Colonel GM McCleverty DSO MC

‘One of the finest Regimental Officers I have ever met ‘
Field Marshal Lord Ironside GCB CMG DSO

McCleverty when in command of the 2nd Battalion

Colonel Guy McCleverty was born in 1885, the son of Colonel James McCleverty late The Sherwood Foresters (Derbyshire Regiment).  Educated at Malvern College and the Royal Military College Sandhurst, he enjoyed a long and distinguished military career, taking a gallant part in nearly every Battle Honour gained by the Regiment in the First World War: La Bassee 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Aubers, Loos, Egypt 1915, Tigris 1916, Kut El Amara 1917, Baghdad and Persia 1918.

He was gazetted in 1905 to The Prince of Wales’s Own (West Yorkshire) Regiment, but later joined the Bedfordshire Regiment in India.  In 1907 he was transferred to the Indian Army and joined 1st Battalion of the 2nd Goorkhas in Dehra Dun.  He served with it in Chitral 1907 -1909 and took part on the Abor Expedition 1911 -1912 when he his good service was formally noted.  McCleverty represented the Regiment at football and was a member of the 1st Battalion team which reached the final of the Gurkha Brigade Cup in 1910.

In 1914 McCleverty was posted to the 2nd Battalion and accompanied it to France.  He was wounded in the attack on 2 November 1914 and mentioned in despatches.  He rejoined in February 1915 , but was again wounded, shot through the arm in the attack on the Bois du Biez on 10 March 1915 when he was commanding No 1 Double Company.  He later went back to the 2nd Battalion in Egypt before finally returning to Dehra Dun in March 1916.  In May that year he transferred back to the 1st Battalion in Mesopotamia where he was mentioned in despatches and was awarded the Military Cross for an action on 3 July 1917.  The citation, written by Lieutenant Colonel Sweet CMG DOS (qv) read as follows:

‘ This officer was my Adjutant in the 10.40hrs successful attack on 3rd July 1917.  He had only taken over his duties as such at 04.00hrs when Capt H F F Marsh had been fatally wounded.  Capt McCleverty did most sterling work in reorganising the three lines of trenches which had been carried in the assault, showing absolute disregard of danger.  I consider that it was largely due to his efforts in stimulating the men to extra exertion and that when the Turkish counter attack came we were able to repel it without too much trouble.’

On return from leave in July 1917 he became Staff Captain Baghdad Garrison before rejoining the 1st Battalion in December.  In June 1918 he led a force of  440 Gurkhas from Tel Suliman in Mesopotamia to Hamadan in north-west Persia.  From there he carried out operations in Resht as part of Dunsterforce where he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order .  The citation read as follows:

‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Resht, Persia on 20 July 1918.  Capt McCleverty was in command of a relief party sent to extricate a force besieged in a building.  He displayed great courage and initiative and it was mainly due to his resource and daring leadership that the relief was successfully accomplished.  His work throughput the operations was of a very
high order.’

He returned to the 1st Battalion in Mesopotamia for the remainder of 1918 before assuming command of the Detachment at Resht until June 1919 when he was again mentioned in despatches.  After six months UK leave McCleverty again returned to the 1st Battalion.  In June 1920 he served as Staff Officer to the Menjil Column before being appointed in October 1920 as GSO2 HQ 36 Indian Mixed Brigade/HQ British Forces North Persia.  On 16 March 1921 McCleverty was appointed Commandant of the 1st Battalion and he brought them back to their home station of Dehra Dun, arriving on 19 June 1921.

McCleverty, also taken when he was in command of the 2nd Battalion

McCleverty was a student at the Staff College, Camberley, in 1922 -23 after which he was appointed, in October 1924, as Brigade Major 13 (Jhelum) Indian Infantry Brigade (subsequently converted to HQ Rawalpindi District) until November 1927.  In January 1928 became Second-in-Command of the 2nd Battalion and subsequently became Commandant (Commanding Officer) from 5 May until December 1934.

During his period of command he also temporarily commanded Malakand Area and the Nowshera Brigade).  After command he was appointed Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster General (AA & QMG) Rawalpindi District, a post he held until left the Army on 16 August 1937.

McCleverty was married to Evelyn Ewart, the daughter of Major General Sir Richard Ewart KCMG CB CIE DSO ADC, late Indian Army.  In retirement he took an active part in his local Civil Defence organisation, before holding various staff appointments at the War Office during World War Two, when at his own request he reverted to the rank of Major before being restored to the rank of Colonel in November 1945 .

He died in October 1972 and under the terms of his Will offered his house in Fleet, Hampshire to the Regiment, which was regretfully declined.  He was Chairman of the Sirmoor Club from its earliest days until September 1965.

His medals, which were in the Regimental Collection, were donated to the Gurkha Museum by the Trustees of the Sirmoor Rifles Trust in 1999.


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