Wilson, Almaric Gervase Bruce Clifton


He was the only son of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Christopher Bruce Wilson OBE D1888-93), of West Stratton House, Winchester (formerly of Crofton Hall, near Wakefield). His mother, Alma Marie Wilson, was the daughter of the Reverend Louis Le Bouvier, Chevalier of the Order of Orange Nassau, of Symrna. He came to Mr. F.W. Goddard’s House from St. Cyprian’s Eastbourne, in May 1938. He reached Senior Division, Sixth Book, and was a House Prefect.

In January 1943 he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, and in June 1944 was commissioned in the 15th/19th Hussars, a reconnaissance regiment equipped  with Cromwell tanks.   The unit saw its first action on 19th August at Moulins-sur-Orne, near Argentan, and then took part in the 11th Armoured Corps’ “great swan” across the Seine, through Amiens and on to Antwerp.

They saw action as part of Operation Market Garden, the massive airborne operation to take the bridges at Nijmegen, Eindhoven and Arnhem, and saw further action at Liesel, destroying three 88 mm guns.

Wilson was killed at North Limburg, in Holland, on October 19th 1944, at the age of nineteen. He died in one of the regiment’s hardest battles of the war.  The Hussars were moving south-east from the Deurne Canal crossing towards a town called Amerika. The Germans had sited 88mm guns to fire down the roads, which were flanked by flat marshland and large dykes, making it impossible to manoeuvre.   Eleven Cromwells were knocked out (though five were later recovered), and thirty-three casualties incurred.

The commander of Wilson’s squadron reported that he had shown great courage. Two of Wilson’s tanks were smashed and burned; he recovered three wounded men out of a burning tank and got all the wounded safely back. He then, with a fresh driver, returned in the hope of bringing out his last remaining tank which, though damaged, was not completely disabled. He was killed by a direct hit on the turret of his tank, although his driver got the tank back. Everybody testified to his complete fearlessness and indifference to danger, his coolness and resource in action and his unfailing care for his men.

He was buried in a Dutch orchard, at St. Hendrikus Hoeve, near North Limburg.

By the end of the day, the Hussars had destroyed four 88mm guns, a German tank, and captured St. Petrus Hoeve.   He now rests in grave I.F.6 of the Venray War Cemetery.

 

War: World War 2

  • Surname: Wilson
  • Forenames or initials: Almaric Gervase Bruce Clifton
  • House: D
  • Years in School: 1938-1942
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: 15th/19th King's Royal Hussars
  • Date of Birth: 14th December 1924
  • Date of Death: 19th October 1940
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner C1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Venray War Cemetery: Grave I.F.6