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NOTES OFFERED TO ME TO PUBLISH ON THIS WEBSITE. WRITTEN BY DAVID HALFORD FOR HIS OBITUARY. THANKS DAVID

These notes were written for non-military friends and family. The whole business of his rank changing all the time has been reflected as accurately as possible. Some of my sources gave conflicting dates of events, so I have guessed, or given alternatives.

His Paternal grandfather, Charles Augustus Drake Halford, fought with the Vth Dragoon Guards at the Charge of the Heavy Brigade in the Crimea.

His own father (Lt.-Colonel M.F. Halford) was a captain with part of the expedition to relieve Ladysmith (getting wounded at Spion Kop for his pains), serving under his future father-in-law (and my father's future maternal grandfather) Lieutenant-Colonel (later Brigadier-General) W.J.Kirkpatrick C.B. He (M.F.Halford) later commanded the 2nd Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment on the Ypres Salient in 1915/16, and the 1st Battalion after the war.

Brigadier-General W.J.Kirkpatrick was a major with the 2nd Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment when the R.I.M.S. Warren Hastings sank at night on January 14th 1897, on rocks of Reunion Island, en route to Bombay, and appears to have been one of the key figures who ensured that no lives were lost. His report, quoted in full in the Y&L regimental history, makes interesting reading. I also heard from a family friend that the regiment's Sword of Honour was lost in the wreck, and although Queen Victoria wrote to commend the regiment for its success, she never replaced it.

So my father was third generation army. His own service record speaks for itself, and he saw action many times in more than 30 years in the army. You may have picked up one or two slight bits of misinformation from my uncle and brother. He was at Salerno, not Anzio, and although he captained Trinity College, Cambridge at hockey, he was never a blue.

I gather from a family friend that he ended up with the Hallamshires at the outbreak of war, rather than with the 1st Battalion in Narvik, Norway, because of a youthful indiscretion in 1938. He and a fellow subaltern gate-crashed a party to which they had not been invited, and Lt.-Colonel Bernard Wetherall (later General Sir Bernard Wetherall), who was his C.O., decided that he needed sobering up, so sent him off to the regimental depot in Sheffield (the 1st Y&L was in York at the time.) He was seconded to the Hallamshires in April 1939, and although he was invited to rejoin the st Battalion for the Norway Campaign he decided (my brother remembers hearing) that the plan was deeply flawed, and that he was better off with the Hallamshires. This led to Dunkirk, and on …

Maybe this is a chance to sound a threnody for the demise of one of our great county regiment (the York and Lancaster were disbanded on 14 December 1968, and for the dismantling of this whole system over the last few years.


MICHAEL CHARLES KIRKPATRICK HALFORD
28th October 1914 - 4th January 1999

Born in Yately, Hants., the fourth child (and only son) of Lt.-Colonel M.F.Halford. OBE and (maternal) grandson of Brigadier-General W.J.Kirkpatrick, CB. All three men commanded the York and Lancaster Regiment

YEARS

RANK

ACTIVITIES

1927-32

Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire
1932
2nd Lieutenant Commission in the Royal Guernsey Militia
1932-35 Trinity College, Cambridge: graduated with a BA (Hons) in Maths and Modern Languages (German and French). Captained Trinity College Hockey Team in 1935
30/08/34 -
31/08/35
2nd Lieutenant:
York and Lancaster
Regiment
His actual commission was on 31/08/35, but was ante-dated to 30/08/34 for seniority purposes.
1936 Egypt/Palestine (with the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment) during Arab rebellion/revolt. First saw action 10th August in an ambush on Tiberias-Rosh Pinna road, when the privat soldier next to him had his head blown off.
08/12/36 -
?04/39

With the 1st Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, in York, England.
30/08/37

Lieutenant

02/09/39 -
01/12/39

Acting Captain

Adjutant of the newly formed 6th (TA) Battalion, the Hallamshire Regt..

20/04/39 -
14/09/40

Temporary Adjutant TA (? with 6th Hallamshires throught whole period.)

26/04/40 -
02/06/40

46th Division in Northern France and retreat to Dunkirk (with 6th Battalion of the Hallamshires.) Involved with rearguard protecting the beachhead.
02/12/39 -
13/01/41

Temporary Captain

January-April 1941 at Staff College, Camberley, England

20/12/40

Mentioned in dispatches for actions at Dunkirk
26/05/41?

Substantive Captain

26/05/41

Acting Major

202nd Infantry Brigade

04/12/41 -
18/09/42

GSO2 Junior Staff School at Brasenose College, Oxford

?/1942

Admin officer to (?unit) on (?) Tyneside

17/01/43 -

North African campaign: Algeria and Tunisia. Brigade Major (?with 6th Y&L., part of 138th Infantry Brigade/46th Division/V Corps.) at defence of Medjez-el-Bab, recapture of Sedjenane, etc.. Lost hearing in one ear permanently after driving over a land mine.

