A Good Hampshire Regiment Platoon Commander (Acting Lieutenant) , North West Frontier, Palestine and WW2, Monte Cassino casualty group.
India General Service 1936-39, 1 clasp, North West Frontier 1936-39 ,5497129 Pte. J. French. Hamps. R; General Service 1918-62, 1 clasp, Palestine ,5497129. Pte. J. D. French. Hamps. R; 1939-45 Star, privately engraved ‘5497129 Sgt D. J. French Royal Hampshire Regt.’; Africa Star, clasp, 1st Army, privately engraved ‘5497129 Sgt D. J. French Royal Hampshire Regt.’; Italy Star, privately engraved ‘5497129 A/C.Q.M.S. D. J. French Royal Hampshire Regt.’; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, privately engraved ‘5497129 Sgt D. J. French’.
John Douglas French was born on 30 January 1915 at Southampton and enlisted in the Hampshire Regiment. Having seen active service with the 1st Battalion on the North West Frontier and in Palestine, whilst passing courses on demolition and bridging with the Royal Engineers. French transferred to the 5th Battalion for the Second World War and served as a Quartermaster Sergeant & Platoon Commander in Africa and Italy, latterly also as an Acting Lieutenant.
The unit served during the actions for Monte Cassino, during which French was hit by an 88mm gun at 1230hrs on 4 March 1944, whilst on Mount Orneto.
French remained at his post and served in North Africa during the final months of the Second World War, being discharged as a Colour Sergeant on 6 June 1952. Colonel J. H. H. Robinson, D.S.O., O.B.E., privately offered a glowing appraisal:
‘Mr French was a Company Quarter Master Sergeant & Acting Company Sergeant Major in the Battalion I commanded on active service during 1943-44, until he was wounded. He was an excellent type of Regular Soldier, highly reliable & conscientious & showed considerable initiative & guts. Very loyal and pleasant mannered.’
With Certificate of Service, three portrait photographs, Attestation paper, Release paper, two Education certificates, the above-mentioned letter from Colonel Robinson, ‘D-Day Dodger’ Medal named to the recipient and written details.
For a detailed account of the Hamphire Regiment at Monte Cassino please click here
Medals – Mounted court-style as worn and VF