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Major (Temporary Colonel) Guy Eliot de Pass, DSO, OBE was an English officer of the British Army who served in both world wars

He was born on 30 October 1898, the youngest son of John Jacob and Ada Kate de Pass, and a cousin of Frank Alexander de Pass, the first Jewish recipient of the Victoria Cross. Educated at St Andrews and Eton, de Pass was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards on 27 October 1916. He afterwards joined the regiment on the Western Front.[1]

Although a cavalry regiment, the 4th Dragoon Guards, like others, often relinquished their horses in favour of a dismounted role. When Germany launched its Spring Offensive in March 1918, de Pass' regiment was in the Somme area. Over a period of three days, he was heavily engaged in the Allied defence, and assisted in the capture of a village and the holding of a crossroads under sustained attack. His actions reputedly elicited a recommendation for the Victoria Cross, but de Pass was instead awarded the Distinguished Service Order.[2] He had also been mentioned in dispatches. The DSO citation, published in the London Gazette on 26 July 1918, reads:

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on many occasions during lengthy operations, notably carrying out a most difficult and valuable reconnaissance, and when in command of an advance troop establishing posts in a position abandoned earlier by our troops, rallying stragglers, and with, them and his own men engaging the advancing enemy, thus enabling a counter-attack. to develop, being subjected the whole time to severe artillery and machine-gun fire. His one desire has been to engage the enemy, and by his courage and skill he has invariably been able to do so with success.'[3]

After the war ended, de Pass served with the British Army on the Rhine and in Ireland. In the 1920s, his father pressured him into pursuing a career in the stock exchange, and he joined E.S. Marcus as a partner.[1][2] He remained in the army, however, albeit as a territorial officer in the 4th Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He married in 1925, to Winnifred Dorothy Featherstonehaugh, with whom he would have three daughters.

During the Second World War, de Pass occupied a number of staff appointments, and in 1940 became second-in-command of the 4th Ox & Bucks. In 1943, he was installed as the Deputy Director of Labour 2nd Army, in which capacity he served in North-West Europe until the end of the war.[4][2] He died on 16 August 1985.

NotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Old Public School Boy's Who's Who, p. 224.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Times (62224), p. 12: "Colonel Guy de Pass". 23 August 1985.
  3. The London Gazette (308113), p. 8744. 26 July 1918, thegazette.co.uk. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  4. de PASS, Col Guy Eliot’, Who Was Who, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 1920–2015; online edn, Oxford University Press, 2014 ; online edn, April 2014 accessed 2 Sept 2015

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