“Johnny” joined the Cavalry of the Line in August 1935.

After training, he was posted to ‘B’ Squadron of the 8th Hussars in Egypt.

He was a keen sportsman and was a member of ‘B’ Squadron’s Boxing Team which won the Regimental Championship in the late ’30s.

In 1938 the 8th converted to tanks in Egypt and John was straight into battle at the outbreak of World War 2 by which time he was a Troop Corporal, and 6 months later he was a Troop Sergeant.

It was during this period that he saved his Troop Leader’s life by pulling him from a blazing tank. For his gallantry, he was awarded the Military Medal.

Unfortunately, in November 1942 he was taken prisoner, remaining ‘in the bag’ in Italy and Germany until April 1945.

He rejoined the 8th in February 1946 after some R and R and served with the Regiment until January 1948.

He did a stint with the TA in 1948, and in July 1950, when the Regiment received orders to sail for the Korean War, John was one of the first to write to the Commanding Officer requesting
to be called back.

He joined ‘C’ Squadron and was in the ‘thick of things’ in the Battle of the Imjin.

After Korea, the Regiment was posted to Luneburg in Germany, where John remained with ‘C’ Squadron.

He then had another tour with the TA but came back to Luneburg to become SQMS – again in ‘C’ Squadron.

He decided to leave the Army on amalgamation after 23 brave and loyal years.

Johnny was always first with a good story and he never told the same joke twice. He enjoyed life to the full and loved a good party. He was a tireless worker for the Combined Cavalry Association and Regimental Association.

Johnny was popular wherever he went and loved by all who knew him.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. Middle East (Egypt and Libya)
  3. Korea 1950-51
  4. Gallantry Award: Citation and Award for the Military Medal: SQMS AJ Russell