Tim died on 10 March 2011.

Tim was born in London on 23rd May 1920 but at the age of four, he left the UK to live with his mother in Italy for two years.

From 7 onwards he lived and studied in Switzerland where he developed his flair for ice hockey. In 1926 he returned to England aged 16, to go to Dulwich. At the time his grasp of English was, to say the least very tenuous.

However thanks to his natural flair for languages which was to stand him in good stead throughout both his military and civilian careers, his English improved rapidly.

Whilst at Dulwich he played tennis in the public schools’ championship and at Junior Wimbledon. In October 1938 he went up to Cambridge to read modern languages as it was his intention to enter the diplomatic service. Whilst at Cambridge he gained a half blue for ice hockey.

In his third term he spent 3 weeks with an eminent German family near Munich during which time Tim met Hitler who was spending part of a weekend with his host.

The Fuhrer asked Tim what his view was of the possibility of England joining the Reich. Tim replied, in German “as an 18 year old Englishman I find the question difficult to answer with both honesty and courtesy”. During the summer vacation of 1939 he returned to Germany to spend a term at Munich University.

His German was by now quite fluent and he was challenged by his friends to join the German army and survived for two weeks.

After two weeks he was told that he was an ideal candidate for the SS which he declined to accept and at this stage his cover was blown.

Surprisingly his Officer saw the amusing side of it and Tim was discharged with 10 days pay. By this time it was clear that a war between UK and Germany was inevitable and he realised that it was time to beat a hasty retreat. He made his way from Vienna to Budapest and in late August crossed into Belgium on the day that the UK declared war on Germany.

He immediately tried to enlist but was deferred until May 1940 when he joined the East Surrey Regiment. In October 1940 he was posted to the infantry OCTU at the RMC Sandhurst. In February 1941 he was commissioned into the 11 HLI, which had become 156 Regiment RAC. At the end of 1942 he was posted to the Middle East where his career changed course dramatically.

It was here that, by chance, he fell into a conversation with the commanding officer of The 3rd Hussars, Sir Peter Farquahar. The regiment had recently been withdrawn from the desert, having suffered severe casualties at Alamein, and at the conclusion of their conversation Sir Peter asked him if he would like to join 3H, an invitation he accepted with alacrity and with whom he would spend the rest of his military career.

Soon after he joined The 3rd Hussars the regiment moved to Italy. It was here that Tim was wounded and after his discharge from hospital, he was fortunate enough to spend time recuperating in Sorrento, before rejoining the regiment, which at the end of 1944 left Italy to go to Syria where it spent a few months before moving to Palestine to join 6th Airborne Division.

A period as Adjutant was followed by a number of jobs at GHQ MEF. In January 1948 he was appointed Assistant Military Attaché in Cairo at the conclusion of which he rejoined the regiment, which had returned from Palestine, and was serving in BAOR.

In the early part of 1951 it was decided, by the powers that be, to replace the armoured cars in Berlin with tanks. The 3rd Hussars were selected for the task to be known as Berlin Detachment 3H which comprised of 2 troops of Comets, under Tim’s command. This was the first occasion that British tanks had served in Berlin since the victory parade of 1945.

The first problem they encountered was crossing the Russian zone, using the corridor, that Tim’s excellent linguistic skills enabled him to persuade both the East German and Soviet control authorities that his tanks were in fact agricultural vehicles.

Whilst in Berlin the detachment participated in the annual parade of allied troops. This was one of the rare occasions when the Russian general in Berlin made an appearance in any of the allied sectors and as Tim’s tank passed the saluting base, his commander’s seat collapsed and he disappeared from view; a slight smile was seen to cross the face of the Russian General.

Tim eventually retired shortly before amalgamation in 1958.

After retirement in May 1958 he pursued a successful business career finally working for Inchcape. As a civilian he was able to make excellent use of his powers of persuasion and linguistic skills.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 3rd Hussars
  2. Middle East (Egypt and Libya) timeline
  3. Italy 1943-5 timeline