Lionel Trueman MM 


Lionel Trueman won the Military Medal for his bravery in the attack led by Captain Walter Hall through Rifle Wood, west of Domart-sur-Luce. The dismounted 20th Hussars had to cross a stream, negotiate a sunken lane, taking many casualties, and then rush their objective which involved fierce hand-to-hand fighting. The attack was successful and was described by General Rawlinson as 'a brilliant achievement'. "I fear they suffered heavily, but their victory has been invaluable at this critical stage." In 1920 Trueman took part in the last charge made by a British Army cavalry regiment. This was a charge by the 20th Hussars on a regimental scale and was made with swords extended at full gallop against Turks. It was another brilliant success for the 20th.

Lionel Edgar Trueman was born at Marlborough on 28 Feb 1895. His father worked at the Manton Racing stables in Wiltshire and Lionel spent his early years there. In 1912 he enlisted in the Rifle Brigade at Andover and a year later transferred to the 20th Hussars. When the regiment went to France in WW1 he at first remained at Colchester as a riding instructor but went out to the front in 1917. After winning his MM he was recommended for a commission and sent back to England for an officer's course but the Armistice put paid to that. He rejoined his regiment in Egypt and went with them to Turkey where the charge took place. They were part of the Black Sea Army but returned to the UK soon after. He attended a cavalry course at Netheravon and was awarded the Distinguished Certificate. They kept him on as an instructor.

A new school of army equitation was opened at Weedon in 1922 and Trueman was appointed Staff Sergeant Major (Riding Instructor) but when the 14th and 20th amalgamated Trueman joined the new 14th/20th Hussars. He represented them at the Royal Tournment and in 1927 was Champion Man at Arms. He also won numerous trophies throughout the country. In 1931 he was with the regiment first in Egypt then in India where they were posted to Risalpur in NW Frontier province.

In 1937 he received a regular commission and was posted to an Indian cavalry regiment, the 20th Lancers. In WW2 he was appointed DAQMG of a brigade in Burma, in 1942, but because of enemy action he was unable to take up the post. Instead he was promoted to major and posted to the Indian Armoured Corps training centre at Babina. In 1946 he was a lieutenant-colonel and was posted as chief instructor at Ahmednagar. He was appointed MBE and retired 2 years later. In 1951 he took up a retired officer's appointment as camp commandant at Blacon Camp, Colchester, and 5 years later retired to Mersyside. At the age of 62 Lionel 'Bunny' Trueman took up archery and formed three clubs, teaching beginners and handicapped patients at a local hospital. His was described as cheerful and friendly, always concerned about putting pupils at their ease.  He was married twice. To Lillian Young in 1919, with whom he had a daughter, and in 1956, to Marcia Humphreys. He died in August 1994 and his obituary was published in the Daily Telegraph from which this picture and information was taken. The photo shows him as a sergeant of the 20th Hussars in WW1 khaki service dress. http://www.britishempire.co.uk/forces/.htm


Regimental Details | Soldiers




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by Stephen Luscombe