David Jamieson (VC)

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David Auldjo Jamieson
VC, CVO
VCDavidAuldjoJamieson.jpg
Born (1920-10-01)1 October 1920
Westminster, London, England, UK
Died 15 May 2001(2001-05-15) (aged 80)
Burnham Market, Norfolk, England, UK
Buried at Burnham Norton Churchyard
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1939-1948
Rank Major
Unit Royal Norfolk Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Awards

Major David Auldjo Jamieson VC, CVO (1 October 1920 – 5 May 2001) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross,[1][2] the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Background[edit]

David Auldjo Jamieson was born in Westminster, on 1 October 1920, the elder son of Sir Archibald Auldjo Jamieson (KBE MC), Chairman of Vickers Armstrong.

He attended Ladycross School, Seaford, East Sussex and Eton College. In his youth he spent time at the family holiday retreat in Norfolk. He was a volunteer in the Territorial Army unit at Dersingham for the 5th Battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, which he joined in May 1939. He was transferred to the 7th Battalion, part of the 51st (Highland) Infantry Division at the time, and was subsequently commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant despite a lack of experience. He was considered too young for overseas service and did not initially go with the battalion to join the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) when it went to France in 1940 but followed later. When the majority of the battalion was captured in June 1940 during the Fall of France he was at Rouen and was able to return to Britain. The battalion was reformed in 1941 and he was promoted to a company commander of D Company.

VC action[edit]

Serving in the British Army during the Second World War, Jamieson was a 23 year old captain in the 7th Battalion of the Royal Norfolk Regiment, now part of the 176th Infantry Brigade attached to the 59th (Staffordshire) Infantry Division, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. On 7/8th August 1944, south of Grimbosq, Normandy, France, Jamieson was in command of D Company, being the only officer remaining, which had established a bridgehead over the River Orne. The enemy made seven counter-attacks on the company's position, but throughout 36 hours of bitter and close fighting Captain Jamieson's company refused to give up. The attacks included assaults with Tiger and Panther tanks which shot up the Royal Norfolks' tanks. Jamieson at one point mounted a British tank to talk to the commander under enemy fire. He dismissed it as anything heroic saying that he had to as the telephone didn't work - tanks were equipped with an external handset so that the commander could talk to an infantry commander without opening the hatch. The image of him riding a Churchill tank while enemy tanks attacked was immortalised in a painting.

The citation for Captain David Jamieson in the London Gazette of 26 October 1944 ends

"Throughout the thirty six hours of bitter and close fighting and in spite of the pain of his wounds, Captain Jamieson showed superb qualities of leadership and great personal bravery. There were times when the position appeared hopeless, but on each occasion it was restored by his coolness and determination. He personally was largely responsible for the holding of this important bridgehead over the River Orne and for the repulse of seven German counter-attacks with great loss to the enemy."

Post-war life[edit]

Following the war, he worked for the Australian Agricultural Company, which ran several sheep and cattle stations; he became a director in 1949 and was Governor from 1951-75. He was also director of other companies including National Westminster Bank.[citation needed]

In 1948 he married Nancy Elwes, who died in a car accident in 1963. He remarried, to Joanna Windsor-Clive, in 1969. He was appointed High Sheriff of Norfolk in 1979.

Death[edit]

He died on 5 May 2001 in Burnham Market, Norfolk, and was interred in the churchyard in Burnham Norton. He was survived by his widow, his son Andrew Jamieson, and two daughters of his first marriage, three grandchildren and by a stepson and stepdaughter.

Height[edit]

Due to his height, 6 ft 5, he was designated the ceremonial umbrella man to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, carrying an umbrella over her at social functions.[2]

The medal[edit]

David Jamieson's Victoria Cross is displayed in the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum, Norwich Castle, Norfolk.[3]

Other medals[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Major David Jamieson VC". Daily Telegraph (UK). 8 May 2001. 
  2. ^ a b Goldstein, Richard (May 12, 2001). "David Jamieson, 80, Winner Of Top British Medal for Valor". New York Times. 
  3. ^ Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum

Sources[edit]