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Major Jack Watson MC and Lieutenant-Commander Monty Davenport


What brave men they were. How fiercely interesting, their faces.

"Major Jack Watson, who has died aged 94, was the archetypal parachute regimental officer: an inspiring leader and an outstanding front line commander. A platoon commander serving with 13th (Lancashire) Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (13 LBPR), he was dropped into Normandy on D-Day. . .When the Germans counter-attacked with Tiger tanks and infantry, he organised teams wielding Piat anti-tank weapons and beat them back. On one occasion, when a Tiger tank was only 50 yards away, he deliberately drew attention to himself in order to give a better shot to a Piat."

Helping to make D-Day possible was Lieutenant-Commander Monty Davenport.


"Lieutenant-Commander Monty Davenport, who died on April 14 aged 94, crafted crucially important deception plans for naval intelligence during the Second World War, notably helping to bamboozle the enemy during the landings in North Africa and on D-Day. . .In particular, he helped cloak the existence of troopships delivering American forces to Britain prior to D-Day; the operation was so successful that very few ships and men were lost in the Atlantic crossing."

After the war, Monty combined his career at GCHQ with the management of the family pharmaceutical firm, JT Davenport, founded in 1856, which had built its fortune on Collis Browne’s Chlorodyne, an anti-cholera preparation. He also fought an uncomplaining, 50-year-battle with multiple scerlosis.

Monty's code encryptions and signal deceptions were ingenious and saved lives. Jack was one of the many with the courage to carry through the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Ave atque Vale.

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