MILLS-ROBERTS, Derek (Brig)

Rank: 
Brigadier
Regiment/Corps: 
Irish Guards
Service: 
Army
Service number: 
69334
Died : 
Wednesday, October 1, 1980

Born in 1908; educated at Liverpool College and Oxford University; worked for his father's firm of solicitors, 1935; joined Supplementary Reserve of Officers, Irish Guards, 1936; joined 1 Bn, Irish Guards, 1939-1942, and served in Norway; transferred to special services No 4 Commando, 1942; took part in Dieppe Raid, Aug 1942; Lt Col, 1943; Commanding Officer, No 6 Commando, North Africa, 1943; Brig, 1944; commanded 1 Special Service Bde (later 1 Commando Bde), North West Europe, 1944-1945; accepted the surrender of FM Erhard Milch at Neustadt, May 1945; retired from Army, 1945; commanded 125 Infantry Bde, Territorial Army, 1947-1951; died in 1980. (Source: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives.)

Obituary in Commando Association newsletter 72

"We are indeed sad to have to report the death on October lst last, of Brigadier Derek Mills-Roberts, C.B.E., D.S.O., M.C., formerly Officer Commanding No. 6 Commando, also a Commander of the lst Commando Brigade, and during the periods 1949-50 and 1958-59, President of The Commando Association. The following are extracts from appreciations by Brigadier The Lord Lovat and Brigadier Peter Young :
Derek Mills-Roberts was one of our most successful Commando Ieaders in World War ll and will be remembered by friends and contemporaries as a Happy Warrior. While preserving at all times the discipline, tradition, and turnout of a guardsman, Mills-Roberts  typified the indomitable morale and resourcefulness of those hand picked willing men, drawn trom many regiments. Always ready to follow a good officer who led from the front, they cheerfully endorsed the principle that one volunteer was worth ten pressed men when shock troops were required to mount a hazardous operation. He took over No 6 Commando in North Africa when it had had a bad time, and by his leadership and sheer professional skill, turned it into a superb unit, winning the Distinguished Service Order.  A week after D-Day, though shot through the leg, he took over the 1st Commando Brigade, which he commanded in Normandy,  Holland and Germany until the end ol the war in Europe.  His exploits which won him a Bar to the DSO were too numerous to name here.  Old comrades will remember Derek as a fearless, kindly,  and simplehearted Commander,  who looked after his men and never let them down. He could be fierce with those who did not live up to his standards. But, if his men were somewhat in awe of him, they honoured him as a forthright and fearless leader".
 
Award Sources:
MC: LG publication date: 2 October 1942; Supplement: 3572; Page: 4328
DSO: LG publication date: 20 April 1943; Supplement: 35987; Page: 1846
MiD: LG Publication date: 20 March 1945; Supplement:36994; Page: 1557
DSO (bar):  LG publication date: 19 June 1945; Supplement: 37138; Page: 3231
 

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