PARAS Bookless, Archibald John (Archie)

John Robertson

Staff member
Archibald John (Archie)
  • UNIT
8 Bn (HQ - Adjutant)
  • RANK
Military Cross
Germany 1945
born 08.06.1917 Ningpo, China
educated Loretto School, Edinburgh
03.1940 Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
07.1943 Parachute Regiment
8th Parachute Battalion
postwar chartered accountant then tractor importing Calcutta
1954 emigrated to Canada, chartered insurance underwriter
died 29.10.2006
OBITUARY MAJOR ARCHIBALD "ARCHIE" JOHN BOOKLESS MC, CA. June 8, 1917 - October 29, 2006 Passed away peacefully, in Ottawa on October 29, 2006 in his ninetieth year. He is survived by his wife of 54 years Catherine Teresa Glancey, four children - Christopher (Whitehorse, YT), Madeleine (Charlbury, Oxon, UK), Catherine (Ottawa, ON), Caroline (Ottawa, ON), and five grandchildren - Richard and James Wheare, Alexandra and Eric Bookless and Thea Gaudet. Dear uncle of John and Sheila Marchant of Norfolk, England and Archie Marchant of Edinburgh, Scotland.


Major Bookless began the campaign in NW EUROPE as adjutant of the Bn when it dropped on June 6th 1944 in Normandy. Within a month he had been promoted a major and put in charge of a coy. During the trying weeks sitting in the Bois de Bavent in a defensive position covering the right flank of the British sector his cheerfulness and disregard of enemy fire did much to sustain and encourage the men under his command. On Aug 17th the Bn began its move leading the Division across the R Dives. Maj Bookless commanded the leading company, with great dash and enthusiasm and with complete disregard for the possible danger ahead he made a breakthrough of eight miles, thus ensuring the success of the Brigade. In the subsequent actions on the advance to the Seine his leadership and fearlessness were beyond praise.

In the German breakthrough in the Ardennes he was 2i/c and for a time commanded the Battalion. In the difficult days in January his endurance was an example to all under his command.

Finally he took part in the Parachute operation of the Rhine in March 1945, and from the time he dropped as a pathfinder for the Brigade to the day that the Bn reached the Baltic his command of his company was at all times outstanding and contributed greatly to the success of the operation.

In all actions in Normandy, the Ardennes, in Holland, and in Germany Maj Bookless’ courage and leadership have been of a very high order.


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