Craig Robertson

Staff member
Norman Hastings
  • UNIT
Royal Marines (27 Battalion Royal Marines + 45 Commando)
  • RANK
Captain (MiD, DSO), Lieutenant Colonel (DSO Bar), Major General (CB)
Mention in Despatches x 2, Distinguished Service Order + Bar, Companion of the Order of the Bath, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
service with 21st Army Group (MiD), North West Europe (DSO), Cyprus (DSO Bar), Near East 1956 (MiD), 1964 (CB), 1966 (KCB)
born 12.12.1914, Newbridge, County Kildare, Ireland
1933 commissioned into Royal Marines
1941 married June (nee Southby) (died 1971)
1943 commander HMS Robertson
Executive Officer HMS St. Mathew
1945 commanded 27th Battalion Royal Marines
1954 commanding officer 45 Commando
1957 commander of the Royal Marines Barracks at Plymouth
1958 Chief of Staff to the Amphibious Warfare Representative, Washington D.C.
1960 Commander 3 Commando Brigade
1962 Commander Plymouth Group of the Royal Marines
1963 CB
1966 KCB
1965-1968 Commandant General Royal Marines
1968 retired
1972-1980 Captain of Deal Castle
son Ewen Southby-Tailyour (also listed 3 CDO awards)
died 28.12.1979, Ashford, Kent, England
London Gazette 37251, 31st August 1945, Page 4439 (MiD)
London Gazette 37464, 8th February 1946, Page 909 (DSO)
London Gazette 40987, 25th January 1957, Page 653 (DSO Bar)
London Gazette 41092, 4th June 1957, Page 3418 (MiD)
London Gazette 43200, 31st December 1963, Page 3 (CB)
London Gazette 44004, 3rd June 1966, Page 6530 (KCB)


Distinguished Service Order : Lt-Col TAILYOUR took over command of 27 RM on 8 Jan 1945 in SCOTLAND. It was then part of a Beach Bde, and was organised on the W.E. of a light battalion. Few of the officers, NCOs or men had any experience of infantry work nor had they been in action before. Six weeks later, on 26 Feb, 27 RM took over a wide sector on the R MAAS, NW of s'HERTOGENBOSCH.

That this was accomplished smoothly and efficiently was almost entirely due to the organising ability, resourcefulness and capacity for improvisation shown by Lt-Col TAILYOUR.

In action this officer has always been a splendid example to his officers and men. His cheerfulness and encouragement were such that, within a very short time, the unit had settled down to its new task and achieved a superiority over the enemy on their front which they' never lost.

Near HEUSDEN on the night of 23/24 Mar a strong fighting patrol crossed the river MAAS. When communications broke down and the patrol appeared to be in difficulties, Lt-Col TAILYOUR crossed the river which by this time was swept by the enemy's defensive fire. He joined the patrol, rapidly sized up the situation on the spot and gave orders for the completion of the task, which was successfully carried out. The patrol returned having captured a prisoner and wiped out a troublesome enemy machine gun post.

In mid-April the battalion was placed under command of 4 Canadian Armoured Division for the advance into GERMANY. On the 28th April in the KUSTEN CANAL area when the situation was confused, Lt-Col TAILYOUR personally organised patrols across the canal. His orders to the patrols were given on information gained by personal reconnaissances along the exposed canal bank carried out during daylight under aimed enemy small arms and mortar fire. The success of the patrols was such that the bridgehead over the canal was established much earlier than would otherwise have been possible. On this and many other occasions during this rapidly moving battle his presence wherever there was heavy fighting, showing complete disregard for his own safety, was an inspiration to all those under him.

This battalion's success in battle and their high standard of morale and esprit de corps are a direct result of the powers of leadership of Lt-Col TAILYOUR. At no time did he allow his standard to fall, his spirit or energy to flag; this is manifest in the quality and record of his unit.

Distinguished Service Order (Bar) : Lt Colonel TALLYOUR has commanded 45 Commando RM since December, 1954. During the period from December 1954 to September 1955 by his outstanding personal initiative drive and enthusiasm he brought 45 Commando to an exceptionally high level of efficiency and morale. In September 1955 the unit was placed at 24 hours notice to move to CYPRUS, The executive order to embark at MALTA was given to Lt Colonel TAILYOUR at 0115 hrs on 6th September, 1955. The unit was located in two separate camps, twelve and fifteen miles from the Grand Harbour. 45 Commando complete with transport and stores embarked in the Amphibious Warfare Squadron and sailed at 0830 hrs on the same day. This was an out standing achievement directly attributable to Lt Colonel TAILYOUR'S planning and drive.

On arrival in CYPRUS the unit was deployed along the North coast of the Esland. The unit area was over 100 miles in length with sub units widely dispersed in undeveloped tented camps. In less than a week the unit was operating intensively and in less than a month was dominating this vast unit area. Before leaving the area in November, 45 Commando had dispersed and demoralised the main EOKA gang operating in the KYRENIA range. I attribute this entirely to Lt Colonel TAILYOUR'S exceptional drive and sustained aggressive spirit.

In November 1955 the Commando moved to the TROODOS Range. In an exceptionally short space of time the unit was in action. The Commando maintained unceasing pressure on the EOKA mountain groups over an area which is 30 miles long and 15 miles wide. Working at first independently and later with the Parachute Brigade, major successes have been scored by 45 Commando which have had far reaching effects on the island wide activities of EOKA. Operations by the unit continue unabated, and the unit's reputation in CYPRUS is unexcelled. Their offensive spirit is a byword to BRITISH and CYPRIOTS alike.

For all of this Lt Colonel TAILYOUR is directly responsible. He is untiring in his efforts and has produced a magnificent machine under his command.

I recommend him most strongly for the award of a Bar to his DSO.

Place : Cyprus
Date of action : Dec 54 to date
How employed : Commanding Officer

WEB LINKS: (MiD) (DSO) (DSO) (DSO Bar) (DSO Bar) (MiD) (CB) (KCB)

Last edited:
By Dean Stott
3 Commando Brigade
By Ewen Southby-Tailyour