Paddy was born in Ireland in 1912. He died in Ireland on 6th March 1982.

After the enormous losses of all ranks which the 4th Hussars suffered in 1941 in Greece, the regiment was very fortunate to have as its new Commanding Officer, Lt Col Dick Sheppard with a DSO awarded when he was second-in-command of the 7th Hussars in the first desert campaign.

Equally fortunate was the regiment to receive as subalterns two ex-Sergeants of the 7th, one of whom was Paddy O’Brien. Like Dick Sheppard, Paddy had seen action in the desert and he was perhaps immediately the most experienced troop leader.

All his life was spent in his native country except for fourteen years of military service all on regimental duty with the 7th or the 4th Hussars. After spending six years in the Middle East he had an overseas leave during which he married Maureen. She survives him with a son, Desmond and a daughter, Fiona.

Paddy was promoted to Corporal in 1934. His superior officer at that time stated in an official report – ‘A good sort of Lance Corporal: has intelligence and initiative, is clean, honest and sober’.

This remained a very good assessment of Paddy throughout his service. With the promotion, he displayed ever-increasing powers of leadership. He commanded ‘A’ Squadron temporarily but with great distinction in the Western Desert in the summer of 1942.

It was with an even greater distinction that he commanded ‘A’ Squadron again in Italy in 1944 after his return from leave.

He was awarded the M.C. in 1945, having twice been mentioned in dispatches in 1940/41.

Paddy was second-in-command for some months up to May 1946 when many of the ex-prisoner of war officers were returning to the regiment.

All who served with Paddy in the 4th will remember him with respect.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. Middle East (Egypt and Libya) timeline
  3. Italy 1943-5 timeline
  4. Citation and Award for the Military Cross: Maj JJ O’Brien