It is with deep regret that we record the death of Lt Col Arthur Edward Wass, D.S.O., M.C., which took place on 20th December 1965, at his home at Harrow-on-the-Hill.

Lt Col AE Wass DSO MC

“John” (and this was the name by which he was generally known) enlisted in the 4th Hussars in March 1900, when he was just 18 years of age; he had been promoted Squadron Sergeant Major before 1914 and been nominated to become a commissioned officer on mobilization for War.

During the first months of the 1914-18 War, he served with the Regiment in France, being for a short time Regimental Sergeant Major, and was gazetted to the 8th Hussars as a 2nd Lieutenant in December 1914, but was transferred to the 4th Hussars on 1st February 1915.

He was with the Regiment again until, in 1916 under a scheme whereby many regular Cavalry officers were posted to the Infantry, he volunteered to be and was seconded to the 14th Battalion of the Gloucestershire Regiment, eventually becoming a Lt Col commanding a Battalion of the Rifle Brigade; and later saw service in Russia where he was given the temporary rank of full Colonel as he was in command of a Brigade.

He was mentioned three times in Despatches besides being awarded the D.S.O. and the M.C. with Bar.

When hostilities came to an end he rejoined the Regiment and became Adjutant, and later served with the India Army on the North-West Frontier. He was gazetted Lt Col in October 1933.

But this was by no means the end of John Wass’s service to the 4th Hussars, for whose retired and serving members he always kept his affection and interest.

From 1936 to 1956 he acted as Honorary Secretary of the Regimental Association and acted also in that capacity for the Committee which dealt with the provision of useful gifts for the Prisoners of War and the Regiment on active service. In addition, for some years he acted as Honorary Secretary of the “Not Forgotten” Association.

In all these activities, as well as in the latter years on the Committee of the Regimental Association, John Wass gave regular and devoted service. His death is a grievous loss.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. The Western Front 1914-18
  3. Citation and Award of a Bar to the Military Cross: Maj AE Wass, DSO, MC