Lieutenant-Colonel Francis Morgan MC

Francis Morgan won his Military Cross at the Battle of Cloppenburg, southwest of Bremen in 1945. He was a major attached to the 7th Battalion the Hampshires, in command of the leading company. He was ordered to secure a bridgehead across a stream which ran through the centre of town. On the outskirts of Cloppenburg they quickly overcame an enemy post covering the main road and advanced to the stream. There the leading platoon was held up by machine-gun, bazooka and small arms fire. It was essential to clear the houses overlooking the point where the engineers needed to build a Bailey bridge. The Germans were too close to call down artillery fire so he sent a platoon across under cover of smoke and provided as much covering fire as possible. This worked well and the enemy pulled back so that the axis of advance was cleared. The citation stated that his determination to reach his company's objective, his coolness in action and complete disregard for enemy fire were an inspiration to all.

Francis de Riemer Morgan was born in Oxford on 30th March 1921, the son of Major-General Harold Morgan DSO. He was educated at Harrow and went to Sandhurst before being commissioned into his father's regiment, the Buffs. At first he was on anti-aircraft batteries on the south coast then he went with the 7th Hampshires across to Normandy on D-Day+6 and was involved in bitter fighting round Caen. The rest of the War was a hard slog across northwest Europe.

After the War he served with the Royal West Africa Frontier Force in the Gold Coast before joining the 1st Battalion The Buffs in Hong Kong, then Khartoum. He was also in India and Malaya in 1954 before returning to England to command the depot at Howe Barracks at Canterbury. He was then second in command of the 1st battalion in Aden and BAOR. He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in 1962 and posted to Gibraltar to command a battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. He was on the staff at the MoD and then sent to QMG HQ Wales in Brecon. He remained there and retired from the army in 1971. For the next 14 years he stayed at the Military Secretary's department as a retired officer. He was married in 1951 to Elined Raikes, daughter of Major-General Sir Geoffrey Raikes and they had a son and two daughters. Lieutenant-Colonel Morgan died on 30th October 2005 at the age of 84.

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by Stephen Luscombe