44959 James DAVID Graham NIVEN, HLI & Rifle Brigade

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Dave55, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Here's a quote from IMDB

    After Great Britain declared war in 1939, he was one of the first actors to go back and join the army. Although Niven had a reputation for telling good old stories over and over again, he was totally silent about his war experience. He said once: "I will, however, tell you just one thing about the war, my first story and my last. I was asked by some American friends to search out the grave of their son near Bastogne. I found it where they told me I would, but it was among 27,000 others, and I told myself that here, Niven, were 27,000 reasons why you should keep your mouth shut after the war."
    von Poop likes this.
  2. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Excellent quotation.

    I am in reminded that in 1942, whilst awating my call-up I was living near Luton and commuting daily to London.

    One day when stopping at Welwyn Garden I was surprised to see a very dashing young officer board the train, none other than David Niven.
  3. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    A very classy man and seemingly quite wise as well.
    I have read that he was the only British actor in America to voluntarily give up his career during WW2.
  4. RemeDesertRat

    RemeDesertRat Very Senior Member

  5. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Niven was a bit like Ian Fleming an interesting war with fingers in lots of Pies - Phantom, Commandos etc.
  6. bugleboy2323

    bugleboy2323 Senior Member

    lets not forget his acting genius,especially his military roles,sheer brilliance,always looked the part,great man.
  7. Vitesse

    Vitesse Senior Member

  8. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Personal Number: 44959
    Rank: Lieutenant-Colonel
    Name: James David Graham NIVEN
    Unit: Highland Light Infantry; Rifle Brigade

    London Gazette: 31 January 1930
    The undermentioned Gentlemen Cadets, from the Royal Military College, to be 2nd Lts. 30th Jan. 1930: —
    James David Graham NIVEN.

    London Gazette : 31 January 1933
    The undermentioned 2nd Lts. to be Lts.:—
    30th Jan. 1933.
    J. D. G. Niven.

    London Gazette : 5 September 1933
    H.L.I.-Lt. J. D. G. Niven resigns his commn, 6th Sept, 1933.

    London Gazette: 4 April 1940
    Rifle Bde.
    James David Graham NIVEN (44959), late Lt., H.L.I., to be Lt. 25th Feb. 1940.

    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 Allies: —
    Legion of Merit, Degree of Legionnaire.
    Lieutenant-Colonel (temporary) John David Graham NIVEN (44959), The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own).
    Chris C likes this.
  9. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

  10. AManMoth

    AManMoth Member

  11. Browno

    Browno Fake news challenger

    He did mention something of the war in The Moon's A Balloon. Mainly just his film work e.g. working with Peter Ustinov in The Way Ahead. Niven did mention an event in the final days of the war when he found a disguised senior German officer trying to get home and he let him go.

  12. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    If I recall correctly (it's been a while), Sheridan Morley's biography The Other Side Of The Moon says more about Niven's war service than Niven himself did in print; however, not sure how reliable a source Morley was.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
    Browno and Chris C like this.
  13. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    For some reason this came up on my Youtube suggestions page. David Niven talking about how he received an Iron Cross.

    Chris C likes this.
  14. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    That is a coincidence, I've been watching Dick Cavett re-runs on Youtube. Woody Allen, Orson Wells, Dickie Burton and Groucho Marx to name but a few. They are often very interesting viewing.
    smdarby likes this.
  15. smdarby

    smdarby Patron Patron

    Agreed, a lot of the old interviews with movie stars are great. I don't know how Youtube works. I was watching "The Way Ahead", which stars Niven a few days ago, so perhaps that is why they directed me to this interview. There are some good old war movies on Youtube which I haven't seen for years.
  16. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    I had been watching some old footage of Woody Allen, whose films I have always enjoyed watching. I wonder if Cavett's back catalogue has been recently uploaded and that is why such links to our particular viewing have been made? In any case, I'm pleased to have stumbled across them.
  17. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member Patron

    Here is Orson Wells speaking about being in the company of several world leaders at various moments during his life:

    Wobbler likes this.

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