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Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Houston (MC, Germany, 1945)

Veteran of the Regiment
Veteran of the Regiment
Joined: November 2nd, 2003, 1:04 am

January 12th, 2018, 10:23 pm #1

From The Daily Telegraph 12 January.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Houston, who has died aged 95, was awarded a Military Cross at the end of the campaign in north-west Europe.
On leaving school, it was suggested that he try for Oxford but the night before his interview there was an air raid and he was so busy clearing fire bombs from the roof of a neighbour’s property that he forgot about the appointment.
He was commissioned into the Royal Dragoons from Sandhurst and, having joined the Regiment in Libya in 1943, took part in the invasion of Sicily and the Italian Campaign (briefly) before landing in Normandy.
He commanded a troop of the Royal Dragoons from Normandy in July 1944 to the River Elbe 10 months later. On one occasion when his troop was helping to keep open the Nijmegen to Eindhoven road, he delayed several German tanks advancing on the town of Veghel, Holland, long enough to let US anti-tank gunners get into position and break up the attack. He was wounded but remained in command of his troop until the emergency had ended and he was ordered back by an MO.
In Germany, during fighting near Uelzen, he was leading a dismounted party from his troop against an enemy outpost in a wood. Although shot in the leg by a German at close range with a revolver, he remained in control and the outpost was wiped out.
The citation for the award of an MC paid tribute to the outstanding leadership and courage that he had shown throughout the European campaign.

On VE-Day, his squadron was deployed to Denmark to assist in the liberation of the country. At the seaport of Kolding, southern Denmark, they had an encounter with the captain of a German U-boat who had not heard that the war was over. It required a show of force in the form of two armoured cars to persuade him to surrender.
After the war, he was second-in-command of “C” Squadron until he became adjutant of the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry in autumn 1949. He was also involved in work for the War Crimes Commission but found time to form a regimental ski team as well as a crew to sail one of the German navy’s sail training ships around the Baltic.
In 1952 he rejoined the Royal Dragoons in the Canal Zone and accompanied them to BAOR. He took early retirement from the Regular Army in 1956. The same year, he rejoined the Fife and Forfar Yeomanry which had recently been amalgamated with the Scottish Horse and took command in 1963.
Full obituary with photographs.