Lieutenant-Colonel Peter George Francis Young
Unit : Battalion Headquarters, 3rd Parachute Battalion
Army No. : 53743
Awards : Companion of the Bath, Commander of the British Empire.
Peter George Francis Young was born on the 15th July 1912 and educated at Winchester and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1932, his first posting was to the 1st Battalion; the former 43rd Regiment of Foot
Promoted to full Lieutenant, he served with the Royal West African Frontier Force from 1935 until 1939. He was then posted to the 2nd Battalion The Ox and Bucks Light Infantry whilst they were serving in India, returning to England in 1940, where he took up a staff appointment.
On the 3rd September 1940, he was promoted to Captain and, by 1942, to temporary Major. On the 5th March 1942, he was posted back to the 2nd Battalion, who had been converted to the gliderborne role in his absence, to take command of "B" Company. In June of that year, he became the Battalion Second-in-Command. He was posted to the 70th (Young Soldiers) Battalion, Ox and Bucks Light Infantry on the 11th February 1943 to take over as the Commanding Officer.
At some stage, between March and June 1943, he was posted to the 1st Parachute Brigade in North Africa. On the 10th July 1943, he was attached to the 3rd Parachute Battalion for Operation Husky; the invasion of Sicily, where he was taken prisoner. He remained interred at Oflag IX A/Z at Rotenburg, in Hesse, until 1944, when, having convinced his captors that he was suffering from deafness, he was repatriated. He became a General Staff Officer Grade 2 (Airborne) at the War Office, 1944-45.
He helped to form and commanded the 16th Parachute Battalion in India in 1946, and whilst there also attended the Staff College at Quetta. After this appointment he had to revert back to the rank of Major and took up the post of Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General at Divisional Headquarters, 6th Airborne Division, in Palestine during 1947 and 1948. In 1947, he was promoted to temporary Lieutenant-Colonel, and after return from Palestine he became an Instructor at the Staff College, Camberley, Surrey, from 1948 to 1950.
He was awarded an OBE in 1949 and served as General Staff Officer 1 (Operations and Training) with Allied Land Forces Central Europe, 1951-1952. He was promoted to substantive Lieutenant-Colonel in 1952 and became the Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the Suez Canal Zone, and at Osnabruck, Germany until 1955. His Regimental Sergeant Major was RSM, later Major, John Stevenson MBE DCM.
In 1955, he was promoted to full Colonel and then to temporary Brigadier when he commanded the 44th Independent Parachute Brigade (Territorial Army), 1955-1958. He was awarded the CBE in 1958. He commanded the 1st Brigade, Royal Nigeria Regiment, Northern District, Nigeria, from 1958 until 1961. He was Brigadier Q (Equipment), War Office, 1961-1962 and then promoted to Major-General in 1962. He took over as General Officer Commanding, Cyprus District, 1962-1964 and made a Companion of the Bath in 1965. At the original ceasefire in 1964, Young drew a line on a map with a blunt green chinagraph pencil identifying the truce line between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. It became known internationally as the Green Line. His final post was Director of Infantry, Ministry of Defence, 1965-1967.
He retired 21st January 1968 and became the Chairman of the 43rd and 52nd Old Comrades Association. He married Patricia FitzGerald in 1949 and had two children, Susan Elizabeth (1951) and James Peter Gerald (1954). He lived in Pewsey, Wiltshire and died 4th November 1976.
My thanks to Bob Hilton for this account.
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