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From: "Peter McCrae" <>
Subject: [W-OBITS] MCHARDY: William George McHardy 2008
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2008 21:52:40 +0100
Colonel 'Charlie' McHardy
Officer with the Seaforth Highlanders who was awarded an MC in Tunisia and
became factor at Balmoral
Last Updated: 8:43PM BST 08 Sep 2008
McHardy in 1963, in a portrait by Henry Raeburn Dodson Colonel 'Charlie'
McHardy, who has died aged 88, won an MC in Tunisia while serving with the
Seaforth Highlanders; for many years he was the Queen's Resident Factor at
In April 1943 McHardy, then a captain, was adjutant of 2nd Battalion the
Seaforth Highlanders (2SH), part of the 51st Highland Division. At the
Battle of Wadi Akarit, Tunisia, he started the attack on the feature known
as Roumana Ridge, but in the first phase of the offensive "A" Company took
heavy losses from enemy mortar fire, and both its commander and
second-in-command were wounded.
At this critical moment McHardy left Battalion HQ, took command of the
remnants of "A" Company, collected a platoon which had become separated from
"C" Company and directed an assault on Point 112, their immediate objective.
His force captured the feature and took many prisoners. At the end of the
day, his somewhat autocratic commanding officer demanded to know why McHardy
had left his post, though he himself had taken command of another company.
McHardy was awarded an immediate MC and his CO a DSO.
William George McHardy, always known as "Charlie," was born in Nairobi on
July 20 1920 and was educated at Dulwich and the RMC Sandhurst, where he won
the Sword of Honour. He was commissioned into the SH in October 1939 and was
fortunate not to have been captured at St Valry in June 1940 and spent the
rest of the war as a PoW.
Casualties were high and promotion rapid. Before the battle of El Alamein
McHardy was introduced to Monty, who asked him what he had done before the
war. He replied that he had been at school.
After the defeat of the Axis forces in Tunisia, McHardy took temporary
command of his battalion during the invasion of Sicily when his CO and 2 i/c
were taken prisoner during a forward reconnaissance. He was slightly
In June 1944 McHardy landed with 2SH in Normandy. Shortly after D-Day he was
severely wounded, and this put an end to his active service. His service for
the next 21 years alternated between staff and regimental appointments.
These included attendance at Staff College, Haifa, appointments in the War
Office, at Shape and on the directing staff of the Staff College, Camberley.
He commanded a company of 1SH in Malaya in 1950 and 1951 before commanding
the Guard at Balmoral and then the regimental depot at Fort George.
The Seaforth Highlanders were amalgamated with the Queen's Own Cameron
Highlanders in 1961 to form the Queen's Own Highlanders and, the following
year, he took command of the regular battalion of his regiment.
The battalion played a notable part in operations in Brunei, North Borneo,
and Sarawak in 1962-63; McHardy was mentioned in dispatches. After a further
appointment at Staff College, in 1965 he resigned his commission.
McHardy was appointed Resident Factor at Balmoral, an appointment he
retained until 1979. After retiring he farmed on his own account in
Aberdeenshire and became a well-known breeder of Blonde d'Aquitaine cattle.
He was appointed MBE in 1949, MVO in 1973 and advanced to CVO in 1979.
"Charlie" McHardy died on July 20, his 88th birthday. He married, in 1952,
June Cunningham-Jardine, who died on September 4. Their son and two
daughters survive him.
|[W-OBITS] MCHARDY: William George McHardy 2008 by "Peter McCrae" <>|