Morshead, Hugh Sperling

He was the eldest son of Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Treise Morshead DSO, Royal Engineers (E1896-1901), of Northfield, Albury, Guildford, Surrey, who was murdered on government service in Burma in 1931. His mother was Evelyn Templer Morshead, daughter of Harry Templer Widdicombe, of Vancouver. He was the brother of Ian Trelawny Morshead (E1935-1940).

He left Winchester rather young, to cram for Sandhurst into which he passed at the outbreak of war, and was gazetted to 1/6th Battalion, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment in 1940. He served with them as a captain in the 7th Armoured Division in North Africa and Italy, and returned to England in January 1944 to prepare for the invasion of France. He went to Normandy soon after D-Day, and after continuous service with the battalion was killed in action near Montfort at the age of twenty-five.

As part of Operation Blackcock, 7th Armoured Division had been ordered to advance on Montfort and St. Odilienberg. The former had been bombed heavily by the RAF, and the assault was entrusted to 1/5 Queens (with which Morshead was by then serving) and 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards. The attack commenced on the night of January 22nd, 1/5 Queens going into battle with the tanks of ‘C’ Squadron of the ‘Skins’. It was a hard fight against stiff opposition from German parachute troops as 1/5 Queens fought their way into Montfort from the north.

Morshead is buried in grave III.C.11 of Nederweert War Cemetery.

(Photograph courtesy of the late Ian Morshead)


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Morshead
  • Forenames or initials: Hugh Sperling
  • House: E
  • Years in School: 1934-1938
  • Rank: Captain
  • Regiment: Queen's Own Royal West Surrey Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 17th November 1920
  • Date of Death: 23rd January 1945
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner A2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Nederweert War Cemetery: Grave III.C.11