17834 Harold Rupert Leofric George ALEXANDER, KG GCB OM GCMG CSI DSO MC CD PC PC(Can), Irish Guards

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by Gerry Chester, May 5, 2005.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From The Times
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2019
  3. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Here's a photo of him on the North-West Frontier in the 1930s.
    Grandad-in-law was a radio-op & Alex was his Brigadier.
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  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Attached Files:

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  5. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    One of the better decisions by Alex was the air conditioning who haa in Italy's Caserta HQ….

    The staff were usually dining and dancing with Nurses - Servicewomen etc and consequently late into the office next day - and the planning for battles suffered as

    there was generally a fight to have the windows open or shut during the day by the US vs Brits.

    This landed on Alex's desk - and he decreed that whichever nationality was in the Office first - had the right to have the windows open or shut all day long

    The offices were manned by 6 a.m.thereafter - and since they were there - might as well do some work…

  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander of Tunis


    Harold Alexander, 1st Earl Alexander, also called (1946–52) Viscount Alexander Of Tunis, or (1942–46) Sir Harold Alexander (born Dec. 10, 1891, London—died June 16, 1969, Slough, Buckinghamshire, Eng.), prominent British field marshal in World War II noted for his North African campaigns against Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and for his later commands in Italy and western Europe.
    The third son of the 4th Earl of Caledon, Alexander was educated at Harrow and the Royal Military College (Sandhurst) and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Irish Guards in 1911. He fought with distinction in World War I and led a brigade on the North-West Frontier Province, India. In World War II Alexander commanded the British 1st Corps at Dunkirk, where he helped direct the evacuation of 300,000 troops; he was the last man to leave the beaches. In Burma (February 1942) he successfully extricated British and Indian troops before the advancing Japanese.
    In the summer of 1942 Alexander was made British commander in chief in the Mediterranean theatre, where he formed a highly successful duo with his chief field commander, General BernardMontgomery. Together they reorganized British forces and drove the Germans back from Egypt and across North Africa until the surrender of the Germans in Tunis in May 1943. Alexander continued to drive the Germans from Sicily and southern Italy as commander of the Fifteenth Army Group (with Montgomery and the U.S. general George Patton as his field commanders), and in November 1944 he became commander in chief of all Allied forces in Italy. After the war he was named governor-general of Canada (1946–52); as a member of Winston Churchill’s Conservative government, he served as minister of defense (1952–54) until his retirement. He was knighted in 1942 and made Viscount Alexander of Tunis in 1946 and an earl in 1952.

    Buried Ridge,Hertfordshire
    1st Earl of Tunis (Large).JPG
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  7. Mark Hone

    Mark Hone Senior Member

    Lt The Hon Harold Alexander was one of two young officers who were in charge of a battalion consisting of the Bury Grammar School OTC and other cadet contingents at a summer camp at Mytchett Farm near Aldershot when war broke out on 4th August 1914. The regular officers and NCOs were immediately mobilised and vanished and the Bury lads , most of whom went on to serve in the war, had to make their way home unexpectedly. Within weeks one of the two officers was dead, the other, of course, became a Field Marshal.
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  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  10. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    P1100284 - Copy (2).JPG

    My father saw a Alex a couple of times - this time in Tunisia in May 1943:

    “The Irish Brigade was given the distinction of being the first marching troops into Tunis. The London Irish entered the town in buses through the crossroads at La Mornaghia. A senior officer in immaculate uniform stood beside his jeep. It was the ‘boss’, General Sir Harold Alexander.

    Debussing at the entrance of the city, the battalion marched in single file along both sides of the road. I remained in my three-tonner, which soon became be-decked with flowers. The men were garlanded, kissed and cheered by the French colons, who were relieved the war was over for them with little damage to their home.”

    I also attach a (poor) photograph that I took of a portrait of the Field Marshal, which is displayed in the Officers' Mess at Flodden Rd

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
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  11. Pete Ashby

    Pete Ashby Junior Member

    Working thorough the 10th Workshop REME war diary I have found a reference to General Alexander's Order of the Day this was read out on parade to workshop on the 23rd of February 1943 I assume it was produced at the time he took over command of the 1st Army.
    Does any one have a copy or a link to the order please?

    Interestingly the day before on the 22nd another order was read out stating there would be no retreat in the event of an Axis breakthrough and troops would stand and fight in their current positions this was presumably as a result of the Kesserine breakthrough 50 miles to the south of the workshop position at Ghardimaou and the thrusts from the 5th Panzer Army 40 miles to the North east.

    At this stage of the campaign Ghadimaou situated at the head of the Medjerda valley appears to be being used as staging area for 2nd and 3rd echelon troops if anyone has any further details on this location I would be interested to hear from them
    Many thanks
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
  12. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  13. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
    Name Alexander, The Honourable Sir Harold R L G
    Regiment: Field Marshal, British Army
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Foreign to British: USA
    Award: Distinguished Service Medal
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 02 August 1945
  14. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian Patron

    In all honesty I had forgotten that Alexander served as Governor General of Canada. I'm not sure how well commemorated that is.
  15. Pete Ashby

    Pete Ashby Junior Member

    Can some one please point me to a link that would show the contents of the letter that was read out to all 8th Army troops on the afternoon of 11th May 1944 prior to the opening of the 4th battle to breach the Gustav line

    Many thanks

  16. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

  17. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    I think that this might be what you are looking for but I'm afraid its the only copy I have and the date is not fully displayed.
    See what you think. It is from A History of the 67th Field Regt by Peter Mennell. For a brief few days the Regiment came under 8th Army.
    Alexander was originally Commander of 1st Infantry Division so they watched and read everything about him.
    At Anzio Lt Beadle CPO 266 Battery 67th Field Regt referred to themselves as "Alexanders Nut Crackers".

    Attached Files:

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  18. bexley84

    bexley84 Well-Known Member

    P1010087 (2).JPG P1010086 (2).JPG same, same + Olive Leese's exhortation
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  19. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Interesting your comment that this was read to all 8th Army Troops, quite possibly so but it is from HR Alexander Commander in Chief, Allied Armies in Italy. It was seemingly issued to all the forces under his command. From Dunkirk, Tunisia and throughout the Italian Campaign he was held in high regard by the British 1st Division. They believed in him, feeling that he was lucky and would not let them down, especially at Anzio when things got tough.

    "In fact the papers as usual made a summer out of one swallow and made it appear that we were booked for a quick trip to Rome. But we were never under that illusion and it was no surprise when things suddenly got tough.
    How long they remain tough is a question for the future but despite the rough going everyone here is very cheerful and confident that Alexander’s nutcrackers will do the job in the end". Letter 19th February, 1944
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2019
  20. Pete Ashby

    Pete Ashby Junior Member

    Thank you all for the prompt replies this site and it's member's never fail to supply answers and information when needed so once again many thanks.

    Bexley84 excellent that is exactly what I was looking for, both address are mentioned in my Father's unit war diary as they were read out to the assembled men by the unit CO at an all ranks parade at 1800hrs on the 11 May 1944.


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