John Van der Byl (known as ‘the buff’) distinguished himself as a Squadron Leader in the Somme, 1917.

In charge of ‘D’ Squadron, Major Van der Byl attacked German machine gun posts, left behind in tactical positions, under covering fire from ‘B’ squadron.

A German Officer prisoner later stressed that their defences were not prepared for such a dashing attack.

For his gallant conduct in the attack, Maj Van de Byl received the Distinguished Service Order.

Major van der Byl was promoted to Command the Regiment in 1921 when they were serving in India.

He went on to succeed General Sir Bryan Mahon as Colonel of The 8th Hussars in 1930.

Brigadier Van der Byl held the post of Colonel of the Regiment for 18 years.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 8th Hussars
  2. The Western Front 1914-18 timeline
  3. Article: Villers Faucon, 27th Mar 1917