Ian Garrow

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Ian Grant Garrow
Born(1908-08-24)24 August 1908
Died28 March 1976(1976-03-28) (aged 67)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army
Years of service1930-1958
UnitHighland Light Infantry
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsDistinguished 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 and other British personnel tried to escape to the Channel Islands, but were unable. In August, after walking to Marseilles, Garrow turned himself in to the Vichy French regime and was officially interned, although able to move freely around the city.[5]

From October 1940, Garrow began working with other British internees and agents such as Nancy Wake, to organise the escape to Britain of Allied internees, POWs and other personnel stranded in France.

They were joined by Albert Guérisse in June 1941, whose nom de guerre of "Pat O'Leary" also became the name of a network ferrying Allied personnel out of France, the "Pat Line".

Garrow was arrested by Vichy 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 Line and sheltered with Marie Dissard (code name Françoise) in Toulouse, before being 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. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  2. ^ "No. 33607". The London Gazette. 20 May 1930. p. 3155.
  3. ^ "No. 33942". The London Gazette. 23 May 1933. p. 3456.
  4. ^ "No. 34405". The London Gazette. 8 June 1937. p. 3668.
  5. ^ Long, Christopher (1984). "Secret Papers (Pat Line, Escape & Evasion in WWII France)". christopherlong.co.uk. Retrieved 5 April 2012.
  6. ^ "No. 36000". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 April 1943. p. 1997.
  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. ^ "No. 38986". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 August 1950. p. 4054.
  9. ^ "No. 41501". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 September 1958. p. 5752.