Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Napier Hubert Campbell Bray


Unit : Divisional HQ, 6th Airborne Division

Army No. : 39414

Awards : Distinguished Service Order


Lieutenant-Colonel Bobby Bray, formerly of the Duke of Wellington's Regiment, was GSO-1 (Operations) of the 6th Airborne Division, Major-General Gale's Chief of Staff. He was amongst the officers of Gale's staff who travelled to I Corps HQ in February 1944 to first receive the Division's orders for the invasion, and it was here that they came up with the broad outline for the divisional plan, which was barely altered thereafter. Lt-Colonel Bray travelled to Normandy  with the First Lift, however his glider landed six miles from LZ-N at Varaville, and as a result it was many hours before he, travelling with a officer of Divisional Signals, reached Gale's Headquarters at Le Bas de Ranville. On the way there the two men narrowly avoided injury when a stray section of the 9th Parachute Battalion accidentally opened fire on them. For his actions during the Normandy campaign, Bray was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. His citation reads:


Lieutenant-Colonel Bray was in a glider that crashed badly on landing. Though bruised and badly shaken, Lieutenant-Colonel Bray made his way to Divisional HQ. On the way he sustained further injuries owing to a fall which resulted in concussion. As soon as he recovered consciousness he continued on. Though in great pain he set to work when he arrived in a way which inspired all around him. His judgement remained calm and reliable throughout. His cheerfulness and his strong sense of discipline inspired the whole headquarters and all others who came in contact with him.


See also: Major Royle.


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