Re: Captain The Rev. Mark Green - attached 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, late 24th Lancers

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Ramiles, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Ramiles

    Ramiles Researching 9th Lancers, 24th L and SRY

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    Re. Captain The Rev. Mark Green

    Lot 82, 17 May 2016 | Dix Noonan Webb

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    Date of Auction: 17th - 18th May 2016

    Sold for £5,500

    Estimate: £4,600 - £5,500

    An impressive Second World War M.C. group of five awarded to Captain The Rev. Mark Green, Chaplain to the Forces, attached 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, late 24th Lancers - who, on his own initiative utilised a ‘Honey’ light tank to rescue casualties from a tank battle - latterly Chaplain to the Far East Land Forces and Suffragan Bishop of Aston

    Military Cross, G.VI.R. reverse officially dated ‘1945’; 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; War Medal 1939-45, M.I.D. oak leaf, these unnamed; General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Malaya, E.II.R. (The Rev. M. Green, M.C., C.F.4, RA. Ch. D.) small area of erasure to unit of last, mounted as worn; together with a mounted set of five miniature dress medals; riband bar, in leather case by Spink, London, good very fine (10) £ 4600-5500
    Ex Spink, 21 July 2011.

    M.C. London Gazette 22 March 1945. ‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe.’ ‘The Reverend Mark Green, B.A. (257733), Chaplain to the Forces, Fourth Class, Royal Army Chaplains’ Department (London, S.W.7)’

    Recommended for an ‘Immediate’ M.C. when serving with the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, attached 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, 8th Armoured Brigade, 30 Corps:

    ‘On Nov. 18 this Regiment went into the attack on Neiderheide and Tripsrath. On reaching Tripsrath one Sqn. became involved in close fighting and had several tanks knocked out and a number of casualties. It was extremely difficult to evacuate the casualties owing to the enemy having command of the road and also on account of heavy artillery fire. Capt. Rev. M. Green on his own initiative went up in a Honey Tank to collect the casualties. He spent some time in doing this and all the time ignored his own safety and walked about giving encouragement to all in that area.

    He went up again the next day to Rischsden where there were more casualties and again acted as an inspiration to all under very heavy artillery fire.

    By his gallantry in this action he enabled many casualties to be evacuated which would have taken much longer without his quick leadership. His indifference to danger has earned him high merit and I can personally vouch for the inspiration which he gave during this battle.’

    M.I.D. London Gazette 22 March 1945. ‘In recognition of gallant and distinguished services in North West Europe.’ ‘Rev. M. Green, B.A. (257733), C.F. 4th Cl., Royal Army Chaplains’ Department.’

    Mark Green was born in London in March 1917, the son of the Rev. William Green, O.B.E., Chaplain to the Tower of London. He was educated at Rossal School and Lincoln College, Oxford, where he read Theology. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he joined up, and began training at Sandhurst for a commission in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. This training came to an end when he learned that theological students had been added to the list of ‘reserved’ occupations. Being called to the Ministry, he resumed his training for Holy Orders, he attended Cuddleston College, Oxford before being ordained and appointed to a Curacy in Gloucestershire and posted as a Chaplain to the 24th Lancers. In January 1943 he was formally commissioned into the Royal Army Chaplains Department as Chaplain to the Forces 4th Class.

    His active service in the war began with the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. In 2005 he published his war diary for the period 5 June - 31 July 1944, in the book Before I Go. He landed with the 24th Lancers on 7 June, his unit taking their first casualties the next day.

    He writes on 9 June ‘A hellish few days. I knew little about the big picture, but guessed it was the same on other parts of the invasion front. It was really a miracle that we were still in Normandy, and not smashed to bits and driven into the sea. We (the Armoured Brigade, including 24th Lancers, in support of 50th Northumbrian division) had been holding a high position identified on the map only as “Pt. 103”. But Point 103 became a poignant symbol for all of us. ... The more wooded part was about half a mile square, and it was here that we beat off attacks from the Panzer Lehr, a crack German tank division which had driven 90 miles from Chatres to get at us; also from the famous 12th SS Panzer (Hitler Jugend) Division, with their fanatically brave boys who counted it an honour to die for the Führer.’

    On 10 June he wrote: ‘... Late that morning I was at the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards Regimental Aid Post ... when one of their tanks drove up and stopped. The crew tumbled out looking completely shattered. They explained that they had been shot up, and their tank commander, a young subaltern named Geoffrey Mitchell, was dead inside the turret; would we please get him out. I had known Geoffrey during our training in England, and in fact I had had a hand preparing him for Confirmation. Hedleigh and I asked the crew to drive the tank to some more secluded spot, and then he and I got down to our gruesome task. Somehow we got him out, though never before had we seen such a ghastly sight and several times we nearly gave up. Later in the day, ... I buried Geoffrey. As I said the words of the Burial Service I was in tears, feeling physically and emotionally at breaking point.’

    At the end of July the 24th Lancers were disbanded, owing in part to the high number of casualties they had suffered and Green was transferred as Chaplain to the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards. For his service in Normandy with the 24th Lancers he was mentioned in despatches.

    On 18 November 1944 ‘A’ Squadron, 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards lost four of its five Sherman tanks during the battle of Tripsrath in Germany. It was on this occasion that Green, on his own initiative went up in a Stuart ‘Honey’ light tank to collect the casualties under heavy fire. For his gallantry in action he was awarded the Military Cross.

    With the end of the war, he remained in Germany for 18 months before returning to England and parish life. In 1948 he became Vicar of St. John Newland, Hull. In 1953 he rejoined the Army as Chaplain to the Royal Norfolk Regiment in Hong Kong and later served as Warden of the Army School of Religious Instruction in Singapore. He finally retired from the Army in 1956. He subsequently served as Rector of Cottingham, and Vicar of Bishopthorpe, both in the Diocese of York. He also served as Chaplain to Donald Duggan, Archbishop of York. Green was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Aston on 11 May 1972 a position he held until his retirement in 1982. As such he chaired an exorcism study group ‘to keep an eye on the increasing numbers of witches’ covens in the Midlands’. This aside, his pastoral ministry was generally low-key and was responsible for the Aston training scheme for candidates for the Church who had not been to university. Moving in retirement to Sussex, he became an Assistant Bishop of Chichester and served at Christ Church, St. Leonard’s and St. Mary’s, Eastbourne. He died on 2 August 2009.

    He published two works, Diary of Doubt and faith (1974) and Before I Go (2005). A copy of the latter is sold with the lot - this with a hand-written dedication, ‘Kevin, Thank you for carrying on this Ministry - in today’s much more difficult climate. Mark. 29 August ‘05’ (some underlining of passages). Also with copied recommendation, obituaries and other research.

    Last edited: Sep 27, 2019

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