Guy was born in 1917 and educated at Westminster and Clare College, Cambridge. He enlisted in July 1940, and almost immediately was sent to the Royal Artillery OCTU.

Col G Bowden
Col G Bowden

After a couple of months, he was transferred to the RAC OCTU at Sandhurst. He was granted a Short Service Commission in 1941 and posted to the 43rd Cavalry Indian Army, part of the 32nd Armoured Division.

The Regiment was then serving in Burma where, as well as receiving a MID, he commanded the Regiment for a few months in early 1946.

He attended the Staff College Quetta, in 1947 and, having been appointed to a Regular Commission in the British Army in July 1946, he joined the 3rd Hussars in Palestine in 1948.

In 1951 he was appointed Assistant Military Attaché in Lisbon. Returning to the UK in March 1952, he was posted to the British Loan Staff in Pakistan as Chief Instructor at the Pakistan Staff College, an appointment he held until June 1954 when he returned to the 3rd Hussars on BAOR.

During his time as Assistant Military Attaché in Lisbon, he met and subsequently married Eleanor Horthy, the widow of the son of Admiral Horthy who had been Regent of Hungary throughout the war.

As the Russian Army approached Budapest, Hitler suspected that Admiral Horthy was going to change sides and in an attempt to pre-empt this, he sent Col Otto Skorzeny of the SS, who had previously rescued Mussolini, to seize Horthy and his immediate relatives and staff and remove them to Germany as hostages.

In 1956, at the time of the uprising in Hungary, Guy took advantage of the resulting chaos and absence of border controls to drive into Budapest and rescued his sister-in-law and her children. In June 1958 he became DAA and QMG, British Loan Personnel, in Iraq. During his time in Iraq, the government was overthrown and the King was assassinated. Guy was given the task of evacuating the Loan personnel as well as the staff and dependents of the British Embassy.

For his actions at this time, he earned the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct. The Commendation appeared in the London Gazette on Tuesday, 20 January 1959. The Citation stated:-

‘For brave conduct on 14 July 1958 when the British Embassy in Baghdad was attacked by an armed mob. On this and the following days, he maintained communications between Her Majesty’s Ambassador and the members of this staff.

On his arrival in the UK, he was appointed a temporary colonel, returning to Lisbon for a second tour, this time as Military Attaché.

In 1961 the Ambassador recommended to the Ministry of Defence that Guy should receive a CBE. The MOD did not accept this recommendation on the grounds that he was not senior enough to receive such recognition. The Ambassador, therefore, took the unusual step of putting Guy on the Foreign Office List, which meant that he received his CBE, but in the Civil Division of the Order rather than the Military.

He retired in March 1963, settled in Lisbon and died in 1999. Guy was an ebullient character with a great sense of humour and the ability to motivate and create confidence in those around him, especially in difficult situations.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 3rd Hussars