GRAY, Thomas Malcolm (Lt Col)

Rank: 
Lieutenant Colonel
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Marines
Service: 
Royal Navy
Born: 
Tuesday, September 16, 1913
Died : 
Wednesday, July 20, 1960
Died in service
Age: 
46
Post WW2 and now with the rank of Colonel, Thomas Malcolm Gray DSO, MC, died whilst serving at HMS President.
 
In World War Two he was Commanding Officer of 41RM Commando on D Day and later Commanding Officer of 46RM Commando during the River Rhine crossing. He was awarded the MC whilst  Captain (Acting Lieutenant-Colonel) of 41RM Commando.
 

Citation for the MC

At Lion sur Mer on the 6th of June, from the moment of landing under heavy and accurate mortar and shell fire, Lieut. Colonel Gray showed a complete and utter disregard for his own safety. His coolness, cheerfulness and personal bravery were an inspiration to all. On the first morning he was slightly wounded on two occasions and insisted on continuing. His example contributed enormously to the success of the Commando task.
​[Source: London Gazettes Supp. 36676, page 4008 and National Archives WO/373/47/2.]
 
Lieutenant-Colonel Gray was further wounded and had to be evacuated on the morning of the 7th June. After recovering from his wounds he returned to command 46RM Commando.
 
He was awarded the DSO for for his action during operations at the River Rhine crossing and into Wesel.
 

Citation

On 23rd-24th March 1945 Lieutenant Colonel Gray was in command of 46 (Royal Marine) Commando which captured the original bridgehead over the River Rhine. He attacked across the river in Buffaloes and fought his way inland with unparalleled determination and skill. His men captured two large groups of houses killing over thirty enemy and capturing eighty three enemy in the first ten minutes of the operation. This was only made possible by the speed and dash of this fearless advance where a number of key personnel were lost. Lieutenant Colonel Gray never allowed the impetus to slacken despite every enemy opposition, and his dauntless courage and sure progress made the brigade task possible. He was in every way an inspiration and example to the men under his command. He was continually under fire from small arms fire from the Rhine to Wesel, and in Wesel was under fire from enemy armed with panzerfausts (hand-held anti-tank weapons) which wounded many of the men around him.
His cool judgement and his complete contempt for danger inspired his men and influenced the battle at a most critical stage.
​[Source:  National Archives WO 373/47/66.]
 

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