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Jerry B

Welch Regiment Named Officers Field Service Cap

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This cap is named to Dudley Edwin Thornton, who was originally with 2/5th Welch serving at home until he was transferred as a Colonel to Africa. He was a big collector of Welsh medals and the below is from when they were being auctioned after hs death

Colonel Dudley Edwin Thornton, CBE, ERD

The collection of medals to the 41st and 69th Regiments of Foot (The Welch Regiment) formed by the late colonel Dudley Thornton, CBE
Dudley Thornton died on 22 April 2009, just a week before his 90th birthday. Born in Surrey on 1 May 1919, he was brought up and educated in Bristol before embarking on a military career. He joined the Supplementary Reserve and was commissioned into the Welch Regiment as a Second Lieutenant just before the outbreak of World War II.

After serving in the anti-invasion forces on the south coast, he was sent to East Africa in 1943 to join the 18th (Nyasaland) battalion of the King's African Rifles, and from there took part in the Burma campaign until the end of the War. Coming from a musical family helped his language skills and he learnt Chinyanja - and he played the flute which he always carried in his kitbag.

After the War he served with the Welch overseas, in Hong Kong, Singapore, Cyprus and Libya, before becoming the last Commanding Officer of the regimental depot in Cardiff and then Deputy Commander of the Welsh Brigade at Cwrt-y-Gollen, near Crickhowell.

He was awarded the CBE for his special contribution to the army of Malawi. He greatly enjoyed being back with soldiers he had fought with 20 years earlier, and commanded the army between 1965 and 1967. Colonial rule had just ended, Dr Hastings Banda was the country's first president and it was a time of change and instability. He was absorbed in this challenge. His interest in military history was also put to good use in designing many of the emblems for the new republic.

He went on to other overseas postings in Europe and the Far East before retiring in 1974 to live in Burton Lazars, Leicestershire, with his wife Joan. Throughout his life he had a strong interest in military history and assembled a small collection of medals, badges and other militaria. He never really parted company with his regiment as almost immediately on retiring from the regular army he became a trustee and chairman of the Welch Regiment Museum in Cardiff Castle and remained deeply involved with it right up to the time of his death.

London Gazette entries for D E Thornton
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 27 FEBRUARY, 1945
The undermentioned 2nd Lts. (War Subs. Lts.), from Supp. Res. of Offrs. to be Lts., 28th Feb. J 945. with seniority as stated: — Welch R. Dudley Edwin THORNTON (72799), ist Nov. 1941. 
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 2 JULY, 1946
INFANTRY. The undermentioned Lts to be Capts. 1st July, 1946.— (War Subs Maj.)' D: E. THORNTON (72799).
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 23 AUGUST, 1946
Welch R. Lt. (War Subs. Capt.) D. E. THORNTON (72799) to be Capt., ist July 1946. (Substituted for the notifn. in Gazette ((Supplement) dated 2nd July 1946.)
SUPPLEMENT TO The London Gazette OF FRIDAY, 22nd MAY, 1953
Welch. Capt. D. E. THORNTON (72799) to be Maj., 1st May 1953.
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 1 DECEMBER, 1953
The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to confer the award of the Army Emergency Reserve Decoration upon the following officers:— Welch. Capt. D. E. THORNTON (72799) (now Maj., Reg. Commn.).
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 14TH DECEMBER 1962
WELSH BRIGADE, WELCH REGIMENT, REGULAR ARMY Maj D. E. THORNTON, ERD (72799) to be Lt-Col 15th Sept 1962.
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 14TH SEPTEMBER 1965
WELSH BRIGADE Welch Regiment REGULAR ARMY Lt-CoL D. E. THORNTON (72799) to be Supernumerary to Establishment, 15th Sept 1965.
FRIDAY, 3RD DECEMBER 1965
The undermentioned Lt.-Cols. to be Cols, on the dates shown: D. E. THORNTON, E.R.D. (72799), from Welch, 15th Sept. 1965.
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, STH NOVEMBER 1974
Col. D. E. THORNTON, C.B.E., E.R.D. (72799) late INF. retires on retired pay, 25th Jul. 1974.
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 10th JUNE ,1967
C.B.E. To be, Ordinary Commanders of the Military Division of the said Most Excellent Order:
Colonel Dudley Edwin THORNTON, E.R.D. •(72799), late Infantry, Commander, Malawi Army.


I have included a photo of him with his CBE.

 

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