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Colonel E G Woodman, MC

(The Queen's Own Buffs)

Colonel E G Woodman, MC.

Commanded 1st Bn The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment from May 1963 to November 1965.

Eric George Woodman was born on 17th January 1921. He served in the ranks for 1 year and 231 days (Mobilised TA). He was granted an Emergency Commission in April 1941 and served with The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1946. On 31st August 1946 he was granted a Regular Commission in that Regiment. From June 1950 to January 1951 he was adjutant of 7 th Bn The Parachute Regiment (TA). From May 1952 to August 1954 he was GSO II (Inf) HQ BAOR. From October 1956 to November 1959 he was specially employed with Military Forces in Malaya. As a result of amalgamation he joined The Queen's Own Buffs on 1st March 1961. He commanded 1st Bn The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment from May 1963 to November 1965. After this he was appointed GSO I BAS Washington DC from December 1965 to December 1966. From January 1967 onwards he held various staff appointments as a Colonel GS. He was a graduate of the Staff College and the Joint Services Staff College. He retired from the Army on 1st October 1975.

Military Cross Citation for Capt. Eric George Woodman


5th Parachute Brigade,
6th Airbourne Division
7th Bn. (LI) The Parachute Regt

For outstanding leadership and gallantry in action from 6 June 44 to 8 May 45. During this period he made two operational parachute descents behind German lines and was in the forefront of practically every action fought by the battalion during this period. His contribution to the battalion’s efforts over this prolonged period has been beyond all praise. He performed countless acts all worthy of the highest praise. Three, typical ones are cited.

During the difficult period of holding, which followed the Normandy drop on 6 Jun. 44 Capt. Woodman was commanding a coy; his splendid example and cheerfulness under any circumstances acted as a tonic to his men. His own gallantry under fire inspired them. At the end of this period he was the only officer left in the coy but the morale off his men was, if possible, even higher than it had been at the beginning.

In August 1944, during the follow-up, he led an extremely successful coy patrol action which was a model of what such action should be. His personal gallantry during this was again outstanding.

<>On 7/8 April 1945, the coy of which he was 2 IC, made the assault on the bridge at NEUSTADT. Woodman led the assault troops himself and kicked at the explosive charge as he passed them and succeeded in severing some of the fuses. The bridge was blown as the troops were crossing, and heavy casualties were suffered. Woodman, with a dozen men only and himself wounded, managed not only to rout the enemy garrison, but also to hold a small but most valuable bridgehead until reinforcements could be got over to him the following morning. He also managed to organise first aid for his many serious casualties even though no medical orderlies had crossed the bridge in his party.

He was eventually evacuated with his own wounds but returned to the battalion within three weeks and took up his appointment again.

 

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