Lt Col R O V Thompson DSO

Commanding Officer - The East Surrey Regiment

(The Royal Sussex Regiment)

Lt Col R O V ThompsonCommanded 1/6th Bn The East Surrey Regiment from April 1943 to June 1944 when he was killed in action in Italy.

Robert Oliver Vere Thompson was born on 6th January 1904 and was commissioned in The Royal Sussex Regiment in August 1924 and served with the 2nd Battalion until 1934 when he joined the 1st Battalion.

In 1936 he rejoined the 2nd Battalion. He served on the North West Frontier of India in 1930-31.

From April 1938 to January 1940 he was an Air Staff Officer (Staff Captain) with the Royal Air Force.

In April 1943 when Lt Col H A B Bruno was killed in action at Djebel Djaffa in Tunisia he was appointed to command 1/6th Bn The East Surrey Regiment and led it with great dash in the final phase of the campaign and later in Italy at the crossing of the River Rapido and the capture of Cassino Town.

On 7th June 1944 during the pursuit of the German Army his jeep was blown up on a mine near Tivoli and he was killed.

For his fine leadership of the Battalion he was awarded the DSO.


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