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Purdon, Corran William Brooke

Date of birth:
May 4th, 1921 (Cobh, Ireland)
Date of death:
June 27th, 2018 (Devizes/Wiltshire, United Kingdom)
Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
No. 12 Commando, 1st Special Service Brigade, Combined Operations Headquarters, War Office, British Government
Awarded on:
July 5th, 1945
Awarded for:
Operation Chariot
"On 28 March, 1942, during the Commando Rid at ST. NAZAIRE, France.

Lieut. Purdon was in command of a demolition party whose duties were to carry out the destruction of the Main Dry Dock installations.

Although wounded, he led his men to their task and under intense fire carried through the work of destruction completely destroying an important part of the Dry Dock machinery.

Later in the street fighting, although suffering from severe loss of blood, his determination, coolness and dash were fine examples to his men and his action led to the destruction of many enemy and their equipment."
Military Cross (MC)
Commander, Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces
Awarded on:
June 13th, 1970
"Brigadier Purdon commands the Sultan's Armed Forces - a very large command for a brigadier which includes virtually four infantry battalions and a *** battery, and air wing of strike and support aircraft and a small *** wing.

His main task has been to maintain stability in a huge kingdom well known for a history of tribal disloyalty to the Ruler, and a the same time fight a guerilla war in country of extreme ruggedness and against tough hill tribes who are well supported from bases across the wild and inaccessible frontier.

This task, which is difficult enough, has been made even more frustrating by the lack of support from the immediate paid advisor to the Sultan and by the natural tendency of a sometime ill-informed Sultan to vacillate over any request which requires him to spend money.

In addition the army element are a mixture of Baluch and Arabs who do not happily mix and the former ** in no sense over any allegiance to the Sultan but are mercenaries who under normal circumstances are only prepared to do the minimum for the meagre wages they receive.

It is therefore surprising that Brigadier Purdon has not only kept the Oman quiet but also the war under control.

His loyalty to the Sultan has never faltered. But in fact the soldiers only fight because they have found in Brigadier Purdon somebody in whom they are prepared to give their own loyalty. He has not only extracted the best out of them but he has kept them facing the considerable dangers of war for longer periods then would have been possible under most other commanders.

He has given them confidence in their training and hence in themselves. By his frequent personal example under fire, by his total inperturbality and by his unfading cheerfulness and optimism under the most difficult circumstances he has extracted results which would not have seemed possible."
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
Royal Hong Kong Police Force
Awarded on:
December 31st, 1981

Deputy Commissioner of Police