Major-General David Tabor
Major-General David Tabor, who has died aged 81, was a cavalryman whose dash and initiative won him an MC in Normandy and whose ability as a commander and staff officer took him to high rank in the Army.
In July 1944, a month after D-Day, the 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment deployed to France and was immediately in action against German tanks and snipers in the bocage in its role as the eyes and ears of the Guards Armoured Division.
On August 15, Tabor, then a lieutenant in "B" Squadron, was commanding a troop of armoured cars south-west of Falaise when "B" and "D" Squadrons were ordered to make a reconnaissance of the River Noireau, over which the Germans were trying to escape. They were blowing the bridges in their wake, and Tabor's troop had the task of trying to save the bridge at Montsecret from destruction.
Having parked their vehicles outside the village, Tabor and an NCO advanced on foot, dealing quietly with a couple of Germans on the way. Eventually, they had to make a dash for the bridge in full sight of the enemy, who were watching the village from the other side of the river.
They crawled up to the bridge under artillery fire. It was intact, but had been prepared for demolition; and they could hear the sound of the bridges on both flanks being blown up. The two men pulled the detonators from the charges and threw them in the river. Tabor was awarded an immediate MC.
David John St Maur Tabor was born at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire, on October 5 1922 and educated at Eton. While playing cricket there, he was summoned to see a spectator who turned out to be his uncle, Major Henry Abel Smith, who quizzed him on what he intended to do after leaving school. When told that he was headed for the Coldstream Guards, Abel Smith, who was to command 2 HCR throughout the war, retorted: "No you're not, you will join the Blues."
In 1942, after initial training at the Guards Depot at Caterham and the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, Tabor was commissioned and reported for duty at Combermere Barracks at Windsor, then, as now, the home of the Household Cavalry.
Tabor was wounded in September 1944 near Nijmegen, Holland, as the regiment was fighting its way towards Arnhem. He attempted to blow down an enemy-occupied house with a PIAT mortar and was hit by shrapnel in his left arm.
He was evacuated to England and found himself in the same hospital, a former lunatic asylum, as his brother, who had also been wounded. He rejoined his regiment in January 1945 and served for the rest of the campaign in Germany.
Tabor served as adjutant of the Royal Horse Guards from 1945 to 1948.
After a spell as an instructor at Sandhurst, he commanded a training squadron in 67th Training Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps, at Hadrian's Camp, Carlisle. On winter weekends, he and other brother officers would box their horses and hunt with the Dumfriesshire foxhounds.
In 1953 he attended the Indian Staff College at Wellington and hunted with the Ootagamund Hunt. Three years later, when the Blues were sent on an emergency tour to Cyprus in 1956, during the Eoka campaign, he served as second-in-command to the present Duke of Wellington.
Tabor assumed command of the Blues in Windsor and took the Regiment back to Cyprus on security duties in the run-up to independence. During a visit by the C-in-C Middle East, on being asked whether there were any problems, Tabor jocularly complained of a lack of ice for the gin and tonics. An hour later, a Wessex helicopter arrived with half a ton of ice slung in a net under the fuselage.
After serving as a full colonel on the staff of Shape, Tabor became the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Household Cavalry, the "Silver Stick", an appointment he held for two years before being promoted brigadier on his appointment as commander of the Berlin Infantry Brigade.
Two years as the British Military Attache in Washington was followed by a year at the Royal College of Defence Studies in London, before he was promoted major-general and sent to Paris as the British Defence Attache.
His final appointment was as GOC Eastern District with his headquarters in Colchester. He enjoyed flying the length and breadth of his command looking at all the golf courses from the air. He was a very proficient golfer and, as a younger man, played off a handicap of three.
Tabor retired from the Army in 1977 and embarked on a second career in farming. He and his wife moved to the Cotswolds and took on the running of a large farm. He was a genuine countryman, a passionate field sportsman, and with the aid of a first-class young keeper, he turned the family shoot into one of the most enjoyable in the county.
Tabor kept a rod on the Colne and never missed an opportunity to spend some time there. He was also an enthusiastic gardener. But it was his dogs, particularly his black Labradors, which gave him the greatest pleasure.
He kept up his military and regimental connections. In 1977 he was appointed CB and served as Vice President of the Army Cadet Force Association. He was president of the local branch of the Royal British Legion, and continued a family connection with the Grocers' Company, serving on the Court.
David Tabor died on May 18. He married first, in 1955, Pamela Roxane Nivison, daughter of the second Lord Glendyne. She died in 1987. He married, secondly, in 1989, Marguerite Arkwright (nee Verdon), the widow of Colonel Peter Arkwright; she survives him, with the two sons of his first marriage and three step-children.
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Over het hier en nu (nieuwsberichten, actualiteiten en dergelijke, in relatie met WOII)
4 berichten • Pagina 1 van 1
- Roel R.
- Berichten: 5675
- Lid geworden op: 21 sep 2003, 01:50
- Berichten: 762
- Lid geworden op: 20 nov 2003, 14:58
Jammer, weer een minder. De laatste tijd gaan er steeds meer heen en ik ben blij de mannen waar ze jaren later nog over praten en in de geschiedenisboeken staan nog te mogen mee te maken.
En Roel, hoe kom je toch steeds zo snel achter al dat nieuws?
En Roel, hoe kom je toch steeds zo snel achter al dat nieuws?
Op zoek naar alles dat te maken heeft met de 101ste Airborne Divisie, 51st Highland Division en al het andere dat te maken heeft met operatie Market Garden en operatie Pheaseant