17/09/42?

Temporary Major

08/04/43 -
06/06/45??

Temporary Major

09/09/43 -
?03/44
Landings at Salerno, Italy with 6th Y&L., part of 46th Div./X Corps and then in Italian Campaign - part of 46th Div./X Corps and then in Italian Campaign inc. crossing of the Volturno River, capture of Monte Camino and attack on Monte Cedro, crossing of the Garigliano River, etc..

03/44 - 8/44

US Command and General Staff College, Fort Levenworth, Kansas, USA. On 5th June 1944 the project set father's team was to plan an invasion of France on the very same beaches used by the Allies the following day. He never discovered whether it was a deliberate double bluff for any prying eyes and ears, or complete coincidence.

20/08/44

Mentioned in dispatches for Italian Campaign

09/44

Rejoins Hallamshires for recapture of Le Havre, France, after which he took over as 2nd in command of the battalion from John Mott.

29/09/44

Attack on Depot de Mendicite, Belgium

10/44 - 5/45

Saw action at Nieukerk, Holland, and subsequently at Roosendaal, Venio, Nijmegen, Battle of the Rhineland, second battle of Arnhem, finally liberating Utrecht on 7th May 1945.

21/12/44

Awarded M.B.E. presumably for Italian Campaign.

07/03/45 -
06/06/45

Acting Lt.-Colonel

11/03/45

Assumes command of Hallamshires, taking over from Lt.-Colonel Trevor Hart Dyke

07/06/45

War substantive major

07/06/45 -
20/11/46

Temporary Lt.-Colonel

22/08/45

Married Pamela Joy Wright with whom he had three sons

24/01/46

Awarded the D.S.O. for his leadership of the battalion around Arnhem. "The battalion did all the work and I got the D.S.O." is how father described it.

09/10/46 -
28/05/48

S.O. to Chief of Staff, BAOR, Bad Oeynhausen, Niedersachsen, Germany

30/08/47

Major

?1948

Completed short war course at RAF Staff College

16/07/48 -
03/08/51

Instructor at Royal Military College, Sandhurst, England

10/51 - 06/52

Joint Services Staff College, Latimer, England

06/52- 10/52

?2nd in command of 1st Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment, Braunschweig/Brunswick, West Germany

01/53 - 05/53

2nd in command of 1st Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment, in Khartoum, Sudan

09/05/53 -
08/06/53

Local Lt.-Colonel

09/06/53 -
19/10/54

Temporary Lt.-Colonel

05/53 - 09/54

GSO1 (Intelligence), Hong Kong

?10/54 - ?55

C.O. of 1st Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment in the Canal Zone (?Fayid, Egypt.)

20/10/54

Substantive Lt.-Colonel

1956

Led the 1st Battalion, the York and Lancaster Regiment in the Suez Crisis, in the invasion of Port Said, Egypt. Involved the ceasefire/truce negotiations

15/05/57 -
15/01/59

Instructor at the Imperial Defence College, going on study tours to Africa (1957) and the USA and Canada (1958)

01/06/57

Awarded the O.B.E. (?for Suez)

16/02/59

Colonel

02/59 - 07/60

Brigade Colonel, Yorkshire Brigade in Strensall, England

23/07/60

Temporary Brigadier

27/07/60 -
30/06/63

C.O. 147th Infantry Brigade (TA), Birmingham, England (07/61 - 07/63) (and also in Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicestershire from 07/60 - 07/61)

16/02/63

Brigadier

01/07/63 -
09/12/64

Chief of Staff, H.Q. Western Command, Chester, England

?1964

Seconded for 3 months to do a report on the defence preparedness of defences in the Radfan area of Aden (and also travelled to Oman.)

17/02/64 -
01/01/65

Temporary Major-General

15/12/64 -
?/02/67

G.O.C. 43rd Wessex Division (T.A.), Taunton, England

01/02/65 -
?/02/67

Major-General

1966 - 1979

Representative Colonel, York and Lancaster Regiment.

02/67


Offered the job of Chief-of-Staff, Far East Command, Singapore, but decides for a number or reasons to retire.

14/12/68

Disbandment of the York and Lancaster Regiment (the successor to the 65th (formed in 1758) and 84th Regiments of Foot.)

1967 onwards

Regional secretary of the British Field Sports Society until the late 1970s, and involvement with the Royal British Legion until his death.

1975 - ?

Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire

04/01/1999

Died after a short illness, aged 84. He is survived by his widow and two of his three sons.