MACCALLUM, Laurence Eric

Captain (later Honorary Major)
Manchester Regiment
Friday, April 15, 1910
Maj Laurnece MacCallum MC 2 Commando
Captain Lawrence MacCallum, Officer Commanding  2 troop, was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Albania in 1944. [1]
Spilje Bay, Albania, 28/29 July 1944, Operation Healing 2.
Captain MacCallum was in command of a Troop which had to clear two ridges on the left flank of the main attack. From the outset his troop met unexpectedly heavy and savage resistance. Captain MacCallum’s personal bravery in leading the assaults and his determination to smash through to his objectives were magnificent.
He personally led every assault, and when his Troop were held up and suffering heavy casualties from flanking MG nests, he rallied them and led them on to a successful attack on the objectives.
At one stage he, armed with a pistol, and with one other man, stalked a strong post and destroyed it taking 10 prisoners. In the later phases, when practically half his Troop had been killed or wounded, he led his Troop into another attack with other troops on a defended house.
When the attack was held up he immediately organized and again personally led a flanking attack which enabled the main assault to go in.
During a difficult dis-engagement and withdrawal, Captain MacCallum was untiring in his efforts to evacuate wounded, going forward himself on two occasions to get casualties back.
Captain MacCallum’s cool, determined leadership materially contributed to the success of the operation, and his zeal and energy during the evacuation of casualties undoubtedly saved the lives of several wounded men. [2]
  • 1945 received a Mention in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Italy [3].
  • 1949 awarded the Territorial Efficiency Medal [4].
Laurence MaCallum was a strong supporter of the Commando Association serving for periods as their Chairman and President. He was also a respected Wimbledon senior tennis umpire. A newspaper obituary can be read in our gallery. [view obituary.]
Commando Association - Obituary by Henry Brown OBE
It is with very great regret that we have to announce the death during April last after a very long illness of Major Laurence MacCallum, who, it must be said, gave a large proportion of his time and energy to the continued successful running of our activities. Over many years Laurence MacCallum truly became an extremely interested and active official of our organisation, serving not only as Chairman of the General Committee, but quite excellently as our President during 1984/85 and again during 1990/91.
Nothing was ever too much trouble for him to act upon if it was in the interests of our members, and those who were privileged to know him closely will always remember the tenacity with which he would never be content until any problems which arose were dealt with satisfactorily.
Knowing how he loved to reminisce, one could easily appreciate how very proud he was of his service with No.2 Commando in which commanded a Troop during the actions in Yugoslavia and in Northern Italy after which he was awarded the Military Cross.
In the passing of Laurence MacCallum, the Association mourns the loss of a very kind and staunch comrade who was indeed one of the greatest supporters of our Commando cause. [5]
[1] London Gazette 36730, page 4569.
[2] National Archives file  WO373/46/212.
[3] London Gazette 36886, page 328.
[4] London Gazette 38688, page 3912.
[5] Commando Association newsletter 105 issued September 1997.
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