Campbell, Major General John ‘Jock,’ 1894-1942

A Royal Artillery officer famed for his bravery, Campbell was commanding the 4th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery in the Western Desert at the outbreak of war with Italy and quickly demonstrated a flair for handling his guns in a harassing role during the retreat which the British were obliged to make before the Italian advance. As a result he proposed the idea to his superiors that mobile or, as they soon came to be called, ‘Jock’ columns, should be formed, composed of infantry (in trucks), tanks and artillary which would hit the enemy wherever he would be found. His most successful enterprise along these lines was his handling of the Support Group of 7th Armored Division against an Italo-German force at Sidi Rezegh, 21-22 November 1941; for his success he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He had just been appointed Commander of 7th Armored Division (the famed ‘Desert Rats’) when he was killed in a car accident.

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