John Oldfield

Medals awarded

  • The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
  • General Service Medal 1918-62
    Clasp: Palestine
    Clasp: Malaya
    MID oak leaf
  • 1939-45 Star
  • Africa Star 1940-43
  • Defence Medal 1939-45
  • War Medal 1939-45
    MID oak leaf
  • Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal 1977

Medals are shown left to right, as per the bullet point list above. John Oldfield was born on 28th April 1918 in Sandsend, near Whitby.

He was commissioned from Sandhurst in August 1938 and soon found himself in Palestine with the 1st Battalion, The Green Howards.

He was appointed Aide-de-Camp to Major General Harold Franklyn. After a year as ADC, he was posted to the 5th Battalion and sailed with it in April 1941 for the Middle East. He then served in Cyprus and North Africa until June 1942 when he and many others from the regiment’s 4th and 5th battalions were taken prisoner. He did his ‘time’ in various camps in Italy and Germany and finally was moved to Oflag 79 in Brunswick in April 1944 and became President of the Art Club.

Serving with the 1st Battalion in Malaya, in 1952 he was responsible for several successful missions and was then tasked with writing up the Green Howards experiences in the jungle. He was Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion from 1960-2 in Iserlohn and then as Colonel General Staff at the NATO Defence College in Paris. He was promoted Brigadier and commanded 128 Brigade (TA) and his last appointment was as Deputy Commander Aldershot District and Commander Aldershot Garrison before retiring in 1969.

We have in the museum collection a large archive of Oldfield’s letters.  You can read some of them here.

Brigadier John Briton Oldfield died on 29 September 1998.