15446 Sir Allan Henry Shafto ADAIR, Bt, GCVO, CB, DSO, MC*, MiD***, Grenadier Guards

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by dbf, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Personal Number: 15446
    Rank: Major-General
    Name: Sir Allan Henry Shafto ADAIR, Bt, GCVO, CB, DSO, MC*, MiD***
    Unit: Grenadier Guards

    London Gazette :

    London Gazette : 2 December 1918
    Lt. Allan Henry Shafto Adair, G. Gds.,. Spec. Res., attd. 3rd Bn.
    For conspicuous gallantry and resource: while in command of the support company. Owing to thick fog the leading company lost direction and failed to turn up. He led his. company correctly into position and then made several personal reconnaissances under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, and cleared up the situation. He captured the objectives without the assistance of tanks or artillery, and broke up a hostile counter- attack the following morning.

    London Gazette : 2 April 1919
    Awarded a Bar to the Military Cross.
    Lt. (A./Capt.) Alan Henry Shafto Adair, M.C., 3rd Bn., G. Gds. (Spec. Res.). (M.C. gazetted 2nd December,1918.

    London Gazette : 9 February 1926
    The undermentioned appointments are made:-
    Staff Capts.—Capt. A. H. S. Adair, M.C. Gren. G'ds. 1st Feb. 192

    London Gazette : 23 February 1926
    Gren. G'ds.—Capt. A. H. S. Adair, M.C., is secd, for serv. on the Staff. INFANTRY. 1st Feb. 1926

    London Gazette : 27 August 1940
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the undermentioned awards for gal- lant and distinguished services in action in connection with recent operations:—
    The Distinguished Service Order.
    Major Allan Henry Shafto Adair, M.C., Grenadier Guards.

    London Gazette : 1 October 1940
    Gren. G'ds.
    Maj. (temp. Lt.-Col.) A. H. S. Adair, D.S.O., M.C. (15446) to be Lt.-Col. 19th Sept. 1940.

    London Gazette : 29 April 1941
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve that the following be Mentioned for distinguished services in the field: —
    Grenadier Guards.
    Adair, Maj. (now Lt.-Col.) (actg. Brig.) A. H. S., D.S.O., M.C. (15446)

    London Gazette : 30 October 1942
    Lt.-Col. (temp. Brig.) A. H. S. Adair, D.S.O., M.C. (15446), Gren. G'ds., is granted the actg. rank of Maj.-Gen. 2ist Sept. 1942.

    London Gazette : 20 July 1943
    The undermentioned Lt.-Cols. to be Cols.:—
    30th June 1943:—
    Temp. Brig. (actg. Maj.-Gen.) A. H. S. Adair, D.S.O., M.C. (15446), from Gren. G'ds

    London Gazette : 22 March 1945
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve that the following be Mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe:—
    Commands and Staff.
    Maj.-Gen. (temp.) A. H. S. Adair, D.S.O., M.C. (15446), late Gren. G'ds.

    London Gazette : 29 March 1945
    The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointments to the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in North-West Europe:
    To be Additional Members of the Military Division of the Third Class, or Companions, of the said Most Honourable Order:—
    Major-General (temporary) Allan Henry Shafto Adair, D.S.O., M.C. (15446), late The Grenadier Guards.

    London Gazette : 8 November 1945
    The KING has been pleased to .grant unrestricted permission for the wearing of the following decorations which have been conferred on the undermentioned personnel in recognition of distinguished services in the cause of the A llies: —
    Commander of the Order of Leopold with Palm.
    Croix de Guerre 1940 with Palm.
    Major-General (temporary) Allan Henry Shafts ADAIR, C.B., D.S.O., M.C. (15446), late Grenadier Guards.

    London Gazette : 2 August 1946
    The undermentioned Cols, to be Maj.-Gens.:—
    Col. (temp. Maj.-Gen.) A. H. S. ADAIR, C.B., D.S.O., M.C. (15446), 25th July 1946, with seniority, 12th Nov. 1944.

    London Gazette : 21 November 1947
    The KING has been graciously pleased to appoint Major-General Allan Henry Shafto Adair, C.B., D.S.O., M.C., late Grenadier Guards, to be Exon of The King's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard in the room of Lieutenant-Colonel William Gibbs, resigned.

