Brigadier Roy Osborne-Smith

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From the Worcestershire Regiment website

Brigadier Osborne-Smith

Brigadier Robert Edward Osborne-Smith, DSO, OBE commanded the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from August 1944 to November 1944.

Robert Edward Osborne-Smith, known as Roy, was born on 18 July 1908 in St Helier.

Indian service

He was commissioned in the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1929 and promoted Lieutenant on 31 January 1932. He served in India.

As a keen cricketer, on 4 December 1934 he was a member of the British Army Cricket team when they played North Zone Northern India in the Ranji Trophy 1934/35 at Bagh-e-Jinnah, Lahore.

He was appointed Adjutant of the Northamptonshire Regiment on 18 February 1937 and promoted captain on 1 August the following year.

Wiltshire Regiment

He transferred to the 4th Battalion Wiltshire Regiment and was second-in-command to Lt-Colonel E L Luce in April 1944. He took the advance vehicle party to London Docks and sailed for Normandy on 15 June 1944. Due to bad storms, unloading was delayed until 23 June. He continued as second-in-command during the fighting in Normandy in June and July 1944.

On 7 August 1944 he was posted to command the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. During the attack on Tripsrath (Germany) in November 1944 he was wounded in the leg and had to be evacuated.

DSO

He was awarded the DSO in 1944 and the citation read:

“For outstanding personal courage and powers of leadership whilst Commanding the 1st Worcestershire Regiment in the operations around Mount Pinçon, at the crossing of the Noireau, at the Seine and between the Waal at the Neder Rijn in September 1944. During this period his Battalion has completed successfully all the operations ordered by his Brigade Commander. In the face of determined counter-attacks by the enemy at Berjou and East of Vernonnet on the Seine, his cool courage kept his Battalion steady when the enemy had succeeded in working round his flanks. More than his share of tiresome and bloody mopping up operations has fallen to his Battalion, notably at Quesnee, Berjou and Elst. All these have been successfully performed. As a result of his inspiring and personal example, the reputation of his Battalion is worthy of the highest traditions of the Worcestershire Regiment.” (London Gazette 29 March 1945).

Promotions

He was promoted Major on 31 January 1946 and to Lt-Colonel on 20 September 1952.

In the New Years honours in 1954 he was awarded the OBE.

He was further promoted to Colonel, and Brigadier on 31 August 1958. He finally transferred to the Reserve Officers List on 19 July 1960 and retired from the army on 18 July 1966.

Family home

He lived in Tettenhall, Staffordshire but later move back to his family home in Jersey. He died on 13 December 1972 at St Aubin, aged 64.

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