Photograph of Patrick in Tameside Local Studies and Archives Centre. Reference: MR2/20/30
(L to R) 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; 1939-45 Defence Medal; 1939-45 War Medal with 'Mentioned in Despatches' oak leaf; General Service Medal 1918-62 with clasp 'Malaya'; 1935 Jubilee Medal; Efficiency Decoration
Patrick was born on the 13th November 1913 in Esher, Surrey. His father was called Guy Vernon and his mother was Ethel Marie. He had one sibling that we know of, an older sister called Phyllis Mary. The family were members of the Church of England.
In 1911 Guy was a secretary in a mineral water company. We don't know the name of the company. He sent Patrick to Cottesmore Preparatory School in Brighton, Sussex, and then to Upingham School in Rutland. At Upingham he reached the rank of Cadet Lance Corporal in the School's Officer Training Corps.
After he left school Patrick began to work as an unarticled clerk for Martin, Farlow and Company. This was a firm of accountants. He worked there for 12 months in 1932 before becoming a Director at the Direct Supply Aerated Water Company Limited.
As well as his business career Patrick joined the Territorial Army (TA). In 1932 he enlisted in the infantry battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company. This unit was based in the City of London. Patrick will have trained as a soldier during evenings and weekends, as well as an annual training period of around 2 weeks.
Between April and June 1937 Patrick married Betty M. Miller in Westminster. Their son Charles Patrick was born on the 31st March 1939 in the Surrey North Eastern area, which covers parts of south west London. They divorced at some point between then and 1945.
By mid 1939 Patrick held the rank of Lance Corporal. On the 1st July he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the 2nd Battalion of Princess Louise's Kensington Regiment. After his annual training, lasting from the 13th to the 27th August, he was called up for full-time service. The Second World War began 6 days later.
The 2nd Battalion sailed to France on the 15th April 1940 to join the British forces there. They began preparing for a German invasion. This began on the 10th May. Despite the best efforts of British and French forces they were quickly overwhelmed and forced back to the Channel coast. Patrick was returned to the UK on the 13th May, before the British began the evacuation from Dunkirk.
Patrick went on a Vickers Medium Machine Gun Platoon Commander's Course at Netheravon in Wiltshire between the 11th November and the 7th December 1940. He then left the 2nd Battalion later that month.
He was promoted to Temporary Captain and assigned to the 24th Guards Brigade. We don't know what job he had. This unit was sent to North Africa towards the end of 1942, but Patrick didn't go with it. He was assigned to Number 1 (Reserve) Battalion on the 16th July 1943. We don't know anything about this unit. He left it in April and joined the 2nd Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. This new job brought with it a promotion to Temporary Major. During September he went on a Bren Light Machine Gun Course at Clacton in Essex. The course taught him how to use the Bren against aircraft.
On the 5th June 1944 the 2nd Battalion left the UK. They landed on Sword Beach in Normandy the next day, one of the first Allied units to land in France. They were part of the 3rd Infantry Division and fought with this unit in Normandy, the Netherlands and Germany. Patrick left the 2nd Battalion on the 6th March 1945, 2 months before the end of the war, and returned to the UK. He was posted to the 5th Battalion of the Manchester Regiment as its Second in Command. He was Mentioned in Despatches on the 10th May 1945 to recognise his service in North West Europe.
Patrick was promoted to Temporary Lieutenant Colonel and took command of the 5th Battalion in early August. At this time they were at Llanybydder in Carmarthenshire. The 5th Battalion was a TA unit.
On the 8th September in Lampeter Patrick married for the second time. His wife was Josephine Phyllis Marie Rice. After just over 2 months of marriage the 5th Battalion was sent to Malta on the 17th November.
The battalion's time in Malta was quiet. A major job was guarding German prisoners of war, other than this there was plenty of time for sport. Josephine was living with her husband during this time, and after a swimming gala in late August she presented a trophy to the winning team.
