Soldiers of the Regiment
Major Gordon Hinshelwood Duxbury, joined the 1st Battalion, King's
Own Royal Regiment just before the battalion moved to Cyprus in 1942.
He was killed in action on the Greek Island of Leros on 14th November
An Officer of the Battalion states "Major Duxbury had gone forward alone
and personally grenaded two enemy machine gun posts, but was mortally
wounded when going onto deal with a third post." Buried Leros War
Cemetery. Attached to Lancashire Fusiliers. Son of Percival and Florence
Annie Duxbury, of Headington, Oxford.
This letter from the Reverend E P Johnson, CF, was sent to the Parents
of Major Duxbury
Rev E P Johnson, CF
Attached 10th Black Watch
March 20th 1944
Dear Mr and Mrs Duxbury,
When I arrived in this Country some six weeks ago from Leros I wrote to
the authorities, asking them for your name and address, amongst many
others, but so far I have received no reply to my request. However I met
here on Saturday last a Mr and Mrs Pank, who apparently knew Gordon very
well, and they gave me your address.
First of all let me express my very sincere and deep sympathy with you
in your great loss. Gordon was killed instantly by a grenade, when
leading in an attack on a German machine-gun post. It must have been
think, on the night No 13-14. Another officer, Lieutenant D B Steward* –
was also killed in fact only one officer of our grand ‘B’ Company has
survived. They had a bad time but I was told, though I knew it without
being told, that Gordon was magnificent. He fought like a tiger and was
a tremendous inspiration to his men.
He was buried by another Chaplain, who covered that area of the
battle-field, more or less on the spot where he died. It was known to us
as ‘Searchlight Hill’ and lies to the South West corner of the island a
rocky mountainous area. A simple wooden cross marks his grave.
I had served with the 1st King’s Own for 14 months and consequently knew
Gordon extremely well. I come from Lancashire myself so that we knew
several mutual acquaintances, particularly in the Rugger world. We both
used to spend most of our leisure time in the Mess, comparing notes
about the Country, and discussing the problems of peace.
Occasionally he used to read the lessons for us at our Church Services.
He was a fine noble character – liked by everyone from the Colonel
downwards – and I pray that it will be of some consolation to you to
know that his life was as gallantly offered as anyone’s ever has been.
Such men have made our Country great and will never die.
May God bless you both and his daughter in your sorrow,
Yours very sincerely
E P Johnson
*Lieutenant Derek Basil Steward, Worcester Regiment, attached to the
1st Battalion, King's Own Royal Regiment, killed in action on Leros 14th
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