Lieutenant Colonel H M W Harris MA

Lieutenant Colonel H M W HarrisHugh Harris was born in Cobham Surrey in 1919. Educated at Marlborough College and Queen's College Oxford.

He left in 1939 with an MA Degree. He volunteered for the army and was commissioned into the Queen's Royal Regiment in 1940, having passed through 164 OCTU at Colchester.

He served with 50th Queen's and then 15th Queen's in the UK until 1942 when he joined the 2nd Battalion in Ceylon. He was later posted to the 1st Battalion in Assam and Burma from 1944-1945. He was demobilised in 1946 and joined the Territorial Army in 1950.

By 1956 Hugh Harris was Second-in-Command of 5th Bn The Queen's Royal Regiment (TA). When the Commanding Officer (then Lt Col F A H Ling) left he handed over command to Hugh Harris.

This was a difficult time for the battalion. National Servicemen by this time no longer had to serve with a Territorial unit, and so recruiting was a major problem. At this time too, the role of the battalion changed with the worsening international situation. The primary aim became Aid to the Civil Power.

All this Hugh Harris took in his stride, he organised local recruiting parades with the local towns, and lasting links were forged which paid dividends long after he had handed over command.

He proved to be an excellent Commanding Officer and oversaw the transition from NS men serving in the unit to an all volunteer manned battalion.

In civilian life he was Deputy Chairman at Sandell Perkins from 1975-1981, one time Chairman of Wimbledon Conservative Association, a member of West Sussex County Council, a Justice of the Peace for Surrey and a member of the Builders and Merchants Livery Company.

He died on 16th December 2001

Obituary in The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment Newsletter no.71 May 2002 page 37


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