field Regiment, 367 Battery.  It sounds as if he joined up almost on a whim, as he casually announced it to his family after his...

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Gunner Leonard Stringer

Leonard Stringer was born in September 1918, the youngest son of  Frank and Kate Stringer of Letchworth, Hertfordshire.  He enlisted into the Territorial Army under the terms of the National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939 and was posted to HQ/135 (North Herts) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, based at Peterborough. Before going to war, Leonard Stringer...

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Bombardier Arthur Ross

Arthur Ross (Artie) was born in Silvertown, Essex (now part of the London Docklands) in 1917, the second youngest of five brothers.  He was one the first volunteers for the newly formed 367 Battery of the 140th Field Regiment, and joined the Regiment in February 1939. Bombardier Arthur Ross (front rider on tandem) taken in...

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Driver Bernard Hirst

Bernard Hirst was born in Sheffield in 1910, one of three boys, and at the age of 30 years became a driver in the 140th Field Regiment.  His brother Eric served in the RAF in the Far East and his brother William served in the Royal Navy. Gunner Hirst was captured after the battle of...

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Major Ronald Cartland MP

  Ronald Cartland was born in 1907.  His father was killed in the Great War in 1918 when he was eleven years old.  His elder sister Barbara was to become a famous novelist, and in 1941 she wrote a biography called 'My Brother, Ronald'.     Parliament In 1935, Cartland became the Conservative MP for...

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Brigadier the Hon Nigel Somerset CBE, DSO, MC

  From May 24th 1940, Brigadier Nigel Somerset commanded 145 Brigade ('Somerforce') at Cassel, and after the withdrawal from Cassel of the Royal Horse Artillery on 29th May,  Major Christopherson of 367 Battery/ 140th Field Regiment acted as his C.R.A. (Commanding Royal Artillery). Great War Nigel Somerset was born in 1893 and trained at Sandhurst. ...

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In Dunkirk’s Grim Days

  Joe Soaps Brigadier Nigel Somerset wrote in his prisoner-of-war camp diary: ‘I realised we were the Joe Soaps of Dunkirk, that we were being sacrificed so that as many British and French as possible could get away and get all the kudos. I felt very bitter.’   Brigadier NF Somerset, Commander of 145 Brigade...

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