Ewing Henry Wrigley (Harry) Grimshaw CB CBE DSO

Person
Colonel of the Regiment, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Ewing Henry Wrigley Grimshaw (Harry) was born on 30 June 1911 in India, where his father was serving with the 1st Punjab Regiment. He was appointed Colonel of The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1966 in succession to Major General Denis Moore and he held the appointment until 1968 when he was appointed as a Deputy Colonel of The Royal Irish Rangers.

Harry Grimshaw was educated at Brighton College and was commissioned from the Royal Military College Sandhurst into his father's regiment on 29 January 1931. Before the outbreak of the Second World War he saw operational service on the North West Frontier of India and later in Bengal.

In 1939, Harry Grimshaw was appointed adjutant of the 1st Battalion, 1st Punjab Regiment and moved to Iraq and then Libya with the regiment. Following the withdrawal to Gazala in 1941, the battalion was transferred to 161 Brigade and after the battle of Alamein was posted to Burma with the brigade. The brigade, now part of 5th Indian Division, fought in the first successful operations against the Japanese in the Arakan in 1943. His regiment was then hurriedly withdrawn and flown to the northern front where they fought at Kohima. During the siege he was appointed to command the regiment, which went on to play a prominent part in the pursuit of the Japanese to the River Chindwin; for this he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). He was promoted to Brigadier by General Slim, making him at 33 one of the youngest brigade commanders in the Army. After the final advance to Rangoon and the Japanese surrender, he took his brigade to Java but returned to India in 1946.

Following the partition of India in 1947, he returned home to Ireland and, transferring to The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, went with the Inniskillings to Malaya. In 1952 he assumed command of the 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in the Canal Zone before taking them to Kenya. At the conclusion of this tour, the Battalion was awarded the Freedom of Nairobi, and as Commanding Officer he was appointed OBE. His next posting was to Headquarters Northern Ireland as Chief of Staff, but this posting was shortened by his appointment to command 19 Infantry Brigade at four days notice. The Brigade took part in the Suez operation in 1956 and he was the last British soldier to leave Port Said, having handed over to the United Nations Force Commander. He was advanced to CBE. In 1958, Brigadier Grimshaw took his Brigade to Cyprus where it was involved in operations against EOKA. This was followed by a staff appointment in the War Office, after which he was promoted Major General to command the 44th (Home Counties) Division/District, which carried with it the appointment of Deputy Constable of Dover Castle. He was appointed CB in 1965.

Major General E H W Grimshaw CB CBE DSO died on 1 November 2007, aged 96. His elder son, Colonel Ewing Grimshaw, who died in 1996, was the last commanding officer of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Irish Rangers before the UDR merged with the Rangers to form The Royal Irish Regiment on 1 July 1992.