David George Redvers Oldham

Personnel header
Lieutenant David George Redvers Oldham
Life dates
03 Dec 1921 - 08 Oct 2016
Profile Picture
Profile picture
Caption & credit
David George Redvers Oldham walking in London with his wife in 1945 (c) the Oldham Family

After joining the Army direct from school, he left and became a stockbroker. He was with Wedd Durlacher Mordaunt & Co in London until his retirement in 1982, having become Deputy Chairman in 1971. 

He married Penelope Barbara Royle at Westminster in 1944. 

He enjoyed Jazz and played piano for Humphrey Lyttleton, who he had been at school with, at the Savoy Hotel in London.

Unit or location Role Posted from until
Phantom: The GHQ Liaison Regiment Phantom Officer 15 Mar 1943 1945
Phantom: The GHQ Liaison Regiment Phantom Officer 15 Mar 1943 1945
Scottish Highlands Scout Section Scout Section Commander 1941 14 Mar 1943

Eton College (Keate House)

National ID
DJVE 31/33
The Seaforth Highlanders
Military number
Commissioned or Enlisted
25 Jul 1942

He served in Eton Officer Training Corps while at school.

He was commissioned into the Seaforth Highlanders in July 1942.

It is likely he was recruited to Auxiliary Units shortly after this. His childhood spent growing up on a large estate near Oban, hunting and shooting with his father, would have prepared him to lead a Scout Section in this area. We know about his service from a letter written by Colonel Douglas, Commander of Auxiliary Units, which refers to his service as a Scout Section officer and suitability to join the SAS if Phantom have no further use for him.

He was transferred to Phantom (GHQ Liaison Regiment) on 15 Mar 1943. He served in A Squadron, commanding No.1 Patrol, being promoted Captain in late 1944. They served in Normandy from shortly after D Day all the way through the Northwest Europe campaign into Germany. He was mentioned in despatches for his work with Phantom during this campaign.

Other information

Transcript of letter from Colonel Douglas (Original in National Archives)

G.H.Q. Auxiliary Units,
G.P.O. Highworth,

Friday 17 Dec 43

My Dear McIntosh,

I telephoned your HQ yesterday hoping I might be able to speak with you about David Oldham. Reddaway, your adjutant, told me that you were likely to be away for 2-3 weeks and therefore I told him something about the matter I want to speak to you.

Now that 51st Div are home I gather that C.O. 5 Seaforths has been casting his net far and wide for officers and has told him that a) he wants him and b) that his loyalty to Seaforths comes before that to the Phantoms.

I know that Oldham is exceedingly happy where he is and would be very loathe to leave it unless you have no further use for him. 

He somewhat naturally feels he has spent many months learning a "special trade" with you and that it would be wasted - or the majority of it - if he went back to the infantry.

I understand that owing to the return of officers from overseas you are full to xxxxxx and it is therefore quite probable that you may have to discard a certain number of officers and may be, for a variety of reasons Oldham may be among those you decide to get rid of.

If this is the case, I would be very grateful if you could give me a little advance Warning as the is a "number one priority" formation where use could be made [of] his - or any other ex Auxiliary Scout Officer's - previous training and this particular formation is asking for special volunteers from us and those previously employed by us. 

If however Oldham is still a satisfactory officer - and I hope he still is - and you decide to retain him, might I ask you to be good enough to drop O.C. 5 Seaforths a line saying that you cannot release him and thus spare the boy the very awkward situation he is being put in by his regiment.

So sorry to bother you when you've got so many other things to do but having found you a certain number of picked officers I do feel that anything I can still do to help them should be done.

Wishing you and the Liaison Regt all good luck for Christmas and 1944

Yours sincerely

Frank W R Douglas


P.S. I expect you know all the above already and if so I apologise.