Lieut.-Colonel John Wilson Bannister, T.D.

Commanded the 7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from March 1964 to March 1967.

Colonel John Wilson Bannister, known as “Jock”, was born on the 23rd April 1920 at Bromsgrove. Son of William W. Bannister (Solicitor) and Mary M. Bannister (née Boston). Jock was educated at Selbright Public School, Wolverley near Kidderminster.

After his schooling he followed his father’s career and started his training to become a Solicitor. He joined the Solicitors, Westwood & Morris & Co., Birmingham as an articled clerk. After only 2 years war broke out and “Jock” decided to join the army. He enlisted as a Guardsman in the Grenadier Guards and started his army training.

After his initial army training he was selected to go to the Officers Cadet Training Unit at Sandhurst and on the 22nd February 1941 he received an Emergency Commission into the Worcestershire Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant.

Jock then joined the 11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment as a Platoon Commander.

On the 1st January 1943 the 11th Battalion was reformed into the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and when Captain Bob Durrant, Mortar Platoon commander became Adjutant “Jock” took over command of the Mortar Platoon.

He landed with the 1st Battalion in Normandy in June 1944 and continued to command the Mortar Platoon with the rank of War Substantive Captain. “Jock” was involved in all the Battalions operations throughout the war.

After the war ended in 1945 he transferred to the 1st Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles and served with them in Palestine as a Company Commander. He was based in Ramala and was effectively responsible for the town.

In 1946 he returned to the U.K. to continue his training as solicitor and after qualifying 2 years later he joined his fathers firm of W. W. Bannister & Son at Stourbridge.

In 1947 he married Dorothy N. Hodge (formerly Allanby).


Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Bannister

During the Suez Crisis in the 1950’s he was called up and joined the 7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment as a Company Commander.

On the 18th June 1952 he was promoted to Captain and at the same time was granted the acting rank of Major. On the 23rd April 1954 he was promoted to full rank of Major.

From 1953 to 1961 he commanded ‘B’ Company of the 7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment based at Halesowen.

In 1961 "Jock" was appointed second-in-command of 7th Battalion and on the 17th March 1964 he was promoted to Lieut.-Colonel on given command of the 7th Battalion. On the 18th September 1964 he was awarded the Territorial Efficiency Decoration (T.D.). He continued to command the 7th Battalion until it was disbanded in 1967.

Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Bannister with officers of the 7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment

The 7th Battalion Colours were Layed-Up in St. Mary’s Church, Kidderminster on the 28th January 1967. Thus terminated a period of 170 years of history of the 7th Battalion its original beginnings as a Volunteer Company, raised from volunteers largely from Franche and Wolverley in 1798.

In the 1970’s he continued his career as a Solicitor at Bannisters & King in Stourbridge.

Lieut.-Colonel John Wilson Bannister died on Friday 11th October 2013, age 93.

Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Bannister, T.D. medals

Lieut.-Colonel J. W. Bannister, T.D. medals