Colonel Edward Reed Ward TOOBY, O.B.E., M.C., T.D. (64486)

Commanded the 7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from April 1958 to March 1961.

Edward Reed Ward Tooby was born on the 21st September 1916 at Stourbridge, Worcestershire. Son of edward Reginald R. Tooby and Millicent E. Tooby (née Ward).

Edward Tooby was commissioned into the 7th Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment (TA) in March 1935 and served in that Battalion for the next 26 years, being the only officer to serve as such with the 7th Battalion throughout the whole of WW2.

In France before Dunkirk the Battalion had been transferred from the 48th to the 2nd Division and with that formation it went to India in 1942.

At the end of March 1944 the Division was hurried to Assam to help stave off the Japanese threat to the Indo-Burmese border defenses and shortly afterwards Edward took over 'B' Coy, which he was to command for the rest of the Kohima and Burma campaign and which was involved in 12 major actions, including those at the Naga Village and Kohima and at the Maram Spur, when they took the final objective. Of the latter his MC citation says 'Major Tooby led his company forward to assault the ridge, in spite of accurate enemy shell and machine-gun fire. It was entirely due to his personal leadership and fearlessness that the momentum of the attack was kept going.' Also cited was his conduct at Dawete, on the north bank of the Irrawaddy, when, with only two platoons, the Company held off prolonged, heavily-armed attacks throughout one night. 'Major Tooby paid constant visits to his section posts, with complete disregard for his own safety, thus steadying his men and urging them to hold on at all costs.' He was also Mentioned in Despatches for preventing the causeway into the moated town of Swebo being blown up by the Japanese, thus enabling the Company to capture the town.

Colonel E. R. W. Tooby

When the 7th Battalion was reformed in March 1947 he rejoined and in 1955 became the Battalion's 2i/c. In 1958 he took command of the Battalion for three years and was awarded the OBE. He was then, as Colonel, appointed Deputy Commander of 159 Bde, which included the 7th Battalion. After three years he went on to RARO, when he was also Sponsor Officer of 'B' (Worcestershire) Coy Mercian Volunteers. In 1975, he came off RARO as Hon Col Mercian Volunteers (TAVR) for five years. For several years he was also Chairman of the Hereford/Worcester TAVR Committee and Vice-Chairman of the West Midland TAVR Association, as well as working for the Army Benevolent Fund. For his long service in the TA he held the Territorial Decoration with no fewer than four bars, but for all these commitments he had to find time while managing the family building firm in Stourbridge.

Colonel Tooby died at Drybridge, Churchill, Near Kidderminster, on the 29th March 1995, aged 78.