Brigadier George Rowland Patrick Roupell VC CB DL 1954 - 1959

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 1915.

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 Russians.

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 contingent.

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 in 1956.

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.

© The Queen's Royal Surrey Regimental Association.