Cecil Riding grew up near Lockerbie in Dumfries and trained as a surveyor before the war.
He enlisted in the Coldstream Guards on 12 June 1940.
He was commissioned into Highland Light Infantry in 1941.
According to author Michael Asher, he served with Aux Units and later joined the SAS on 24th February 1944. He was presented with a Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife in 1942, which indicates some link with a Special Forces unit at that time. The etched initials of the presenter of the knife are RLCR, though it is not known who this is.
He was part of D Squadron under former Auxiliary Units Intelligence Officer Major Ian Fenwick on Operation Gain in France in 1944 and took command when Fenwick was killed. He was awarded the Military Cross for his courage daring and resource during this operation.
It has not been possible to confirm his service with Auxiliary Units, though it is plausible. We would be grateful to hear from anyone who can confirm the truth either way.
An image of Lieutenant Riding while with the Highland Light Infantry can be seen here
The Regiment, Michael Asher