Loder-Symonds, Rovert Guy

    Date of birth:
    March 1st, 1913
    Date of death:
    November 11th, 1945 (Surabaya/Indonesia)
    Buried on:
    Commonwealth War Cemetery Jakarta
    Plot: 5. Row: F. Grave: 2.
    Service number:
    56606
    Nationality:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Career
    Educated at the Royal Military Academy.
    31.08.1933. Commissioned, Royal Regiment of Artillery.
    Jan 1937. Posted to 22nd Field Brigade, RA. (Shorncliffe)
    Jan 1939 - 30.04.1940. 1st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery (Bulford, UK, France)
    01.05.1940 - 07.04.1941. Adjutant, 1st Regiment, R.H.A. (France, UK, Egypt)
    08.04.1941 - Summer 1942. Battery Commander, 1st Regiment, R.H.A. (Tobruk, Alamein; wounded)
    23.09.1943 - 26.01.1944. Commanding Officer, 92nd (Loyals) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, R.A. (UK)
    Jan 1944 - Summer 1945. C.R.A. 1st Airborne Division (UK, Arnhem [evacuated], Norway)
    Summer 1945 - 11.11.1945. C.R.A. 5th Indian Infantry Division (Burma)

    Loder-Symonds was killed during an aircraft accident in the on the 11th November 1945 when the Mosquito in which he was a passenger crashed when taking off from Surabaya airfield. Other reports indicate that his plane was shot down by Indonesian troops when he wanted to observe the battle for Surabaya from the air.

    Promotions.
    2nd Lieutenant: 31.08.1933
    Lieutenant: 31.08.1936
    Acting Captain: 07.04.1940 - 06.07.1940
    Temporary Captain: 07.07.1940 - 07.07.1941
    Captain (war subs): 08.07.1941
    Captain: 31.08.1941
    Acting Major: 08.04.1941 - 07.07.1941
    Temporary Major: 08.07.1941 - 21.10.1942, 02.02.1943 - 17.12.1943
    Major (war subs): 18.12.1943
    Acting Lieutenant-Colonel: 18.09.1943 - 17.12.1943
    Temporary Lietenant-Colonel: 18.12.1943 - 28.03.1945
    Lieutenant-Colonel (war sub): 29.03.1945
    Acting Colonel: 29.09.1944 - 28.03.1945
    Temporary Colonel: 29.03.1945
    Acting Brigadier: 29.09.1944 - 28.03.1945
    Temporary Brigadier: 29.03.1945

