John Robertson

Staff member
Roger Vivian
  • UNIT
D Squadron (C.O.)
  • RANK
Mention in Despatches
Borneo 1965
parent unit Devonshire and Dorsetshire Regiment (1949)
born 22.03.1929
father Vivian Woodiwiss (occupation underwriter, served WWI Indian Army Reserve of Officers)
educated Ardingly, boarding school, West Sussex
took over 17 Troop, D Squadron from Captain Stuart Perry
1957 rejoined 1 Dorset
married Peggy Parkes-Davis
3 daughters (Rebecca, Belinda & Lucy)
1958 returned 22 SAS in Malaya
exchange US Special Forces
other service England, Germany, Aden & Borneo
1976 retired age 47
awarded MBE
joined Sultan of Oman's forces
Royal Army of Oman finance department
1999 retired to Oxfordshire
died 12.03.2022 (Aged 92)
London Gazette 43837, 10th December 1965, Page 11680 (MiD)


MBE : Major Woodiwiss has now retired from the Service. He has successfully commanded infantry companies and Special Air Service squadrons in operations and activities all over the world. Having served as his battalion's second-in-command he was posted, to 22nd Special Air Service Regiment as Operations Officer, his final and most challenging appointment.

As operations officer he is responsible for the military preparation, the political direction and the financial implications of Special Air Service Squadrons and teams throughout the world. Few, if any, previous operations officers have had the responsibility for controlling such a breadth of activities so widely spread territorially and in scope. On occasions he has been responsible for the control of two squadrons on active service and the operations of three teams, all at the same time, all in different countries, and often in different continents. The effect of a mistake on his part, particularly in the execution of diplomatic tasks could have had serious international repercussions.

In the North Atlantic Treaty Organization field too, great strides have been made during this officer's tour in the planning and in the command and control for Special Air Service operations throughout Supreme Allied Commander Europe's area of responsibility. Much of this is due to this officer's industry and drive and to the cordial personal relationships he has established with the international officers he has met during his many visits to the various North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters.

At home he has been deeply involved in a classified operation involving close liaison with the Home Office and police forces throughout the country. On numerous occasions he has been the prime mover in the organization und running of two day study periods attended by hundreds of senior police and military officers and senior civil servants.

Besides all this, most of it concurrent, he has had his routing duties to perform which include preparations for the visits of the many Members of Parliament, senior military officers and civilians of high rank to the Regiment.

All who met Major Woodiwiss remark on his pleasant personality and his natural diplomacy. Few know the hours of dedicated work he puts in to ensure that his responsibilities, far beyond what it is reasonable to expect one man to perform, are executed with such perfection. This officer's diligence, integrity and loyalty, and his enthusiasm for his work serve as an inspiration to all who know him.

Date of Action : 17 December 1972 to August 1976
How Employed : Operations Officer 22 SAS Regiment


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