Major-General J Whitfield CB DSO* OBE

Commanded 2/5th Bn The Queen's Royal Regiment from July 1942 to December 1943.

John Yeldham Whitfield was born on 11th October 1899 and educated at Monmouth School and the RMC Sandhurst. He was commissioned in The Queen's Royal Regiment in December 1918 and served for many years In East and West Africa. In 1941 and part of 1942 he was BGS to General Sir George Giffard in West Africa. He returned to England and in July 1942 was appointed to command the 2/5th Battalion which he took to Iraq and then to the later stages of the North African campaign. He led the Battalion at Salerno and Monte Camino. In December 1943 he was given temporary command of 169th (Queen's) Brigade and in January 1944 was appointed to command 15th Infantry Brigade in 5th Division and later was BGS of V Corps.

In July 1944 he was appointed GOC 56th (London) Division which he continued to command until 1946 when he returned to England. He then became GOC 50th Division and Northumberland District. After this he became Chief of Staff Northern Command until his retirement on 22nd February 1951.

He was specially employed by the War Office from April 1951 to February 1955.

He was Colonel of The Queen's Royal Regiment from 1954 until amalgamation with The East Surrey Regiment in October 1959. In August 1943 he was awarded the DSO and in September 1944 a bar to the DSO. In July 1945 he was made a CB. He was twice Mentioned in Despatches and in April 1944 was awarded the Order of the Red Star (USSR).

He died on 23rd September 1971.

For obituary see The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regimental Association Newsletter No.10 November 1971 page 1.


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