Jock Neighbour

Medals awarded

  • 1939-45 Star
  • France and Germany Star 1944-45
  • Defence Medal 1939-45
  • War Medal 1939-45
  • General Service Medal 1918-62
    Clasp: Malaya
    Clasp: Arabian Peninsula
    Clasp: Canal Zone
  • General Service Medal 1962-1999
    Clasp: Malay Peninsula
  • Medals are shown left to right, as per the bullet point list above.

Born in 1919 in Kent, Jocelyn Rupert ‘Jock’ Neighbour was commissioned into the Green Howards in 1939. He served throughout the war in North-West Europe, finding time in June 1940 to write to Captain Theakston. Theakston was accused of riding a bike over recently re-seeded grass. In the jokey reprimand, the then 2nd Lt Neighbour scolded his more senior friend, demanding the Captain ‘furnish your reasons embodied in a short monograph of not less than a thousand words, to be rendered in triplicate manuscript to the Adjutant not later than 1600 hrs. today’.

Post-war, Neighbour commanded ‘A’ Company of the 2nd Battalion in the UK and Egypt. In 1950 he was attached from Staff duties in Singapore to the Battalion in Malaya, taking over command of HQ Company in July 1951. He was arrested in 1953 by the Israelis for sketching the walls of Old Jerusalem at the height of the Arab tensions.

Described by many as a fair commander who did not suffer fools gladly, his arguments with superior officers became the stuff of legend, often with his hat at a jaunty angle that became his trade mark. In 2002 he attended the celebrations for the founding of the 2nd Battalion and concluded his speech… “We can all joke now about the route marches and the exercises, but I was trying to turn you into soldiers – and I did.” There was dead silence, then a roar of applause.

Neighbour was Mentioned in Despatches. His General Service Medal 1918-62 should therefore also feature an oakleaf, but this is missing from the group.

Jock Neighbour died on 18th April 2011.