1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment 1944-45 - Awards and Citations

S/Capt., W/S Maj., A/Lieut.-Col. M. R. J. HOPE-THOMSON M.C. (52731)

Maxwell Richard Julian Hope-Thomson, known as ‘Tim’ was recommended by Brigadier R. E. Goodwin on the 6th July 1945 for a periodical Distinguished Service Order.

Distinguished Service Order (London Gazette date 24th January 1946)

Col. Hope-Thomson marries Miss Anne Matthias (1945)

“Lieutenant-Colonel M. R. J. HOPE THOMSON assumed command of 1st Worcestershire Regiment on 7th February 1945. The battalion had an excellent record in actions before that time but had suffered several quick changes of Commanding Officer owing to casualties. It was clear from the moment of his arrival that Lieutenant-Colonel HOPE THOMSON was an outstanding C.O. The first operation in which he led his battalion was VERITABLE – the advance from the MAAS at NIJMEGEN to the Rhine in the XANTEN area, via the REICHSWALD, CLEVES and GOCH. In the battle for the NW tip of the REICHSWALD, the 1st Worcestershire Regiment, under his command, after fighting against heavy opposition all night and throughout the following morning, secured a number of vital objectives SOUTH OF CLEVE and received the congratulations of Commander of 30 Corps. A few days later Lieutenant-Colonel HOPE THOMSON fought another brilliant action in which his battalion, on the left of a brigade attack, secured in the face of determined and fanatical resistance, the objectives which had been held by the enemy against all previous attacks by other units for three days. He was thus able to go on the following day to seize the high ground on the escarpment overlooking GOCH. The successful battles were the turning point in Operation VERITABLE.
In the advance upon BREMEN he displayed again outstanding powers of leadership and a most reliable military judgement. Ordered to capture an important cross roads at AHLHORN, he continued his advance against defended road blocks, demolitions and minefields until strong and determined resistance was encountered in the area of the objective. Appreciating that the enemy was in a position to impose considerable delay upon the Divisional Advance if allowed to develop a successful counter attack, he decided to consolidate for the night astride a demolished bridge, holding also an alternative crossing which would enable him to deploy his unit reserve. Despite a painful wound he remained at duty and successfully destroyed an enemy counter attack in battalion strength the next morning, inflicting such heavy casualties upon the enemy that the cross roads at AHLHORN were taken with only negligible resistance. Throughout many successful battles his personal example of coolness and courage was an inspiration to his officers and men and his military judgement was invariable sound. His battalion’s successes speak for themselves.”

Maxwell Richard Julian Hope-Thomson, son of Major James Thomson, was born in 1911. He was commissioned into the Royal Scottish Fusiliers on the 27th August 1931 as a 2nd Lieutenant.

In 1936 he served as signal officer with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers in Palestine. In May of that year he was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry in action. 

On the 27th August 1939 he was promoted to the rank of Captain.

From November 1944 to February 1945 he was second-in-command of the 5th Battalion Dorset Regiment (43rd Division). On the 8th February 1945, as acting Lieut.-Colonel he was appointed to command the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, a day before 'Operation Veritable'.

On the 19th March 1945 Lieut.-Colonel Hope-Thomson left for the UK on 14 days leave in order to get married. He married Anne Matthias at St. Peter's Church, Eaton Square, London. After his marriage he returned to command the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment on the 30th March 1945. 

On the 14th April 1945 during an attack across the River Lethe at Ahlhorn Crossroads he was wounded in the leg by a piece of shrapnel. Although wounded he continued to command the battalion throughout the battle and was eventually evacuated to hospital on the 22nd April 1945 for treatment. He rejoined the battalion on the 1st May 1945 as they moved in to Bremen and continued to command the battalion until July 1945.

On the 1st July 1946 he was promoted to Major (War Substantive Lieut.-Colonel).

On the 6th July 1946 he rejoined the Royal Scots Fusiliers and commanded the 4/5th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers at Truppenubungplatz, near Paderborn, Germany until May 1947.

In September 1952 he commanded the 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusilier in Berlin. The principal duties of the Royal Scots Fusiliers consisted of internal security duties, ceremonial and guards.

On the 12th January 1953 he was promoted to the full rank of Lieut.-Colonel, and in March 1954 he moved to Malaya still commanding the 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusilier. He relinquished command of the battalion in May 1955. He was mentioned in despatches for his actions in Malaya (London Gazette 25th October 1955).

On the 1st October 1956 he attained the rank of full Colonel and four years later on the 1st October 1960 was promoted to the rank of Brigadier. On the 1st February 1962 he was appointed Aide-de-Camp to The Queen.

In 1967 Brigadier Hope-Thomson was appointed Commandant of the Queen Victoria School, Dunblane, Perthshire, Scotland, a private boarding school for children of Scottish service personnel. He held this position until 1974. Brigadier Maxwell Richard Julian Hope-Thomson died in June 1990 at the age of 79.

Brigadier Hope-Thomson with the Colour Party of the Queen Victoria School,
Dunblane, Perthshire, Scotland (1971-72)