LAPRAIK, John Neilson

Known as: 
Ian Lapraik, or Jock
Acting Captain (later Honorary Colonel)
51ME Commando
'Special Boat Section'
Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
Monday, September 13, 1915
Died : 
Friday, March 15, 1985
Acting Captain John Neilson Lapraik was awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished service in the Middle East [1].
“On May 1st, the 51st M.E. Commando was ordered to capture Commando Hill. Capt. Lapraik went first during the climb, he was the first man to gain a footing on the top and by at once engaging the enemy with his revolver enabled the unit to gain a first footing over the shelf of rock at the summit, which they were subsequently enabled to exploit.
On May 3rd during an attack on the Falaga Pass he showed the greatest dash and daring in seizing a position with his troop remaining there under heavy fire until ordered to retire. He has shown consistent courage and leadership both during the battle of Amber (Amba) Alagi and at Cheren (Keren).” 
Recommended by Lt. Col. C.D. Miller, 51M.E. Commando  [2].
  • July 1943 (Local Major) commanding 'M' Detachment S.B.S. which was operating in the Dodecanese. In 1944 he was Second in Command of 'Raiding Forces Aegean', a larger combined force including amongst others soldiers from the SAS and the Greek Sacred Band/Squadron [more....]Brigadier Turnbull was their Commanding Officer. [3][3a]
  • 3 February 1944 (Temporary Captain) (Local Major) awarded a  Bar to the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Field [4].
  • 25 January 1945 (Captain) (Temporary Major) Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Field" [5].
  • 9 August 1945 (Local Lieutenant Colonel) appointed O.B.E. (Military Division) in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Field [6].
  • 18 October 1945 (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel) appointed Distinguished Service Order in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in the Field [7].
  • 13 September 1953 (Special Air Service Regiment) promoted Lieutenant Colonel with seniority from 10 June 1952 [8].
  • 14 September 1956 (Lieutenant Colonel) (S.A.S.) awarded the Territorial Efficiency Decoration [9].
  • 1 April 1973 appointed Honorary Colonel 21st Special Air Service Regiment [10].
[1] London Gazette 35250, page 4787.
[2] National Archives file WO373/28/188.
[3] British Special Forces, author William Seymour
[3a] CVA Sacred Squadron gallery.
[4] London Gazette 36358, page 620.
[5] London Gazette 36907, page 562.
[6] London Gazette 37213, page 4043.
[7] London Gazette 37310, page 5098.
[8] London Gazette 39960, page 4919.
[9] London Gazette 40877, page 5213.
[10] London Gazette 45997, page 7009.

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