Lieutenant-Colonel Charles HP Crawfurd

01 Jan 1907 - 13 Jul 1943

Charles Hamilton Payne Crawfurd was born in 1907 and educated at Fonthill, East Grinstead, Sussex, the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Devon, and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.

Commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1927 he saw his first service with 19 Bde Royal Artillery. He then served as part of the British Army of Rhine, Germany, 1927-1929; then as Aide de Camp to Lt Gen Sir William Thwaites, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, British Army of the Rhine, 1929.

Promoted to full Lieutenant in 1930 he went back to serve with 19 Field Bde, Royal Artillery, 1930-1934, being romoted to Captain in 1938.

Captain Crawfurd saw service in Belgium and France whilst commanding 29 Battery, 19 Field Regt Royal Artillery in support of 3 Infantry Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, of the British Expeditionary Force, 1939-1940. He was temporarily promoted to Major during April-May1940 and was evacuated from Dunkirk on Operation DYNAMO, June 1940.

He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1942 and was appointed as the Commander Royal Artillery to the 1st Airborne Division in October of that year. Here he was responsible for welding together the different independent artillery units of the ‘new’ Airborne Division, all of which had been converted from existing formations and then brought up to strength with volunteers.

In April 1943 he, along with his Headquarters, the 1st Air Landing Light Regiment, the 1st and 2nd Air Landing Anti-Tank Batteries, Royal Artillery left for North Africa. Here they trained for and planned the first major airborne operation of Britain’s Airborne Forces.

He was killed in action during Operation FUSTIAN, the parachute and glider assault on the Primosole bridge by the 1st Parachute Brigade, Sicily, 13 July 1943.

He now lies at rest in Catania War Cemetery.

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