George Roupell, born in 1892, he was commissioned into The East
Surrey Regiment in 1912. His father had served in The 70th Regiment.
On active service in France he won his Victoria Cross in a very
gallant defensive action at Hill 60 with 2nd Lieutenant (later Major)
B H Geary and Private (later Corporal) E Dwyer, on 20th/21st April
During 1918 he was attached to the British Expeditionary Force under
the Command of General Edmund Ironside, which was sent to North
Russia to strengthen the Allied Forces in support of the Tsarist
During a visit to one of the Tsarist regiments they mutinied, and
he, and other soldiers were taken prisoner near Archangel and sent
to Moscow.They were eventually repatriated in 1920.
Between the wars he served in Gibraltar, the Depot, India and the
Sudan as well as holding several staff appointments. Lt Col Roupell
commanded the 1st Bn from 1935 until July 1939. He had commanded
the battalion during the First World War. His father commanded the
battalion from 1895-1899.
He was promoted Brigadier and was commanding 36th Infantry Brigade
of 12th Division near Amiens when on 20th May 1940 German armour
overran his Brigade Headquarters. Brigadier Roupell ordered the
survivors to split up into small parties and endeavour to join the
first British unit they could find. He, together with his Staff
Captain and a French interpreter, set off, and for a month, lying
up by day and walking at night, finally arrived at a farm near Rouen
where the interpreter left them. For two years the two officers
worked as labourers on the farm until they were taken first into
unoccupied France and then into Spain by the French Resistance.
Ultimately they reached Gibraltar and were brought home by ship.
On return to the United Kingdom, Brigadier Roupell was appointed
Garrison Commander at Chatham, his last appointment before retiring
from the Army. At the Queen’s Coronation he led the Home Guard
In addition to his Victoria Cross he was awarded the Russian Order
of St George and the French Croix de Guerre. He was Mentioned in
Despatches. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath
He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Surrey in 1953. He was the
last Colonel of The East Surrey Regiment holding office in 1959
when amalgamation with The Queen’s Royal Regiment took place
to form The Queen’s Royal Surrey Regiment. He died on 4th
March 1974, aged eighty-two years.