Discussion in '1940' started by Drew5233, Jan 27, 2018.
Any pointers would be greatly appreciated.
Cap badge looks like Gordon Highlanders if that helps narrow it down.
He has a very passing resemblance to Major-General Noel Mason-Macfarlane, who was Director of Intelligence to the BEF. But he was a Royal Artillery officer.
... and would that be General Gamelin?
That's General Fagalde and the Scot following him is the Commanding Officer of 5th Battalion Gordon Highlanders in 1940, but I can't find his name.
See image here (quality no better):
PressReader.com - Connecting People Through News
Could it be Lt-Col A.D. Buchanan-Smith OBE TD?
(That does say 'Smith', doesn't it?)
Major Alick D. Buchanan-Smith [ Later known as 'Lord Balerno' ]
served in World War II, 1939-45 with 5 and 9 Battalions, Gordon Highlanders (in France)
Alick Buchanan-Smith, Baron Balerno - Wikipedia
He was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1939, promoted to Commander (CBE) in 1945[
It is indeed Bertrand Fagalde who commanded the French 16 Corps as part of the 7th Army. They were on the BEF's left flank (between the BEF and the sea) up until 10th May. This photo must pre-date 51st Div's move to the Saar.
5th Gordon's diary ought to mention the parade, and if not, maybe 51 Provost's might.
Well done chaps. Nice bit of detective work.
Thank you all very much
As he seems to be wearing two stripes under the 51 Div saltire, it would seem likely that the photo was taken between January 1940 when they arrived in France and March 1940 when 6th Gordons were replaced by the regular 1st Battalion, at which point the 5th became junior and ought to have added another stripe. Do you have the diary for those months ?
If he's Buchanan-Smith,O.B.E, shouldn't he have at least two WW1 medal ribbons, plus the O.B.E. on his BD ? I'd expect the C.O. to be in Service Dress at this stage of the phoney war.
You should have him up on a charge, Rich.
If he's a major (and I think he is as I can only see a crown and no pip), then isn't he likely to be second-in-command or a company commander ? Maybe chosen for an ability to speak French ?
You could be right.
According to the WD page above, the 2 i/c was a Major R. N. Christie (at least later on in 1940). That parade is definitely the same occasion, so unless he's a liaison officer (in which case our task is hugely complicated), we just need a comparison photograph for Major Christie--I'll start searching.
Edit: could somebody with Findmypast membership search Scottish post-war newspapers. Scottish senior officers almost always seem to have done community work post-war.
I wondered about a liason officer but he seems to be showing off the parade and he is badged as Gordons which would otherwise be quite a co-incidence. If the C.O. was indisposed then as far as the photographer was concerned, this chap would have been the Commanding Officer.
A history of the Gordons available on-line refers to the incident mentioned in the War Diary and gives the first name as 'Rupert'.
It would seem that his army no. is 20230 and that he retired 18/4/47 and then was removed from the reserve list 6/9/50.
...and appears to have died in 1954.
Other sources seem to link him to the battalion in the Great War so I'm still puzzled by the lack of medal ribbons.
ABERDEEN PRESS & JOURNAL 2nd January 1945
Why not send the photos to the Gordon Highlanders' Museum in Aberdeen?
The Gordon Highlanders Museum – Research enquiries
Separate names with a comma.