Obituary: Brigadier Gerald Thubron

Gerald Ernest Thubron, soldier, born London 13 July 1903, OBE 1944, DSO 1945, married 1931 Eve Dryden (one son, one adopted daughter; and one daughter deceased), died Piltdown Sussex 6 September 1992.

GERALD THUBRON fought with distinction through some of the fiercest campaigns of the Second World War. A man of courage and modesty, he projected a rare blend of dignity and humour. His quick, irreverent wit, together with his looks - he stood some 6ft 5in, and was strikingly handsome - were instantly memorable.

Born in 1903, he was educated at Lancing and Sandhurst, and was commissioned in the North Staffordshire Regiment in 1924. He served in India, almost until the outbreak of the war. In 1942, he became senior General Staff Officer with the First British Infantry Division, and battled through the gruelling Tunisian campaign, in which the division's capture of the Jebel Bou Akouz heights, the last German stronghold in the central Tunisian front, opened the way to the destruction of the Axis forces in North Africa. In January 1944 he was General Staff Officer when his division spearheaded the Allied landing at Anzio, in an attempt to break the deadlock before Cassino to the south. For weeks the division defied the superior weight of German armour, with its back to the sea, before breaking out of the enemy stranglehold in the last days of May. Thubron was awarded a Mention in Dispatches.

During the ensuing Italian campaign he took command of the 2nd Battalion, the North Staffordshires, winning the DSO. He fought at the capture and defence of Florence, and northwards through the difficult terrain along 'Arrow Route', where he narrowly escaped death; and he ended the war as a brigade commander in North Italy and Austria. In peacetime he was appointed Commandant of the Senior Officers' School for two years, then Senior Army Liaison Officer in Canada. His final post before retiring in 1956 was as Deputy Director of Military Training at the War Office.

For all his sociability, he was a man of innate independence, whose deepest devotion was to his family. In 1931 he married Eve Dryden - collateral descendant of the poet John Dryden - and they remained devoted for 61 years. She bore him two children, of whom his daughter Carol sadly predeceased him at the age of 21. The end of his long life was dogged by ill-health, which he endured with stoical humour, nursed and cherished by his wife, who survives him. He also leaves behind his son, the writer Colin Thubron - and an adopted daughter, Sarah - and a memory of supreme steadfastness and dignity.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

HR Assistant / Human Resources Assistant

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: An HR Assistant / Human Resources Ass...

Talent Community Coordinator

£Neg + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: A Talent Community Coordinator is nee...

Business Support - Banking - Halifax - £250 pd

£150 - £250 per day: Orgtel: HR Analyst - Banking - HR - Halifax - £150 - £250...

Geography Teacher

£24000 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game