Dick Sheppard died in July in Kenya where he had made his home. He was born in 1897 and joined the 19th Hussars in 1917, seeing some service in France in the following year.

After the war, he had time to make a name for himself as a race rider and polo player in India before he was transferred together with his great friend, Freddie Byass, to the 7th Hussars when the first cavalry amalgamations took place. He soon became Adjutant of his new Regiment, and, after a short time with the Sudan Defence Force, became an instructor at the Equitation School, Weedon, returning to his Regiment in time to play in the team which won the InterRegimental Cup at Hurlingham in 1934.

He went to Egypt with his Regiment in the following year as a Squadron Leader, but returned to Weedon as Chief Instructor two years later, remaining there till the school closed down in 1940. He was Second-in-Command of his Regiment for most of the first Western Desert campaign and commanded at the final battle at Bede Fomm when Freddie Byass was on leave.

Those who were present will remember his calm authoritative voice on the wireless that day, and his bold decision to attack the vast Italian Column on the coast road when less than an hour of daylight remained, and the tanks, who had travelled more than 90 miles that day, were almost out of petrol. Soon afterwards he was awarded the D.S.O. and promoted to Command the 4th Hussars when they returned from Greece having suffered severe casualties.

He gave up Command a year or so later when the 4th and 8th Hussars, who were both seriously under strength, were made into a composite Regiment.

Later he served with distinction in North West Europe with the 1st Polish Armoured Division, retiring in January 1947, with the rank of Colonel. In addition to the D.S.O., he was awarded the O.B.E. in 1946 and twice mentioned in despatches.

Dick was a consummate all-round horseman, one of the very best of his generation. He was a member of the British Show Jumping Team in the nineteen thirties and was not far off Inter national class as a polo player. He was also a superb rider to hounds, quick, bold, and completely unselfish, he was invariably in the lead when hounds really ran.

As a man, his salient qualities were courage, kindness and integrity. He was a very modest man and was often underrated by those who didn’t know him well. All who did found his friendship of great value.

Our deepest sympathy goes to his widow.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 7th Hussars
  2. Timeline: Middle East (Egypt and Libya)
  3. Gallantry Award: Citation and Award of the Distinguished Service Order – Maj RB Sheppard, 7H