Major Shaw's Story

Those of you who have read my book will no doubt have read my profile on Major ADG Shaw DSO. A remarkable man who always had the welfare of his men at the forefront of his actions, who distinguished himself in battle and is mentioned in the history of the the 6th Bn King's Own Scottish Borderers and the history of the 44th Bde.

At the risk of him reading this article I shall have to stop there as above all he is very modest and will not thank me for singing his praises.

I first wrote to Dudley Shaw in 1996 to tell of my project and he wrote back to tell me that his war service had been pushed to deepest corners of his mind and the events of his fascinating post war life had clouded everything. But his interest has been sparked by the 50th Anniversary of the D-Day landings, so perhaps my timing was just right.

I sent him various regimental papers and pages from the war diaries and gradually his experiences came to life and became a vital and important source of information as well as a good friend, as he served in both the 6th Bn KSLI and later transferred to the Artillery where he became Dog troop commander.

Over the years I have visited Dudley and his wife at their lovely home in Hampshire. One of the most exciting and rewarding spin-offs, (and there were several) was discovering that Dudley had not been issued with a medal to which he was entitled. I had specially asked him to send me a photo of him wearing his medals, and recieved this in 1997 taken at a regimental reunion (see photo).

Some two years later he sent me another photo taken outside Buckingham Palace after recieving his DSO from the King. A very nice photo, taken in uniform, with his medal riband attached (see photo), only as my friend Dave Gimes quickly pointed out, he had a riband for the Territorial Efficiency Medal (TEM) which was not among his group, his army service confirmed that he was definitley entitled to it.

I pointed this travesty out to Dudley who quickly set about applying for his missing gong. This was duly issued on 16th May 1998; the issue date? - 27th June 1945.

I'm pleased to say that he now has all his medals mounted as my latest photograph will testify (see photo)

David quickly realised that Captain Tom Stokes was also entitled to the same award, and he to has since rectified the situation.

One can only guess how many other old soldiers have not received their full medal entitlement. I shall tell you more about Major Shaw and his experience at recent reunions in Europe together with more photographs.

Both the Major and his wife have made several visits to the old battlefields of Europe with Veterans of the 15th Scottish Division. Many of these visits involve the unveiling of a memorial or plaque in tribute to those who liberated their country - even after nearly 60 years these deeds are not forgotten. Major Shaw is always very impressed that the children are brought up, and taught at school about the war and their occupation and finally their liberation, and amazed at their knowledge of the British units and Battles.

We can only try to imagine what it is like to have your country invaded and occupied by force. These photos are or various memorials to the Division and their units. Perhaps when Major Shaw logs in he will identify some of the old War Heroes??