News from the Green Howards
JOHN SLY RECORDS A GREEN HOWARD IN KYRENIA
John Sly who has long been a Friend of the Museum has just returned from a trip to Cyprus. Whilst holidaying in Kyrenia, Northern Cyprus he was able to record the grave of Major David O'Driscoll. The photograph at the top of the page shows Brigadier John and Colonel Geoffrey Powell (right and left) with Major David O'Driscoll in the centre and was taken just before Christmas in 1994. The museum holds Major O'Driscoll's medal group, letters, cuttings and mementoes including his dog tags from WW II and a silk escape map of Italy.
Major O'Driscoll's headstone is carved with a Green Howards cap badge (see more photos at the bottom of this page) and is testament to his long association with the Regiment. His obituary which was published in the Green Howards Gazette in August 2000 is reproduced below.
'Major David O'Driscoll died in Cyprus aged 79 after a long battle with cancer on the 26 April 2000. He was buried on the island that he had made his home for 12 years on the 6 May.
David was born in Allahabad, India, where his father was serving. On his father's retirement he moved to County Wicklow where he enjoyed a wonderful Irish country childhood.
He was educated at Ampleforth and the Royal Military College Sandhurst where he was the last Gentleman Cadet to join the Regiment at the start of the 1939-45 War. He missed the Norwegian campaign but served with the 1st Battalion for the remainder of the war. He proved to be a very good platoon commander and a most adept organizer of several balls in Armagh where the battalion was serving in Northern Ireland much to the delight of the girls on both sides of the border! After Northern Ireland came 'The Cooks Tour' with the 5th Division which included India, Iraq, Syria and Palestine before they invaded Sicily in June 1943 and mainland Italy in September. By 1945 he was a Town Major in Germany. He was twice wounded.
After the war he served for 3 years as an Air Liaison Officer in HMS Theseus before returning to the 1st Bn and served with it in Malaya being promoted Substantive Major in 1952. He served many more years in Malaya with the 1st Bn the Royal Malay Regiment and later with the Jamaica Regiment. His staff jobs included GSOII Air HQ Malaya; GSOII (Ops/Air) GHQ FARELF and MIO in Mauritius. His last years of service were spent in the UK and he retired to live in Sussex.
But his adventures were not yet over as the Brunei Government much impressed by his work in the Malayan emergency invited him to set up the Special Branch of the Royal Brunei Police. He was to stay there for 11 years and was appointed the equivalent of our Knighthood by the Sultan of Brunei.
He and Rosemary, who he had married at a naval style wedding whilst serving in HMS Theseus, settled in Cyprus in 1989. They returned to the UK often and frequently made the London lunch. All his friends, of which he had many, will miss him for his charm, kindness and hospitality to say nothing of his skill with a blowpipe.'
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