Haughton, John Colpoys

He was the elder son of Major-General Henry Lawrence Haughton CB, CIE, CBE (F1897-1901), of Blewbury, Berkshire, and May Haughton (daughter of J. Shepherd, of Twyford). He came from a family of soldiers.  He played a useful game of soccer for his house and one of his chief interests was photography. He did good work as a Prefect and in the OTC.

From New College, Oxford, where he took Honours in History and also won a pilot’s  certificate in the University Air Squadron, he was commissioned in 1936 to the Royal Artillery. He served in India, Egypt and Palestine and became a Captain in 1940. At some point he was posted to a Territorial Army unit, the Lancashire Yeomanry, one of whose officers was Lieutenant Barry Domvile (C1930-1935) (see individual entry), who would be killed in action on Crete a month after Haughton.  Late in 1940 the Lancashire Yeomanry would be designated 106 Royal Horse Artillery  and equipped as an anti-tank and anti-aircraft unit.

They were sent to serve with 7th Armoured Division in the Western Desert, and then received orders to move overseas, embarking on the cruiser HMS Gloucester at Alexandria 0n 6th March.  They had just converted to an anti aircraft role, as 106 Light AA Regiment RHA.  They arrived at Piraeus and for the next three weeks life was relatively quiet.

The German invasion of Greece on 6th April came as no surprise although the rapid collapse of Yugoslavia opened up the western flank to a rapid German advance, and the Commonwealth forces had to retreat.  By 17th April evacuation was the only option.

Haughton died during the evacuation on 27th April when three transport ships, taking the Allied forces off the Greek mainland, and their escort ships were bombed by the Luftwaffe.

Haughton was reported missing, and a notice was published in The Times on June 25th:   Any information much appreciated by his mother, Mrs. H.L. Haughton, Folly Cottage, Penton Mewsey, Andover, Hampshire.

He was eventually confirmed killed in action on April 27th.  Killed at the age of twenty-seven, he is commemorated on face 3 of the Athens Memorial


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Haughton
  • Forenames or initials: John Colpoys
  • House: F
  • Years in School: 1926-1932
  • Rank: Captain
  • Regiment: Lancashire Hussars, Royal Horse Artillery
  • Date of Birth: 4th July 1913
  • Date of Death: 27th April 1941
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner F1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on face 3 of the Athens Memorial