28067 Brigadier Malcolm David ERSKINE, DSO, MiD, Scots Guards: 27/10/1949

Discussion in 'The Brigade of Guards' started by dbf, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Personal Number: 28067
    Rank: Brigadier
    Name: Malcolm David ERSKINE, CBE, DSO, MiD
    Unit: Scots Guards

    London Gazette : 1 February 1924
    The undermentioned Gentlemen Cadets, from the Royal Military College, to be 2nd Lts. 31st Jan. 1924:—
    S. G'ds.—Malcolm David Erskine.

    London Gazette : 3 November 1936
    The undermentioned appts. are made: —
    Capt. M. D. Erskine, S. G'ds., to be A.D.C. to the G.O.C., British Forces in Palestine and Trans-Jordan (temp.). 1st Nov. 1936.

    London Gazette : 24 November 1936
    S. G'ds.—The undermentioned are restd. to the estabt. 24th Nov. 1936:—
    Capt. M. D. Erskine.

    London Gazette : 20 December 1940
    The names of the undermentioned have been brought to notice in recognition of distinguished services in connection with operations in the field. March-June, 1940.
    Capt. M. D. ERSKINE.

    London Gazette : 4 February 1941
    S. G'ds.
    Capt. M. D. Erskine (28067) to be Maj. 3ist Jan. 1941.

    London Gazette : 4 May 1943
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East: —
    The Distinguished Service Order.
    Major (temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) Malcolm David Erskine (28067), Scots Guards (Banbury, Oxon).

    London Gazette : 24 September 1946
    S. G'ds.
    Maj. (War Subs. Lt.-Col.) M. D. ERSKINE, D.S.O. . (28067), to be Lt.-Col., 22nd Sept. 1946.

    London Gazette : 4 April 1947
    S. G'ds.
    Maj. (War Subs. Lt.-Col.) M. D. ERSKINE, D.S.O. (28067) to be Lt.-Col., 24th May 1946. (Substituted for the notifn. in Gazette (Supplement) dated 24th Sept. 1946.)

    London Gazette : 22 April 1947
    The KING has been graciously pleased to give orders for the following appointments:—
    Lt.-Col. (temp. Brig.) M. D. ERSKINE, D.S.O. (28067) from S. G'ds. to be Col., 31st Dec. 1946, with seniority 13th Dec. 1946.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2022
  2. dbf

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  3. dbf

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  4. dbf

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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2022
  5. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    AFM Results Page
    Surname: ERSKINE
    Forenames/Initials : Malcolm David
    Rank: Brig
    Service: Army
    Service Number: 28067
    Regiment/Corps : SCOTS GUARDS
    Decorations: CBE, DSO
    Date of Birth: 31 August 1903
    Age: 46
    Date of Death: 27 October 1949
    Included on Armed Forces Memorial: Yes
    Included on Roll of Honour: Yes
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2022
  6. Charley Fortnum

    Charley Fortnum Dreaming of Red Eagles

    Interestingly, this award was ordered to have effect from 26.9.49 so as to predate his disappearance in an Auster over Malaya by one day and ensure that the award not be posthumous.

    Erskine at that time commanded 2 Guards Bde. His pilot, Capt. J F Churcher R.A., disappeared with him, and despite an extensive searches, neither plane nor body was found until July 1954.

    Captain John Churcher of 1907 Flight lost his life in another crash on 27 October. He had been detailed to fly Brigadier M.D. Erskine from the airstrip at Seremban to a jungle strip. While the Brigadier was about his business the weather had closed in and Churcher advised him that it would be sensible to stay the night.


    Capt J Churcher and Brig MD Erskine DSO, who lost their lives in a crash on October 27 1949

    According to the late Colonel John Moss (who was at the time a young, Air OP qualified RA captain in Malaya and was maintaining his skills by flying for 656 on an opportunity basis and was actually on foot patrol in the same area that day and who recalled thinking it was lousy weather for flying) the Brigadier pulled rank and insisted that they should depart forthwith. Accordingly, Auster AOP V, TJ674, took off and disappeared. Despite extensive aerial searches by Austers and Dakotas, nothing was found – until nearly five years later, when a foot patrol came upon some scattered wreckage and some human bones. From a few fragments of medal ribbon, they were able to ascertain that one of the victims had held the DSO – which the missing Brigadier had been awarded. The OC wrote of John Churcher as follows,

    ‘This officer will be greatly missed. He was very efficient, hardworking and greatly liked and admired by all ranks. He set a magnificent example by his attention to duty and unfailing cheerfulness. Although there is little hope now of him being found alive we all sincerely hope that by some lucky chance he is still alive and will be found.’

    Malaya – Korea 1948-1960 – 656 Squadron Association

    The Green Howards found someone else's skeleton during the search, but that's another story.

    There is also a tale of a psychic claiming to have located the crash site, but I don't yet have all the details.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2023
    dbf likes this.
  7. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    No mention of him in 2 SG war diary for October/January 1941/1942 that I can find.

    All the ebst

  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From The Scots Guards, 1919 - 1955; David Hervey Erskine

    Page 115
    On the 21st [August, 1942] Lieutenant-Colonel M. D. ERSKINE, who had previously commanded the First Battalion and had come from London District, took over command, and four days later the Battalion moved back to Mena where it was charged with the defence of the desert road to Cairo; the supporting gunners had an OP on the Great Pyramid. On the 31st Rommel started his final drive for the Delta.

    Appendix E, Page 569
    Name: ERSKINE, Malcolm David
    Period of Service in the Regiment: 1924 - 1949
    Highest Rank reached in the Regiment: Colonel
    War Service:
    • Palestine, 1936
    • France, 1940
    • Middle East
    • North Africa
    • Italy
    • Malaya
    • (Killed on Active Service)
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2022
  9. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Great thanks, that would explain it.

    All the best


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