The King's Royal Rifle Corps


Robin Farrington MC


Robin Farrington served in the 2nd Battalion KRRC in the post war years. Towards the end of 1947, after the rejection of the UN plan for the partition of Palestine, Arab gangs stepped up their attacks on Jewish settlements and their cultivated land. In February 1948 the 2nd KRRC was given the task of keeping open road and rail communication, and helping to keep law and order until the expiry of the British Mandate in May.

The KRRC motor battalion was ideally suited to south Palestine, with its open sandy country. The area was mainly Arab with scattered Jewish settlements. One of the major problems was to separate the relatively well armed Israeli patrols from the numerically superior Arab irregulars. The Jewish convoys that supplied the settlements also had to be protected.

To remain impartial the British did not provide escorts but deployed standing patrols in vulnerable areas. Occasionally these were forced to open fire to break up Arab attempts to destroy the convoy, but persuasion was used wherever possible. Besides interposing themselves between the combatants, they also recovered the wounded.

On one occasion, Farrington's platoon was escorting a troop of artillery when it was ambushed by armed Arabs intent on capturing the 5.5 inch guns. His platoon quickly dismounted from their half-tracks and beat off the attack. On another, when caught in the cross-fire, Farrington deployed his riflemen to protect an Arab village. Using a mixture of bluff and diplomacy he persuaded the Jewish commander to withdraw his armoured cars. For this action he was awarded the Military Cross.

Robin Neville Farrington was born in London on 1st July 1928. He was educated at Rugby and attended OCTU at Eaton Hall, Cheshire where he was awarded the Belt of Honour. After the army, Farrington went to Magdelene, Cambridge to study French and German. He spent some time working in insurance and then went on to work for Whitbreads. He worked his way up and became vice-chairman in 1983 retiring 10 years later to live in Wiltshire. In 1957 he married Suzanne Holman the only daughter of the actress Vivien Leigh by her first marriage. They had three sons. Robin Farrington died in 2002.


Soldiers | Regimental details




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by Stephen Luscombe