Ian Garrow

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Ian Grant Garrow
Born (1908-08-24)24 August 1908
Died 28 March 1976(1976-03-28) (aged 67)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service 1930-1958
Rank Lieutenant-Colonel
Unit Highland Light Infantry
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Distinguished Service Order

Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Grant Garrow DSO (24 August 1908 - 28 March 1976)[1] was a British army officer with the Highland Light Infantry.

Early career[edit]

Garrow attended the Glasgow Academy, where he rose to the rank of cadet sergeant in the academy's officer training corps. He was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 9th Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry in the Territorial Army on 21 May 1930.[2] He was promoted to lieutenant on 21 May 1933 and entered active service on 9 June 1937.[3] [4]

Second World War[edit]

Following the surrender of the Highland 51st Division at Saint-Valéry-en-Caux on the Normandy coast on 12 June 1940, Garrow, then a lieutenant, managed to escape being taken prisoner. On hearing that France had surrendered, Garrow tried to escape with companions to the Channel Islands, but ultimately was interned in Marseilles.[5]

Operating in Marseilles from October 1940 and working alongside other British officers, including Nancy Wake, he helped organise the escape to Britain of military personnel stranded in France after the British retreat from Dunkirk and the subsequent French defeat.

He was joined by Albert Guérisse in June 1941, whose nom de guerre of "Pat O'Leary" became the name of the first network, the Pat Line to organise the escape of British military personnel from France.

Garrow was arrested by Vichy French police in October 1941 and later interned at Mauzac (Dordogne). His role as head of the escape line was taken over by O'Leary. Garrow was rescued from Mauzac in December 1942 by the Pat O'Leary organisation and sheltered with Francoise Dissard in Toulouse before he was taken across the Pyrenees to the British Consulate in Barcelona. Garrow returned to England at the beginning of February 1943, and as a war-substantive captain, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 4 May.[6]

Michael Foot and Jimmy Langley describe him as 'a tall dark-haired captain in the Seaforth Highlanders in his early twenties, who spoke French with a noticeable Scots accent' .[7]


Garrow ended the war as a lieutenant (war-substantive major), and was promoted to the substantive rank of major on 1 January 1949.[8] He continued in the Territorial Army, retiring on 20 September 1958 as an honorary lieutenant-colonel.[9]

See : WO208/3312-1075


  1. ^ "Ian Garrow". conscript-heroes.com. 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33607. p. 3155. 20 May 1930. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  3. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33942. p. 3456. 23 May 1933. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34405. p. 3668. 8 June 1937. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  5. ^ Long, Christopher (1984). "Secret Papers (Pat Line, Escape & Evasion in WWII France)". christopherlong.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2012. 
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36000. p. 1997. 30 April 1943. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  7. ^ Foot, M.R.D & Langley, J.M (1979). MI9 : Escape and Evasion 1939-1945. London: Book Club Associates. p. 66. ISBN 978-0316288408. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38986. p. 4054. 8 August 1950. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41501. p. 5752. 16 September 1958. Retrieved 29 April 2015.