John Hereward "Tiny" Kidner

Personnel header
Second Lieutenant John Hereward "Tiny" Kidner
Life dates
05 Oct 1917 - 2004

He was born in Enfield, Middlesex to Alfred & Frances Kidner. 

He was commisioned and became Scout Section Officer in Auxiliary Units. He subsequently joined the SAS and served in France and Germany. 

After the war, he went to Kenya and went into partnership on a farming estate, but gave it up after a year or so.

He remained close friends with Peter Weaver, who he had known in both Auxiliary Units and the SAS. Both were well known for enjoying a lively party.

Late in life he married a long lost sweetheart who he had met again after many years. He died on 4th March 2004 in Somerset.

Unit or location Role Posted from until
West Dorset Scout Section Scout Section Commander 01 Feb 1942 01 Jul 1942
Operation Haft SAS combatant 06 Jul 1944 10 Aug 1944
Operation Haft SAS combatant 06 Jul 1944 10 Aug 1944
The Wiltshire Regiment
Military number
Commissioned or Enlisted
15 Oct 1939

In 1936 he joined the Honourable Artillery Company, a Territorial Unit, in the ranks. It was an unusual regiment which as well as providing gun batteries, also had a pre-planned role as an Officer Training Unit during wartime. This meant that as a result of completing his exams before the war, Tiny Kidner was immediately sent to complete his Officer Training, resulting in his early commission, just a month after mobilisation.

He subsequently joined the Wiltshire Regiment, being pictured with other officers of what is thought to be the 1st Battalion. The photo includes a total of 5 officers of the 44 pictured who would later serve with Auxiliary Units

He was then posted to Auxiliary Units as a Scout Section Officer, most likely around February 1942, when his predecessor left. He remained until about July 1942, when Lieutenant Geoffrey Brain took over. The latter reported that he was asked to do so because his friend Lieutenant Kidner wasn’t felt to be quite up to the job. 

Lieutenant Kidner joined the SAS on 1st April 1944, along with other officers, including Lieutenant L R Bradford, Devon Scout Section Officer. he served on Operation Haft during the Normandy Campaign.

On 7th February 1945, he took an unauthorised flight in a Stirling bomber on a raid into Germany. He surprised the crew as he leaned out of the aircraft window taking photos despite heavy flak bursting around them.

He also took part in operations in Germany towards the end of the war.