Capt M L PILKINGTON MC - LRDG

Discussion in 'NW Europe' started by Paul Johnson, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Paul Johnson

    Paul Johnson Member

    CAPTAIN Mark Leslie PILKINGTON MC THE LIFE GUARDS & LRDG
    76537. KIA 18/11/42 aged 28.
    Mark was born on the 12th January 1914 the son of Captain Herbert Charles Pilkington & Ruth Pilkington. He was educated at Eton College and in 1938 had been the prospective conservative candidate for East Woolwich. Later he married his wife Susan and was described as a man who had a vague desultory manner which concealed a gentleness and dislike of aggressive pompous individuals. Later in 1938 he joined the Life Guards Special Reserve and went with a composite unit of the Household Cavalry to the Middle East in 1940. In 1941 he volunteered for service in the Abyssinian campaign when he was with guerrilla units from Ethiopia engaged in fighting the Italians at Gondar and in this he proved to be both hardy and gallant in a campaign led by a very few British officers. Later, Mark was attached to the headquarters of the Arab Legion under Glubb Pasha in Transjordan in a campaign against Raschid Ali. It was whilst serving here that he volunteered form service with the Long Range Desert Group and was to be attached to them for a month. Mark was killed by Italian fighter aircraft in Wadi Tamet 50 miles from the coast near El Ageila and Marble Arch in Tripolitania. He was manning a machine gun, either a Bren or a Lewis, when his patrol was attacked on the way from Kufra to Birtala, a one thousand mile journey behind enemy lines. He was awarded a posthumous Military Cross on the 8th July 1943. The entry for the London Gazette reads, "For gallant & Distinguished services in East Africa & Madagascar. Mark is buried in Tripoli War Cemetery, Libya. (10.H.3)

    Does anyone have any further detail on this man's military career, the award of his MC and/or a photograph?

    Your help would be appreciated.

    Regards

    PAUL JOHNSON :ph34r:
     
  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Have you tried contacting Eton?

    They have good records on old boys, particularly those killed in the two World Wars. There was also a school magazine, which may well have had photos in it by WW2.
     
  3. Paul Johnson

    Paul Johnson Member

    Paul,

    Thanks for the tip. I will give them a try to see if they have anything on him.

    Regards

    PAUL JOHNSON :ph34r:
     
  4. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Lieutenant, Local Captain Mark Leslie Pilkington MC, Household Cavalry attached East African Command.

    For conspicuous gallantry in action over a prolonged period in April 1941 to 27 November 1941.

    This officer entered Ethiopia in March, 41, in command of an operations centre composed of Ethiopians from the Sudan. He was directed against the Debra Tabor area in April. Together with other Ethiopian forces under British officers he led many harassing attacks against that place until its surrender in June, 41.

    Taking over a complete unit known asthe Vollo Banda, consisting of 1,500 Italian-trained irregulars who volunteered to serve against the Italians after the surrender of Debra Tabor, Captain Pilkington continued to set an example of a high order in his raids and harassing attacks on the Italian lines of communication between Kulkaber and Gondar.

    With the arrival of regular troops in the Gonda area, Captain Pilkington and his Vollo Banda took part in the attacks on the Kulkaber position on the 13th and 21st November, giving particular valuable assistance in the latter action in spite of heavy casualties to his troops. On 27th November he led his troops in the final attack on Gondar with great dash and gallantry, taking all objectives assigned to him.


    Dated 8.7.43

    Hand written comment on the citation: Subsequently killed in action in Western Desert.
     
  5. Paul Johnson

    Paul Johnson Member

    Drew,

    Thanks for the citation. It makes interesting reading as I know very little about this theatre of operations.

    Regards

    Paul J
     
  6. CL1

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

    Captain MARK LESLIE PILKINGTON
    M C

    76537, Life Guards
    and, Long Range Desert Group
    who died age 28
    on 18 November 1942
    Son of Hubert Carlisle Pilkington, and of Ruth Honor Pilkington, of Little Offley, Hertfordshire; husband of Susan Violet Pilkington.
    Remembered with honour
    TRIPOLI WAR CEMETERY

    Long Range Desert Group - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    His Brother was also killed in service

    Flying Officer CHARLES LESLIE PILKINGTON

    67717, 149 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 20
    on 11 March 1942
    Son of Hubert Carlisle Pilkington, and of Ruth Honor Pilkington, of Little Offley.
    Remembered with honour
    OFFLEY (ST. MARY MAGDALENE) CHURCHYARD
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  8. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

  9. Merlin

    Merlin Junior Member

  10. Merlin

    Merlin Junior Member

  11. charlienewman

    charlienewman Junior Member

    Hello everyone,

    my name is charles Newman and i am Mark Pilkington's great nephew if there is any infomation i can help im more than happy to do so.

    Regards,

    Charles
     
  12. Tom Canning

    Tom Canning WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Paul -
    if you want any further knowledge of the East African campaign - it continues after November '41 with the arrival of the 4th Indian Div in that area when tha campaign to finish it started . Check " The Tiger Triumphs" on google ..
    Cjheers
     
  13. CL1

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

    Hello everyone,

    my name is charles Newman and i am Mark Pilkington's great nephew if there is any infomation i can help im more than happy to do so.

    Regards,

    Charles

    Charles welcome to the forum

    would be good if you could post any photos/medals/info you have if not deemed to personal
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi Charles and welcome to the forum.

    What Clive said-Anything you can add about Capt Pilkington would be great.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  15. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Just stumbled on this double thread doing a search if someone wants to merge them?

    Edit: now merged
     
  16. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    He has a SOE Personal File at TNA Kew which may have a photograph in it HS9/1189, this will relate to his time in Abysinnya and with the Arab Legion - looking at his record above.

    Steven
     

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