1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment 1944-45 - Awards and Citations
Captain, T/Major Alfred Albert GRUBB (121454)
Early in September 1944 ‘Algy’ Grubb was recommended for a Periodical Distinguished Service Order by the Commanding Officer, Lieut.-Col. R. E. Osborne-Smith. However, this was changed on the 22nd October 1944 by Brigadier H. Essame to a Periodical Military Cross.
Military Cross (London Gazette 29th March 1945)
“This Officer has been present with the Battalion as a Company Commander since its arrival in France on 23rd June 1944. He has taken part in all operations of the Battalion from 1st August to 18th October with the exception of the crossing of the River NOIREAU on 14th Aug due to illness.
On 9th August his Company was engaged in an operation of clearing the area South of the Road LA VARINIERE – LE PLESSIS GRIMOULT. The area was strongly held and in the course of the advance, the Company suffered heavy casualties finally arriving on the objective with 30 men. It was due to Major GRUBB’s leadership and resourcefulness that the objective was reached and re-organisation effected in the face of heavy mortar and artillery fire. The Company continued to hold the position until a reserve Company moved forward to relieve it.
Again on 27th August in woods NORTH of VERNONET in the course of heavy close quarter fighting Major GRUBB’s Company, the reserve Company of the Battalion moved out to counter enemy infiltration on the right flank. By taking charge of all the Bren guns of the Company under his own hand, directing their fire and personally engaging the enemy with grenades, considerable casualties were inflicted and the situation which was at the time serious, was successfully restored.
On all occasions Major GRUBB’s energy, initiative and powers of leadership have been quite outstanding and an inspiration to all ranks of the Company under his command.”
Major A. A. Grubb
‘Algy’ as he was affectionately known, was in fact born Alfred Albert Grubb, named after his father. He also sometimes referred to himself as Alfred Algernon Grubb, hence the nickname ‘Algy’.
On the 18th February 1940 he was commissioned into the Hampshire Regiment after OCTU training and was seconded to the 1st Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment to command "B" Company in May 1944. He trained for the pending invasion with tremendous, some would say, fanatical zeal, seeking realism whenever possible and earning the title of "The Mad Major" from his men.
He landed with the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Normandy in June 1944 and continued to command ‘B’ Company. He received a mention-in-despatches (London Gazette 22nd March 1945) for his leadership under heavy fire during the Normandy campaign. After the battle at Elst, October 1944, he was selected to run the Divisional Battle School which he set up at Nijmegen.
On the 22nd April 1945 he returned to command the 1st Battalion while Lieut.-Col. M. R. J. Hope-Thomson was admitted to hospital for treatment. A few days later on the 27th April, during the advance on Bremen, he was wounded in the arm by fragments while standing to close too a Petard assault tank which was destroying a roadblock.
After the war he returned to the legal profession as a lawyer.
The timing and location of his death on the 27th August 1992 (age 76) indicate that he had style to the very end. He died while attending a ceremony in Vernon, France to mark the 48th anniversary of the Seine Crossing. His last hours were spent re-tracing the steps of his fierce battle in the woods overlooking the Seine at Vernonnet.
Farm buildings used by 1st Battalion H.Q. at Jerusalem, France (24th to 28th July 1944)
A = room used by Algy Grubb, B = Bn. HQ entrance and C= Officers Mess