Colonel Alfred Owen NEEDHAM, C.B.E., M.C., T.D., J.P.

Commanded the 8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from 1931 to January 1935.

Born in Worcester in 1883. Colonel Needham commenced his service in the ranks of the Battalion in 1909, and eventually received his commission in June, 1913. He continued to serve in the Regiment until March, 1915, when he was promoted to the rank of Captain in the 7th Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers, which Battalion he joined in Gallipoli, obtaining his majority in November, 1920, and promoted to the rank of Brevet Lieut.-Colonel in August, 1921. He held the following appointments :—Staff Captain at Sinai, 1916 ; A/G.S.O. 3 Cairo, 1916; Staff Captain, 125 Infantry Brigade., 1916-17; D.A.Q.M.G , 41st Division., October, 1917-18; and to the London Division of the Rhine Army, 1918-19. His concluding Staff appointment was D.A.A. and Q.M.G., 42nd Division (T.A.) from 1920 to 1924.

He was awarded the Territorial Decoration (T.D.) on the 4th February 1927 whilst serving as a Major (Brevet Lieut.-Col.) with the 7th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers.

In January, 1931, he was promoted to the rank of Lieut.-Colonel and commanded the 8th Battalion from 1931 to 26th January 1935 and was then transferred to the T.A. Reserve of Officers with the rank of Brevet Colonel.

Colonel Needham was mentioned four times in despatches during the Great War, and is in possession of the C.B.E., the Military Cross (London Gazette 1st Jan. 1918), the Territorial Decoration (London Gazette 4th February 1927), and Belgian Croix de Guerre, with Palm Leaves (London Gazette 4th Sept 1919). In January, 1934, a further honour was extended to him when he was made a Justice of the Peace for the County of Worcestershire.

Colonel A. O. Needham

As a fitting tribute to his successful command of the 8th Battalion, a farewell dinner was given to Colonel Needham on the 26th January 1935, when at the termination of the evening's celebrations, the officers performed the "herculean feat" of carrying their retiring Commanding Officer "shoulder high" from the Mess to New Street, singing "Auld lang." To perpetuate his memory, Colonel Needham has very kindly presented a silver inkstand to the Officers' Mess, and a silver cigarette box to the Sergeants' Mess.

From 1939 to 1946 he was Deputy Director, Ministry of Food, and from 1946 to 1947 Principal Controller of Cereals, Control Commission, Germany.

He was a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Worcestershire and District Commissioner of Scouts for Worcester.

Colonel Needham died on 9th February 1951 at Worcester, aged 67. The funeral service at Worcester Cathedral was attended by Colonel S. W. Jones, Major C. Leigh, Captain M. Ratcliff and Major Heath.