Guy Wheeler was born at Barrackpore, near Calcutta in 1921, the younger son of Maj JP Wheeler MC, RA.

He was educated at Brighton College and in June 1941 was commissioned into the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars. Having joined them in the Western Desert, he served as a troop leader, showing steady courage and determined leadership in action. Later, during the Gothic Line battles in Italy, despite injury, he set an inspiring example of calm firmness under fire.

He was then appointed adjutant of the 4th Hussars and continued to serve with them until the end of the year, and later in Austria and Trieste. Having qualified as a parachutist, he was sent to Cambridge to study Russian, and from September 1948 was assistant military attache in Prague. He next commanded a squadron of the 4th Hussars in Malaya during the emergency there, and again distinguished himself by his example and leadership.

In 1954 he attended the Staff College and having been a GSO2 in BAOR, he rejoined the 4th Hussars for the final year before their amalgamation with the 8th Hussars in 1958.

He was then appointed Brigade Major RAC at Tidworth. He transferred into the Scots Greys in December 1958, but it was not until 1960 that he actually joined the Regiment at Detmold. He first commanded ‘C’ Squadron, then was second-in-command and finally took command of the Regiment in 1964. He commanded with a light touch and great success.

In 1955 Guy married the lovely and charming Stephanie Woodhouse, a most accomplished horsewoman. She fostered Guy’s equestrian interests and was a wonderful support in his military life. In the spring of 1966, they went to Washington, where Guy had an appointment with the British Army Staff.

He was promoted to Brigadier in 1970 and attached to the staff of United Kingdom Land Forces at Wilton. He then commanded a brigade at Tidworth and, having spent the final months of his long military career at the Regular Commission Board, was honoured by being appointed an ADC to HM The Queen.

He retired to live in Somerset in 1976. Throughout his, service Guy had been a model of integrity, perseverance and devotion both to duty and his two Regiments.

Yet there were many other features of Guy’s character and achievements. He competed in the Army pentathlon. He enjoyed shooting, although hunting remained his principal sporting interest.

His book about foxhunting The Year Round showed with eloquence and elegance that there is more to hunting than just riding to hounds. He also wrote a historical novel Cato’s War, set during the American War of Independence, which was favourably reviewed by Gen Sir John Hackett. In addition, he produced a number of amusing short articles for The Times as well as writing for The Field.

In retirement, he remained fully occupied as a defence consultant to Hunting Engineering, as field master to the Cotley Harriers and as a churchwarden. He was also a great lover of arts-particularly music and literature. He and Stephanie had five sons all of whom have made fine careers for themselves.

Guy was not a man who made close friends easily; there was a certain reserve about him and he often kept his own council.

Moreover, he had the misfortune to be involved in two serious car accidents, which affected his health. He was above all a fine soldier, a loyal friend and a model of what a British cavalry officer should be. All who served with him in his two Regiments are proud to have been his comrades in arms.

Our sympathy goes to Stephanie and her sons. For those of us who served with him in the war, Guy will always be remembered as a great and gallant 4th Hussar.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. Timeline: Middle East (Egypt and Libya)
  3. Timeline: Italy 1943-5
  4. Timeline: Malaya 1948-51