Adair, Sir Allan Henry Shafto 6th Baronet, born 03-11-1897 in London, the only son of Sir Robert Shafto Adair, 5th Baronet and Mary Bosanquet. He attended Harrow School between 1912 and 1916, and then joined the Army, receiving his commission as a probationary second lieutenant on 02-05-1916 in the 5th, Reserve, Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. From December 1916 he served in France and Belgium as part of the 2nd Company, 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, with the rank of lieutenant. Adair was awarded his first Military Cross on 02-12-1918. The citation read: “For conspicuous gallantry and resource while in command of the support company. Owing to thick fog the leading company lost direction and failed to turn up. He led his company correctly into position and then made several personal reconnaissance’s under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, and cleared up the situation. He captured the objectives without the assistance of tanks or artillery, and broke up a hostile counter-attack the following morning.” With the rank of Acting Captain, Adair was Officer Commanding 2nd Company from 22 September to 11-11-1918, receiving his second Military Cross on 02-04-1919 “for conspicuous gallantry and skill at Preux au Sart, on 04-11-1918. In command of the left front company, which was held up by an organized line of machine guns, he so maneuvered his platoons as to capture the line with a minimum of casualties. Although wounded in the leg, he continued in command until relieved the following day. After the armistice with Germany Adair’s battalion returned to London, where on 29-06-1920 he received his permanent lieutenant’s commission, with seniority backdated to 02-08-918. On 29-09-1923 he was promoted to captain in the 2nd Battalion. He was promoted to Major on 22-05-1932, and returned to the 3rd Battalion to serve as second-in-command until 11-04-1940. After a short time as Chief Instructor at 161st Infantry Officer Cadet Training Unit at Sandhurst, he returned to his regiment on 08-05-1940 where he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion with the rank of acting lieutenant colonel. The Guards soon found themselves in the thick of the fighting during the Battle of France and held the perimeter against German attacks during the Dunkirk evacuation.
Adair was promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 19-09-1940, and on 17-10-1940 was appointed Commander of the 30th Independent Infantry Brigade (Guards), re-designated the 6th Guards Armored Brigade on 15-09-1941, with the rank of temporary Brigadier. From 12-09-1942 until December 1945 Adair was General Officer Commanding of the Guards Armored Division, receiving promotion to colonel on 30-06-1943, while serving as an acting and then temporary Major General from 21-09-1942. The Guards Armored Division arrived in Normandy on 28-06-1944 as part of VIII Corps, first seeing action during “Operation Goodwood” in July, and then in “Operation Bluecoat” in July/August. Following the Allied breakout they advanced across Northern France and into Belgium as part of XXX Corps, under General under the commander of XXX Corps in Operation Market Garden, General Brian Horrocks, nicknamed “Jorrocks”
Horrocks died old age 89, on 04-01-1985, in Chichester. XXX Corps suffered fewer than 1.500 casualties, which stands in stark contrast to the 8.000 casualties suffered by the 1st Airborne Division. There were about 500 civilian casualties and German casualties are harder to determine, as the records are mostly incomplete. The official casualties estimated by Rundstedt are 3.300 but these numbers are challenged by historians. Conservative estimates range from 6.400, 8.000, to as high as 9.800–13.300. Kershaw gives a detailed but incomplete list of the participated German units and their casualties and concludes with 6.315 – 8.925 overall German casualties. A contemporary paper of the 21st Army Group mentions that 16.000 German prisoners were taken during Operation Market Garden, but it is unclear how those numbers relate to later casualty estimates. The division liberated Brussels, after making an unprecedented advance from Douai, 97 miles (156 km) away, in only 14 hours. The Division then took a leading role in the ground advance in “Operation Market Garden” in September. (see About) (see nun Peters)
Held in reserve during the Battle of the Bulge, it was committed to the Battle of the Reichswald, “Operation Veritable”, in February and March 1945. After the German surrender in May 1945 the Division remained as part of the occupying forces, but on 12-06-1945 was converted into an infantry division. From December 1945 until 14-11-1946 Adair served as General Officer Commanding the 13th Infantry Division , based in Greece during the Civil War, and receiving promotion to Major-General on 25-07-1946, with seniority from 12-11-1944. He finally retired from active service on 11-03-1947, but remained in the Regular Army Reserve of Officers until reaching the mandatory retirement age on 03-11-1957. Adair was appointed Exon in the Yeomen of the Guard, the ceremonial bodyguards to the monarch, on 21-11-1947, receiving promotion to Ensign on 30-06-1950 and then to Lieutenant on 31-08-1951, before finally retiring on 14-11-1967. Adair, here on the left with Montgomey, served as a Governor of Harrow School from 1947 until 1952, was Colonel of the Grenadier Guards from 1961 to 1974, and a Deputy Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Freemansons from 1969 to 1976. He also served as Deputy Lieutenant for County Antrim, and as a Justine of the Peace for the county of Suffolk. On 28-04-1919 Adair married Enid Violet Ida Ward. They had two sons; Captain Desmond Allan Shafto Adair (1920–1943), killed in action in Italy, and Robert Dudley Shafto Adair (1923–1925), and three daughters; Bridget Mary Adair (born 1928), Juliet Enid Adair (born 1930) and Annabel Violet Adair (born 1937). Adair succeeded his father as 6th Baronet on 09-10-1949 inheriting the family home of Flixton Hall in Suffolk. However the burden of its upkeep and maintenance, combined with heavy death duties meant that he was obliged to sell the property in 1950. In his 1986 memoir, Adair described Flixton Hall as “a vast, uncomfortable mausoleum, with no proper central heating. In winter the children had to wear their overcoats when moving from room to room”. It was demolished within two years. Adair then settled in the village of Raveningham, Norfolk.
Death and burial ground of Adair, Sir Allan Henry Shafto 6th Baronet.
Sir Allan Adair left as Deputy Grand Master of Freemasons , died in 04-08-1988 at the age of 90 Raveningham, Norfolk. With no surviving sons his title became extinct. He is buried with his wife Enid Violet Ida, who died age 87 in 1984, at Hatfield Road Cemetery, St Albans, Hertfordshire.
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