    London Gazette : 30 June 1950
    The KING has been graciously pleased to make the following promotion in and appointment to The King's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard:—
    Major-General Sir Allan Henry Shafto Adair, Bt., C.B., D.S.O., M.C., Exon, to be Ensign, in the room of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Edward Boscawen Frederick, Bt., C.V.O., resigned.

    London Gazette : 13 June 1957
    The QUEEN has been graciously pleased, on the occasion of the Celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following promotions in, and appointments to, the Royal Victorian Order:
    To be Commanders :—
    Major-General Sir Allan Henry Shafto ADAIR, Bt., C.B., D.S.O., M.C.

    London Gazette : 14 November 1967
    Major-General Sir Allan Henry Shafto Adair, Bt., K.C.V .O., C.B., D.S.O., M.C., having reached the age limit for retirement, relinquishes his appointment as Lieutenant of The Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    [Name and date of publication unknown, but may be from The Times]

    MAJ-GEN SIR ALLAN ADAIR [b 3 November 1897, d 4 August 1988]

    Wartime Liberator of Brussels
    Major General Sir Allan Adair, Bt, GCVO, CB, DSO, MC, who commanded the Guards Armoured Division which advanced 100 miles in a day to liberate Brussels in September, 1944, died on August 4 at the age of 90.
    This was one of the dramatic feats of the Second World War, but Adair will also be remembered as a gallant and successful leader in many tougher, though less spectacular, actions.

    Known familiarly to his guardsmen as "General Allan", he took command of the Division in September 1942, the year after it became the Guards Armoured Division, and led it to victory from the Normandy Beaches to Cuxhaven on the estuary of the Elbe.

    In 1954, on the tenth anniversary of that liberation, Adair had the satisfaction not only of taking part in an Allied ceremonial parade in Brussels but also receiving the freedom of the city.

    Crossing with his men to Normandy in 1944, he had commanded the division with conspicuous success in the heavy fighting around Caen and Vire in July and August, which prepared the way for the break out from the bridgehead.

    When the German Armies began their retreat to the Rhine, the Guards Armoured Division was the right fland formation of the British Army. It was then that Adair issued his famous order, "My intention is to advance and liberate Brussels," adding, "That is a grand intention."

    Advancing from Douai with tanks at great speed against resistance, the Guards Armoured Division crossed the Belgian frontier on September 3, and, before nightfall, was in the capital.

    The advance beyond Brussels was held up by the advent of winter and increasing German resistance, and the division was involved in much of the hard fighting which ensued, including the ground attacks in connection with the Arnhem airborne operation in September, and the repulse of the Germans from the Ardennes salient in December.

    At the crossing of the Rhine in April 1945, Adair's division was once more a spearhead of attack. When the task alloted him had been discussed at an army commander's conference some days before the battle, he was asked for his comments, he only laughed and said, "It looks like being quite a party, doesn't it."

    It was a tough assignment, and many at the conference table doubted his ability to bring it off. But not one single man in his division had a doubt, for it was impossible to serve under him without realizing that his diffident, light-hearted and sometimes vague manner was only a disguise which concealed professional competence, inflexible determination and dauntless courage.

    Like everything else he did, the crossing was a triumphant success. He carried out a rapid advance of 150 miles to Cuxhaven, an operation in which the division was held up more by the difficulty of negotiating passages through towns that had been "over-bombed" by the Allied Air Forces than by the weakening resistance of the enemy.

    Allan Henry Shafto Adair, sixth Baronet of Ballymena, Co Antrim, where his family has been established since the beginning of the 17th century, was born on November 3, 1897, the son of Sir Shafto Adair, fifth Baronet, and Mary Bosanquet.

    He was educated at Harrow, and was commissioned in 1916 in the Grenadier Guards, going to France just after the Battle of the Somme. He won the Military Cross in 1918 and Bar in 1919.

    Between the two wars Adair served as regimental officer.

    In 1940, after spending some months in France without seeing any action, as second in command of the 3rd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, he was appointed to Sandhurst as Chief Instructor.

