BRETT, Gerrard

Lieutenant (later Captain)
Unit / Base: 
12 Commando
Royal Ulster Rifles
P.O.W. number: 
Honours & Awards: 
Saturday, March 27, 1915
Belfast, County Antrim
Place died: 
Toronto, Canada
Lieutenant Brett was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished service during Operation Chariot at St Nazaire 27/28 March 1942. Wounded on board HMS Campbeltown and later prisoner of war [1][1a][2][2a][4a].
Lieut. Brett was in command of a demolition party detailed to assist in the destroying of the dry dock gates. Lieut. Brett was wounded on board HMS Campbeltown on the run-in. He sufferred great pain as a result. He insisted on being carried to the Dry Dock Gates and there took command of his party and that of Lieut. Burtinshaw who was killed. During the laying of the explosive charges on these gates enemy opposition had to be overcome. This fighting caused the death of several of his men, but by his example and leadership the successful destruction of these gates was effected [1a].
  • 7 November 1953 relinquished commission and granted honorary rank of Captain [3].
  • Before the war Gerrard Brett was an archaeologist at the Victoria and Albert Museum [4][4a].
  • 1948 Director Royal Museum of Archaeology, Ontario [5].
[1] London Gazette 37162, page 3493.
[1a] Award Recomendations / National Archives file WO373/46/268.
[2] Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/1.
[2a] German Record Cards of British PoW's / National Archives file WO416/41/182 (Front Stalag 133).
[3] London Gazette 40006, page 5905.
[4] Article in the Cheltenham Chronicle 14 July 1945.
[4a] WW11 Liberated POW Questionnaires 1945-6 / National Archives file WO344 Directorate of Mil. Int.
[5] Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters, and Sciences. Report. Ottawa : King's Printer, 1951.Appdx 3.

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