Patrick left the 5th Battalion and Malta in December 1946. He had been accepted for a Regular commission, so he would join the Regular 1st Battalion of the Manchester Regiment as soon as there was a vacancy. In the meantime he was assigned to the 24th Machine Gun Training Centre in Chester. During the war there had been no difference between the TA and the Regular Army, but with peace members of the TA could expect to be demobilised and return to their civilian lives. Patrick had clearly taken to Army life.
In May 1947 Patrick was posted to the 1st Battalion with the rank of Major. He joined them in Bad Sachsa, near the border between the western and eastern sectors of Germany. He took command of B Company. Patrick also joined the cricket team; he was a talented bowler.
The 1st Battalion returned to the UK that December. Patrick took an Infantry Company Commander's Course at the School of Infantry in Warminster during January and February 1948. He was then selected to become an instructor in the British Military Mission in Greece.
Greece was split by a Civil War at this time. The British and the Americans were supporting the government against communist guerrillas. The British Military Mission was intended to help improve the Greek Army's training and capability.
Patrick arrived in Greece during April 1948 and served there as an Instructor for 2 years. We don't know anything about where he was based or what he did during this time. In April 1950 he was assigned to the 1st Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers in Egypt. They returned to the UK in May 1951. During his time in Egypt Patrick was awarded the Efficiency Decoration to recognise the time he had spent in the TA.
After he returned from 'messing about in the Middle East' Patrick went home on leave to Old Cottage in Selsey Bill, Sussex. His parents lived there. Patrick and Josephine had divorced on the 12th September 1950. We don't know whether they had any children.
In September 1951 Patrick left the UK again. This time he travelled even further. He had been appointed Second in Command of the 2nd Battalion of the Malay Regiment. This unit was involved in fighting Communist insurgents who threatened the government of Malaya. He held this job until July 1954, when he returned to the UK.
At around this time Patrick became engaged to Elizabeth Vivia Jones. She also lived in Selsey Bill. The couple married on the 7th October 1954 in Chichester, Sussex.
The 1st Battalion of the Manchester Regiment had been in Malaya at the same time as Patrick. They both returned to the UK in mid 1954. Patrick rejoined the battalion in Minden, West Germany and was appointed President of the Regimental Institute. The Regimental Institute was responsible for the canteen, shop and recreation rooms established for the benefit and recreation of the men of the battalion. Patrick also served as Paymaster; ensuring soldiers were paid in full and on time.
In early 1957 Patrick was assigned to the Command Pay Office in the British Army of the Rhine. That May he transferred to the Royal Army Pay Corps, and then returned to the 1st Battalion. He moved with them back to the UK in June 1957.
The Manchester Regiment was amalgamated with the King's Regiment (Liverpool) on the 1st August 1958. At the end of September Patrick left this new unit, the King's Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool), for the 1st Battalion of the South Wales Borderers. They were based in the UK until June 1959, when they were sent to West Germany. After 3 1/2 years they returned to the UK in December 1962. Patrick retired from the Army just less than a year later on the 30th November 1963.
After he retired Patrick and Elizabeth moved to 'Cob Nash' on Wells Road in Malvern Wells, Worcestershire. Patrick remained a member of the Manchester Regiment Officer's Dinner Club and looked after the finances of the annual reunions 'which [in 1979] have been organised in the South of England during the past 15 years'. He also became Bursar to a 'Boy's Independent School in Worcestershire.' We don't know which one.
Patrick's mother died between April and June 1972 aged 87. His father was 97 when he died between January and March 1974. Just months later, between April and June, Elizabeth died aged 50. This broke up 'a great party couple... welcome guests and wonderful hosts'.
Patrick continued to live at Cob Nash until he died suddenly on the 10th February 1979. He was 65 years old. He left his medals to the Museum of the Manchester Regiment.
Patrick, or 'Pat' as he was known, was remembered as 'a cheerful character with a dry sense of humour. His pay office was a happy workplace, with Pat seated in control surrounded by piles of money and a multitude of books and forms. His payments to individuals were normally completed with 'leg pulling' farewell remarks.'