SAS Walker-Brown, Robert

John Robertson

Staff member
Robert (Bob)
  • UNIT
2 SAS (3 Squadron)
  • RANK
Captain (T/Major)
Distinguished Service Order
Italy 1944-45 (Op.Gallia)
parent unit Army Air Corps
born 9.4.1919
Royal Engineers (T.A.) (2Lt) 1939
2 Bn Highland Light Infantry 1941
WIA and POW June 1942 North Africa
escaped from POW camp, Italy September 1943
award M.B.E. (for escaping)
instructor, Infantry Training Centre, Aberdeen 1944
2 SAS (1,C and 3 Squadrons) 1944-45 (Lt - Maj
Highland Light Infantry 1946
22 SAS 1950s (served Malaya and rose to 2IC)
23 SAS (C.O.) 1961-63 (Lt Col)
Defence Intelligence Staff, MOD 1963-64
retired 1964
Saudi-Arabian Advisory Mission to the Iman of Yemen mid 1960s
retired to Wiltshire
married Leonie Hossack (deceased)
married Helen Leeming 1996 (no children)
died 16.8.2009
cremated Wiltshire


Member of the Order of the British Empire (Non-SAS) : 74210 T/Capt. R. WALKER-BROWN, 2 H.L.I. 5th Ind.Div.

Wounded and captured at BIR EL TAMAR on 5 Jun 42 by German forces. Taken to BARCE and transferred to Italian hands. Sent to the military hospital at LUCCA, where he remained for three months, and thereafter imprisoned at Саmро 21 (CHIETI). Here he was one of the leaders of a party which began tunnelling in April 43. When the Germans started evacuating the camp, which they took over after the Armistice, Capt. WALKER-BROWN and other officers hid in the tunnel and escaped after the Germans had left. They made their way south and contacted a British unit on 5 Oct. 43.

Distinguished Service Order : On 27th December 1944 Captain WALKER BROWN and thirty all ranks were dropped by parachute in the APPENINES about one hundred miles behind the enemy lines in the area NORTH of LA SPEZIA, Immediately, he began offensive activities against enemy lines a of communication running through his area. Although handicapped by deep snow and very rugged terrain, he marched his men over the mountains, attacking enemy transport columns, mortaring enemy held villages, mining roads and ambushing marching columns, until the enemy was compelled to deploy a total of ten thousand troops in a drive through his area to eliminate this nuisance. Captain WALKER BROWN succeeded in avoiding the enemy net and in preserving his force intact by a display of unparalleled guerilla skill and personal courage. After the enemy drive was over, he renewed his attacks with undiminished vigour.

In addition to being responsible for the whole of the operation, on 30 Dec 44 whilst commanding an ambush on enemy vehicles travelling along the GENOA-SPEZIA road, he personally accounted for four of the enemy. On 4 Jan 45, despite enemy patrols on the same road, he successfully laid a mine on which a truck was destroyed, 12 GERMANS killed and 8 wounded. In attacks personally led by him a total of 60 GERMANS were killed or wounded.

During two months behind the lines WALKER BROWN's force destroyed twenty-three enemy vehicles, carried out two heavy mortar attack on enemy billets and machine-gunned at short range two large columns of marching troops. This magnificent record would not have been possible in the mountains in winter if WALKER BROWN had not led his men with such vigour, enterprise, and complete disregard for personal safety.

When ordered to withdraw, WALKER BROWN successfully exfiltrated his party intact through the enemy lines to safety. It is considered that his activities were perfect examples of how guerilla operations of this sort should be carried out.

WEB LINKS: (IWM Interview)

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