Major Larry Dubery, September 1943

Major Francis Reginald Adrian Dubery


Unit : Headquarters, 3rd Parachute Brigade

Army No. : 121577

Awards : Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Territorial Efficiency Decoration, Mentioned in Despatches


"Larry" Dubery was granted an emergency commission into the Royal Leicestershire Regiment on the 18th October 1940, serving in the 1st/5th Battalion of the 148th (Independent) Infantry Brigade Group. In July 1942, when the Brigade was being reorganised as a training unit, Dubery took up the post of Adjutant in "C" Wing, No.148 pre-O.C.T.U. Training Establishment. He later volunteered for the Airborne Forces and became Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General of the Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment, based at Old Sarum, near Salisbury. Dubery was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant (War Substantive Captain) on the 22nd June 1943, and during the same month was attached to the 591st Parachute Squadron to undergo parachute training. Attending course 69B, running from the 21st June to 1st July, his instructor commented, "Morale first class. Performance average."


Towards the end of 1944, Major Dubery was posted to the 3rd Parachute Brigade as Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General, and participated in the Rhine Crossing on the 24th March 1945. On the 8th November 1945, it was announced that he had been Mentioned in Despatches. Staying in the Army after the war, Dubery was granted the rank of Acting Major on the 22nd June 1947, and the full rank of Major on the 9th July 1954. From May 1947 to June 1956, he served as Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General of the 44th (TA) Parachute Brigade. On the 1st January 1951, he was made an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours List:


During the 1939-45 War, Major Dubery was Adjutant of a battalion, Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General Airborne Forces Depot and Development Centre and later Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General 3rd Parachute Brigade. The latter appointment he held in France, at the Airborne operations during the Rhine Crossing in March 1945, and during the subsequent advance of 6th Airborne Division to the Baltic.


In May 1947, when the Territorial Army was reconstituted Major Dubery immediately offered his services and was appointed Deputy Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General 4th (now 44th) Parachute Brigade in that month.


Since that time his work in the Brigade has been of outstanding merit.


His wartime experience, and his considerable technical knowledge of airborne matters has been of tremendous assistance in the training of all ranks of the Brigade. His real and infectious enthusiasm for all aspects of service in the Territorial Army has been an inspiration and example throughout the Brigade.


It has been largely due to his energy, resource and initiative that four successive annual camps attended by the Brigade have been smoothly, and successfully administered from start to finish.


These achievements, the fruit of much hard work, are more remarkable when it is realised that Major Dubery has held, since demobilization, important posts in a large engineering works. He is now managing director and is constantly compelled to travel all over the British Isles.


Despite all these calls on his time, no one has been a more regular attender on parades and weekend training than Major Dubery and few have done more for his Brigade and for the Territorial Army as a whole.


On the 8th September 1953, it was announced in the London Gazette that Major Dubery had been awarded the Territorial Efficiency Decoration, and was later awarded a 1st Clasp to the Decoration on the 9th July 1957. He retired from the Territorial Army on the 1st October of that year. Major "Larry" Dubery died on the 29th June 1974. The following obituary appeared in the Pegasus Journal in January 1975:


"Larry" Dubery, as he was usually called, was the Administrative Wizard of 3rd Parachute Brigade. Memories are personal ones, but in action or on training exercises, at the darkest hour, one arrived at an unseen, probably vague, and unlikely R V, to be met by Larry. Shielded torch in hand to identify, he was inevitably there to greet, explain and help set in hand the administrative refuelling of men and equipment. If he had not been superb at his job, he would not have been there.


Always friendly and helpful in times of stress, as well as in relaxed periods, my own memory is still of the inevitable figure behind the torch at the end of a long, long night.


After the war came the T.A. and more exercises and long nights. On Brigade exercises the end was the same - Larry Dubery, with his torch.


By: Alan Forster. 3 Parachute Sqn, R.E. (and 301 Para Sqn, RE (T.A.))



My thanks to Bob Hilton for this account.


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