Malvern College Second World War Casualty

Major Ian Basil Aird D.S.O.

House and time at Malvern: 4, 1920 - 1923.

Regiment: 4th C.L.Y..
Died: 17 December 1944 aged 39 in Holland. Died as result of an accident.
Cemetery: Woolton Hill (St. Thomas) Churchyard South of church. Sec. 3. Row A. Grave 38.

Son of Malcolm N. Aird and Nellie M. Aird, of Woolton House, Newbury, Berkshire
Senior Chapel Prefect. Cricket XI. Rackets Pair. Ledbury Cap.
Christ Church, Oxford.
In business with Thomas De La Rue & Co.
3rd/4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters).
Royal Armoured Corps.

The following personal tribute is taken from The Times:- The death of Major I. B. Aird, D.S.O., came as a sad shock to the innumerable friends he had made in the Army. He joined the 4th C.L.Y. (County of London Yeomanry) before the war and had served continuously with the regiment throughout the Desert Campaign, Italy, Normandy, and up to the time of the accident which caused his death. Throughout this time, "Ibi's" only thought was for the regiment and for the well-being of the men in the regiment. By modern standards well over the age for active tank fighting, on two occasions he refused the offer of a less strenuous and hazardous job; and although he well realized that the strain of three years of continuous fighting were having their effect on him, he preferred to stay with the regiment and men he had fought with for so many years. In "Ibi" the C.L.Y. lose a perfect type of regimental officer - absolutely selfless, untiring in his efforts on behalf of others, utterly loyal and completely fearless in battle; with all an acute sense of humour and enjoyment of the simple things of life which made him the vast number of friends who feel that his death will leave a gap impossible to fill.

'On 13 June 1944, Major Aird commanded a squadron of 4 SHARPSHOOTERS when this Regt captured Villers Bocage, map ref 817578. Regt HQ and one Sqn suffered extremely heavy casualties and Major Aird assumed command. The enemy counter attacked and Mark VI tanks entered the town together with infantry. This situation called for the very highest display of leadership, resourcefulness and cool judgment. These qualities were not lacking in Maj Aird and the skill with which he fought his command resulted not only in the destruction of nearly every enemy tank that entered the town but also in the successful defence of the position in cooperation with our infantry. Subsequently when ordered to re-join the Bde this officer covered the withdrawal of the infantry and brought his command out almost without loss.
It is not possible to exaggerate the excellence of Maj Airdís leadership nor to over-estimate the influence which he personally exercised on this most important operation.
I recommend him for the immediate award of the DSO.
(Signed Brig Wrn Hinde, Comd 22 Armd Bde)'
DSO Citation WO-373_48_11