John Iredale

Personnel header
Lieutenant John “Tim” Iredale
Life dates
28 Jul 1914 - 18 May 1986
Unit or location Role Posted from until
Fife and Angus Scout Section Scout Section Commander 01 Dec 1941 08 Nov 1943
Operation Kipling SAS combatant 17 Aug 1944 26 Sep 1944
The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
Military number
Commissioned or Enlisted
19 Oct 1940

John Iredale was a Scout Section Officer, initially in Fife and Angus, before commanding a "Demonstration Squad" which travelled around. Over what area is unclear.

He was also sent to the Shetlands to set up an offical organisaiton that appears to have been identical to Auxiliary Units, but without appearing on the Auxilary Units nominal rolls or any other correspondence.

In "The Last Ditch", the story of Aux Units published in 1968, David Lampe describes how Tim Iredale was trained in explosive techniques at Coleshill House before heading to Shetland to swim out and attach explosives to a German U Boot that had been spotted repeatedly surfacing in a cove. The story seems far fetched and Lampe says as much, though he states that Aux Units Officers insisted that the attack took place. However, with absolute confirmation that Iredale served with Aux Units, SOE and the SAS, perhaps it isn't so unlikely.

Auxiliary Units Part II Orders No 43 record that he ceased to be a Scout Section Officer on 8th November 1943. He was posted to STS HQ (Special Training Schools Headquarters, otherwise known as SOE, the Special Operations Executive).

1 Apr 1944 Lieutenant John Iredale  joined the SASR (Special Air Service Regiment) 

He was seriously injured in fighting in Germany May 1945, while patrolling through woods. He was almost certainly hit by friendly fire. It was recognised that he needed urgent medical attention, which wasn’t available to the spearhead of the Allied advance. Instead another officer, Neville Edwards, took him in a jeep, flying a white flag, across enemy lines to be treated by the Germans. He also took a German prisoner to tell them to care for him properly and remind them that the SAS were holding 89 of their comrades at that moment. Edwards returned safely and Tim Iredale was treated correctly by the Germans. He had his leg amputated on a school desk and had his wound dressed with “loo roll” (most likely paper bandages as the Germans had no supplies of cotton by this stage of the war). He was then transferred to a German military hospital where he was looked after until being repatriated shortly after the end of the war. According to friend and fellow SAS officer, Roy Close, he spoke well of the German surgeon as he never had any problems with the stump, unlike others treated by the British!

Bankfield, Workington, Cumberland

Auxiliary Units Part II Orders No 43
The National Archives HS9/777/8