22 SAS Edwardes, John Sherrard Maxwell

Craig Robertson

Staff member
John Sherrard Maxwell
  • UNIT
22 SAS
  • RANK
Member of the Order of the British Empire
1977 Birthday Honours
parent unit Royal Highland Fusiliers
born 27.05.1926, Darjeeling
1944 commissioned Royal Marines (aged 17)
1947 joined Palestine Police
2 years assistant manager tea estate, Southern India
1950 married Teresa (nee Keene) (died 1995) (2 sons)
03.11.1951 awarded George Medal (Metropolitan Police, arrested driver of stolen car)
1952 joined 1/10th Gurka Rifles (served Malaya)
joined Royal Scots Fusiliers (served Libya, Cyprus)
1959 Company Commander in Aden (Royal Highland Fusiliers)
1961 joined 22 SAS
1963 Training Team
moved Borneo, command of "A" Squadron
1966 posted Royal Scots Regiment as Company Commander (BAOR, France, Canada & Libya)
1969 moved Jungle Warfare School Chief Instructor then deputy commandant) (served Malaya, Cambodia, Thailand & Vietnam)
1972 SAS command Training Wing
1977 retired to Isle of Wight them Cheltenham
died (Aged 77)
London Gazette 47234, 10th June 1977, Page 7086


Member of the Order of The British Empire :
Major Edwardes's lifetime of service to the Crown began in 1943 when he concealed his true age and was commissioned into the Royal Marines. Having fought through the Burma campaign he found peacetime service less to his liking and joined the Palestine Police during that country's turbulent post-war readjustments. After a further period in the Metropolitan Police when he won the George Medal, he joined the Army in 1952.

Thereafter, he sought service wherever there was action; at first with the Royal Scots and then with 1/10th Gurka Rifles in Malaya, with the Royal Scots Fusiliers in Cyprus and the Royal Highland Fusiliers in South Arabia before volunteering for the 22nd Special Air Service Regiment and operations in Borneo.

His wealth of experience throughout the world naturally led to his being selected for special duties in India and later Sarawak, followed by a very successful tour as Chief Instructor and Depurt Commander of the Jungle Warfare School in Malaysia.

He returned to the Special Air Service in 1971 and has spent his last years commanding the Regiment's Training Wing, passing on his priceless knowledge to others.

Major Edwardes is a man of immense character, a man whose zest for living and enthusiasm for his work inspire all who meet him. His reputation still remains as one of the hardest men in the Army. Time and again he has demonstrated that willpower can overcome pain, fatigue and disease. Even in his last years he frequently led troops under the most gruelling conditions to reach heights of achievement they believe to be well outside their abilities by his personal example.

He is a man of immense dedication. His own comforts and home lift have been continually subordinated to what he considers to be his duty but which would be considered well above the course of duty by most man. For years now he has sacrificed his spare time and his ease for his work.

His insistence on the highest professional standards, tempered by his warmth of humour and hospitality, have served as an inspiration and a model for every young officer and solider aspiring to join the Special Air Service. Major Edwardes is one of those stout hears the Army can ill afford to lose. His retirement has robbed the Service of one of those legendary characters who will be talked about with admiration for years to come. His many years of selfless devotion to duty more than deserve recognition.

Place : Hereford
Date Of Action : 1971-1976
How Employed : CC Training Wing

George Medal (whilst serving Metropolitan Police) : Constable Edwardes was on duty in Kensington High Street, when he saw a motor car which had been reported stolen. He signalled the driver to stop, but the car gathered speed and he jumped on to the offside running board and tried to open the door but found it locked. By this time the car was travelling very fast and was being swung from side to side in an endeavour to dislodge the Officer. The car grazed a stationary car and the Constable's left foot struck a refuge. At a junction the car was driven straight across against the traffic lights. The Constable drew his truncheon, smashed the windscreen and hit the driver on the knuckles. The car hit a refuge and the lower part of the Constable's body was struck but he managed to retain his hold until the driver suddenly braked hard and succeeded in throwing him into the road. As the car moved off he jumped on again and it finally crashed head-on into the coping and wire fencing surrounding some gardens. The force of the impact threw the Constable over the fencing, which is about six feet high, and into bushes on the other side. In spite of this fall he quickly regained his feet, climbed back over the fence, and tackled the driver before he could leave the car. A passing motorist then telephoned for assistance and the prisoner was taken to a Police Station.

Constable Edwardes showed great courage and determination.


https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/47234/supplement/7086 (MBE)
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/39534/supplement/2449 (GM)