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Captain
    Unit:
    Royal Horse Artillery
    Awarded on:
    July 8th, 1941
    Recommendation:
    "He has consistently shown great keenness and fine leadership throughout the campaign; and the Troop under his command has fought extremely well. He frequently established his observation post in advance of our foremost defended localities with most successful results. Guided by his observations the accurate fire of his Troop was especially valuable in silencing Batteries firing on the Australian penetration at Bardia and again when at Tobruk in supporting the King's Royal Rifle Corps carriers in their successful attack."
    Military Cross (MC)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Acting Major
    Unit:
    Royal Horse Artillery
    Awarded on:
    September 30th, 1941
    Mentioned in Despatches
    Citation (general):
    In recognition of distinguished services in the Middle East (including Egypt, East Africa, The Western Desert, The Sudan, Greece, Crete, Syria and Tobruk) during the period February, 1941, to July, 1941."
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Major
    Unit:
    Royal Horse Artillery
    Awarded on:
    February 24th, 1942
    Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
    Recommendation:
    "During the operations 21st - 24th November, 1941, in support of the 32nd Armoured Tank Brigade, outside Tobruk, this officer showed remarkable drive and fine determination. On the 1st December, he kept his Battery in action, in the face of the enemy, at the foot of Bel Hamed, after the New Zealand force had been driven off and disorganised. He took five guns of the New Zealands, which had managed to escape, under his command, and by his example and personal efforts, reorganised the broken line. He has been outstanding throughout this and previous operations, for vigour, endurance, and offensive determination."
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Major
    Unit:
    Royal Horse Artillery
    Awarded on:
    June 30th, 1942
    Mentioned in Despatches
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Brigadier
    Unit:
    Royal Regiment of Artillery
    Awarded on:
    November 14th, 1947
    Citation:
    "The President of the United States of America, authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Service Cross to Brigadier Robert Guy Loder-Symonds, Royal British Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy from 17 September 1944 to 25 September 1944, during the battle of Arnhem, Belgium. Brigadier Loder-Symonds' artillery arrangements during the battle were outstanding and the maximum possible use was made at all tines of the support available. When the medium artillery of the Second Army came within range, Brigadier Loder-Symonds directed their fire with such skill that medium shells were destroying the enemy within a few hundred yards of the British positions. The effect of this close-in medium support was so devastating that several enemy concentrations, forming for attack, were completely broken up and many dangerous situations were averted. Brigadier Loder-Symonds was constantly under fire. The leadership he displayed and his cheerfulness under difficult and dangerous conditions were outstanding at all times, and an example to those with whom he came in contact."
    General Orders No. 18 (February 20, 1945)
    Distinguished Service Cross (DSC)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Major
    Unit:
    Royal Horse Artillery
    Awarded on:
    August 13th, 1942
    Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
    Recommendation:
    "On 2nd June 1942 some 7 miles South West of Elmet Tamar, at 1830 hours, B Battery Royal Horse Artillery together with one troop Anti-Tank Battery, 1st Royal Horse Artillery and 4 Anti-Tank guns Kings Royal Rifle Corps under command 5th Royal Tank Regiment were in action against the enemy. Officer Commanding B Battery was ordered to be responsible for the right flank of 5th Royal Tank Regiment. Shortly after 20 Mk III German tanks threatened the right flank and were engaged by all guns. At about 1900 hours 5th Royal Tank Regiment were being fiercely engaged on the left by 40 German Mk III and IV tanks. Communication was lost with Officer Commanding 5th Royal Tank Regiment (it later transpired that his tank was knocked out and the Commander killed). Major Loder-Symonds however decided he must continue to protect the right flank of 5th Royal Tank Regiment. At about 1930 hours 40 more German Mk III and IV appeared on the left flank of the battery. They were engaged and given heavy punishment but the Battery also was suffering severely and it was now obvious that the Battery must now withdraw. The Anti-Tank guns were ordered back to cover the withdrawal of the 25 pounders. The intense 75mm and Machine Gun fire from this very large number of tanks now engaging the guns on two sides was so severe that 5 guns were knocked out. The guns were fought until there was only a total of 25 rounds left in the Battery when they withdrew, with the enemy tanks 300 yards from the position. During the action 8 German tanks were seen in flames and it is extremely probable that at least 20 were accounted for. Major Loder-Symonds was with his guns throughout directing their fire and dispositions and before finally leaving the position he personally went round to see that no wounded were left. This fine action eliminated a big threat to our positions and by his courage coolness and great leadership he set as fine an example as it is possible to think of."
    Second DSO awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DSO.
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Temporary Brigadier
    Unit:
    Royal Regiment of Artillery
    Awarded on:
    March 13th, 1948
    Haakon VII's frihetskors
    Citation:
    "This Officer commanded Stavanger Zone which included Kristiansand Sub-Zone. By his foresight and firm handling the surrender terms were put into effect in the shortest possible time and with the minimum friction.
    The bearing and high standard of the troops under his command during their many successful raids on German concentration camps reflects the greatest credit on this Officer. His administrative organisation was first class in spite of a very inadequate staff."
    Since died.

    Sources

    • Photo 1:
    • Photo: The Pegasus Archive
    • - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35209 published on the 4 July 1941
      - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35396 published on the 26 December 1941
      - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35465 published on the 20 February 1942
      - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35611 published on the 26 June 1942
      - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35665 published on the 11 August 1942
      - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 38122 published on the 11 November 1947
      - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 38240 published on the 16 March 1948
      - The West Australian 12 November, 1945
      - The Pegasus Archive

    Photo