    Hardly had he taken over this post when the Germans invaded Belgium, and the British Army advanced to meet them. The very next day Adair turned up in Brussels by taxicab, having "wrangled" his way back to the fighting zone; he joined his old battalion, and took over its command.

    He had travelled by train, Channel boat and chartered the cab, driven by a French prize-fighter from Boulogne, to get to the scene of action, dismissing his Sandhurst post as "too schoolmasterly a job" for such times. He was promptly nicknamed "the taxi-cab officer."

    In the next few pre-Dunkirk weeks he won his DSO during heavy fighting, when his battalion fought five separate actions in five days during the withdrawal, beating off the enemy each time.

    Back in England, Adair commander, in succession, the 30th Guards Brigade and the 6th Guards Brigade in 1941 and 1942.

    Adair laid down command of his division in October 1945. To have commanded it for so long and so successfully under such an exacting commander as Montgomery had indeed been something of a tour de force for an officer who had not passed through the Staff College and had had little to do with tanks until comparatively late in his career.

    Adair was Colonel of the Grenadier Guards from 1961 to 1974 for he was a deeply respected and beloved figure. He had been president of the Grenadier Guards Association from 1947 to 1961. In 1986 he wrote his memoirs, entitled A Guards General, its success requiring reprinting.

    He was an eminent Freemason and was Assistant Grand Master; he made a number of overseas visits as a delegate of Grand Lodge.

    He was Lieutenant of The Queens Bodyguard of the Yeomand of the Guard from 1951 to 1967. He was Deputy Lieutenant for Antrim, and was a Governor of Harrow School from 1947 to 1952.

    He was made a GCVO in 1974, CB in 1945, and he was an Officer of the Legion of Honour, and Commander of the Belgian Order of Leopold.

    He married Enid, daughter of W.H. Dudley Ward, in 1919 who died in 1984. They had one son and three daughters.

    His son was killed in action in 1943 while serving as a captain with the Grenadier Guards at Mount Camino in Italy. His body was never found, and hopes that he might have been taken prisoner were not abandoned by his family for many months. It must have taken all Adair's courage to bear so bitter a blow, but he appeared to be undaunted.

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
    CL1 likes this.
  3. sapper

    sapper WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Great men, Just great. if they had been American, they would have idolised them.
  4. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
    Name: Adair, Allan Henry Shafto
    Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
    Regiment: Grenadier Guards
    Award: Distinguished Service Order

    1st Guards Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, 1 Corps
    Lieutenant Colonel Allan Henry Shafto ADAIR, Commanding 3rd Bn GRENADIER GUARDS

    For conspicuous courage and coolness. During the retreat from the R. DYLE to DUNKIRK in May and June 40, Lt. Col. ADAIR's Bn was engaged with the enemy on five separate occasions.
    Lt. Col. ADAIR handled his Bn with such skill and determination that on each occasion the enemy were thrown back with heavy loss.
    Lt. Col. ADAIR set a personal example of coolness under fire that was an inspiration to his Battalion, which throughout the retreat maintained a magnificent standard of discipline.
    Signed Brigadier M. BECKWITH-SMITH
    [Handwritten] Recommended for D.S.O. Major A. ADAIR, M.C., in command of 3rd Bn, GRENADIER GUARDS, for conspicuous gallantry and leadership.
    This officer carried out a counter-attack with his Battalion to restore a critical situation on the LYS Canal on the evening of 27th May 1940.
    Having restored the situation on his front, he maintained it for 24 hrs until ordered to withdraw.
    His calm courage and powers of command were an inspiration to all ranks. He displayed leadership of the highest order in this action.
    Signed Brigadier, 143 Inf. Bde, 08/06/40

    Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 21.35.41.png Screen Shot 2017-04-28 at 21.35.52.png
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  6. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
    Name Adair, Allan Henry Shafto
    Rank: Major
    Service No: 15446
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: North West Europe 1944-45
    Award: Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 29 March 1945
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
  10. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day dbf.yesterday.01:41pm.re:major-gen sir allan adair.wartime liberator of Brussels.a great post to a true soldier.fine photos of guards .may he rest in peace.thank you for posting.regards bernard85
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

Share This Page