Hi Guys, I was given this battledress blouse many years ago. It was devoid of any insignia having had them stripped off. The blouse is Commonwealth made. But the label is too faded out to read. Overall the quality is not great to be honest.
But it did have a name inked to the inside pocket. (See pic)
I got to thinking that maybe this Officer might be re-searchable, as his name is not a common one? With the help of a friend and the Royal Artillery Museum I got to find out about this officer. It turned out that Major Lapage served in the Far East and was decorated for bravery being awarded the Military Cross!
Here is the research:
LAPAGE, Peter Reginald. War Substantive Captain. (97460)
2nd Lt 24/08/1939
War Substantive Lt 01/03/1941
Temporary Capt 16/07/1941
Capt 02/10/1945 (Honorary Major)
Military Cross 02/08/1945 Burma while serving in 102nd Light Regiment West
Recommended for Immediate award of the Military Cross
102nd Light Regiment West Africa Artillery, 2nd (West Africa) Infantry Brigade, 82nd (West Africa) Division, 15th Indian Corps. Date of recommendation 14th February 1945.
ARAKAN. At 0730 hrs, on Feb 6th 1945, Capt Lapage (acting as Artillery F.O.O., with one SNCO) was left with one section of 'B' Coy 1 GCR at hill feature 100 (511677) to act as a firm base for a patrol which had gone forward to recce the village of KANI. Soon after a party of heavily armed enemy, approx 30 - 40 strong, whose arms included one Anti Tank rifle, one MG, three LMGs, rifles and Mills grenades, attacked the firm base. The attack was put in with great determination and supported with accurate fire from all the weapons mentioned.
The firm base was disposed in an "all round" position, and the main weight of the attack fell on Captain Lapage's sector where he, his Senior NCO and four Africans, including one Bren gunner, were posted. The attack continued for from 45 minuets to one hour, the repeatedly charging the position, to be driven off by the two Sten guns of Captain Lapage and his SNCO and the Bren gun of the African section.
In between attacks, extremely heavy and accurate fire was directed on the position. After half and hour of these attacks, when four of the section were wounded, and ammunition was running low, the SNCO (an experienced infantry man) advised Captain Lapage to withdraw. This he refused to do and, by his utter disregard for personal danger, and his exemplary leadership, he so inspired the personnel of his very small post that they not only inflicted heavy casualties, estimated at ten to fifteen dead or seriously wounded, on an immediate superior force of the enemy, but also drove off in disorder Westwards, where they fell into the hands of 'B' Company 1 GCR and were finally destroyed. It is estimated that only two of this enemy force escaped alive and unwounded.
Had not Captain Lapage acted as he did his party would, undoubtedly, have been destroyed and also the enemy, he put to flight, would have been enabled to take up a position to harass and delay the main column which was advancing on KANI.
Signed B. H. Hazelton OC 1st Bn, The Gold Coast Regt., R.W.A.F.F.
14 Feb 45
Signed A. T. Wilson-Brand Brig Comd 2 (WA) Inf Bde
Signed H. C. Stockwell DSO Maj-Gen Comd 82 (WA) Div
Recommended for D.S.O.
Signed A. F. P. Christison Lt-Gen Comd XV Ind Corps
I have since restored the blouse with a pair of Royal Artillery shoulder titles and hopefully I will be adding the rank insignia and medal ribbon soon.