Graeme Thompson
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Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson (1909 - 1968)

Major Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson
Born in Penarthmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 16 Jul 1932 in Llandaff Cathedralmap
Descendants descendants
Father of , and [private son (1940s - unknown)]
Died in Axmouth, Devonmap
Profile last modified | Created 19 Mar 2012
This page has been accessed 1,248 times.



Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson [1]was born at 12, Plymouth Road in Penarth to Tom Roe and Dorothea (née Handcock) Thompson on 31st August 1909. To friends and family, he was always known as 'Gay'.

He was educated at St Andrews, East Grinstead under the Rev R.A. Bull, and at Repton School (September 1923 to March 1927) under its headmaster Geoffrey Francis Fisher, later to be Archbishop of Canterbury.

While at Repton, he obtained:

School Certificate A (Oxford and Cambridge Schools Examination Board) in December 1926 passing with credit in the subjects of Scripture Knowledge, English, History, Latin, Greek, French and Elementary Mathematics[2].
Certificate "A." in the Junior Division of the Officers Training Corps, qualifying in the Infantry syllabus of examination in November 1926, obtaining 409 marks[3].

After he left Repton, he spent time (May - August 1927) being educated by Mr. C. Lermit, Le Colombier, St Jean de Braye, France and at a crammer run by Mr Tinniswood, Holmdale, Camberley, Surrey (24 August to November 1927). His time with Mr Lermit in France almost certainly enabled him to develop a good knowledge of French.

He entered the Royal Military College of Sandhurst on 2nd February 1928, 5 Coy and passed out the following year, joining the Royal Tank Corps, 1st Battalion as 2nd Lieutenant. While at Sandhurst, with his parents away in the South of France, his uncle by marriage, John Halsall was named as his guardian.

He was appointed on 29th August 1929 with the Rank of Second Lieutenant in the Royal Tank Corps.

In the Tank Corps, he attended courses on Tank Driving and Maintenance, Young Officers' Course, Tank Gunner Course and the Young Officers' Course R.A.O.C.

He left the army at the age of 22 on marrying Dora Bridget Gladstone. They lived in Menton in the south of France near his parents from 1931 to 1938 during which time he gathered a good working knowledge of the French language while working there as an Estate Agent. He claimed on Army Form B199A to speak and write French fluently after 8 years residence in France. His knowledge of France: in Franco-Italian Frontier Region, Alpes Maritimes, Basses Alpes, Var, Vaucluse, Isere, Haute Savoie, B. du Rh, having motored and camped in all parts of France except the Pyrenees and Rhine Departments.

While in France, he was Directeur d'Agence Immobiliere S.A.R.L. "British Agency, Menton" and frequently acted in Consular capacity at Menton, Alpes Maritimes.

Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson in late 1934 with his son, Brian Gladstone Roe Thompson, at Villa Marcelle, Menton.
Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson in 1935

They left the South of France in the shadow of the start of the War.

He joined the Home Guard for a brief period between May and November 1940 and received a certificate to record this: -

"In the years when our Country was in mortal danger Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson who served from 30th May 1940 to 22nd November 1940 gave generously of his time and powers to make himself ready for her defence by force of arms and with his life if need be, signed George R.I."

He rejoined the colours (army number 7646531) on 17th October 1940 and was discharged on 27th March 1941 after 162 days with the rank of Private to take up a commission (para 390 (XVII) Ks R 40) in the R.A.O.C. [4]

He was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, Intelligence Corps on 28th March 1941 and by 29th July 1941 was posted to No. 44 Field Security Section, with the acting rank of Lieutenant, reporting for duty on 16th September 1941 with I.S.R.B. with the acting rank of Captain, to be specially employed without Army pay and access as G.S.O. III.

He worked in S.O.E between September 1941 and September 1943.

He wrote a full account of his time with the Belgian Country Section of Special Operations Executive - See WarGen [1]

Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson, in uniform as a Captain in Military Intelligence, probably in late 1941

This was probably the one time in his life when he really found himself having to apply his mind to something really important.

He was attached to 3rd Civil Affairs Staff Course with effect from 29 July 1943. [5] This was at the Civil Affairs Staff Centre [see below], Southlands House, Parkside, Wimbledon.

He went on to spend time with Civil Affairs in North Africa and Italy, embarking for North Africa from Liverpool on 11th September 1943. He appears still to have been part of the Intelligence Corps at that time, to the end of his commission.

He returned to the UK in April 1944 and relinquished his commission on 3rd October 1944 on account of ill health, being granted the title of Hon. Major.

He received a letter from the War Office dated 24th August 1944, subject Relinquishment of Commission as follows, addressed to Captain G.T.R.Thompson, Intelligence Corps, Prospect, Elm Grove Road, Topsham, S. Devon:

I am directed to inform you that, as the Medical Board by which you were examined on the 2nd August, 1944, pronounced you as permanently unfit for any form of military service, it is regretted that there will be no alternative but for you to relinquish your commission on account of ill-health with effect from 3rd October 1944, the day following the date on which you exhaust your entitlement to sick leave on full pay. The requisite notification will appear in the London Gazette (Supplement) on or about 3rd October 1944 when you will be granted the honorary rank of Major under the terms of Army Order No. 209 of 1942, but you will not be permitted to wear uniform.

After the War, he studied and was examined by The Auctioneers' and Estate Agents' Institute of the United Kingdom, obtaining an Honours Certificate having sat the Direct Final Examination of the Institute, held in March 1946. Having obtained not less than 70% of the marks, he was awarded a First Class Honours Certificate, date 10th day of May 1946[6].

He took up small hold farming until he retired with his family to Axmouth, near Seaton, East Devon in 1952.

He died suddenly in October 1968 at the age of 59.

His ashes are interred at Axmouth Churchyard, Devon, together with those of his wife, Dora Bridget Gladstone and eldest son, Brian Gladstone Roe Thompson and his daughter Susan Grievson.

Civil Affairs Staff Training Centre

From the Daily Telegraph (probably 1944):[7]



Facilities have been given me to investigate a phase of the British Army's activities which has only lately been thrown into relief by events.

The Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories will form a most important branch of the Army's activities when it lands on the Continent, whether in conquest or in liberation. Its quality and character will have far-reaching, long-term results. These must be resolutely and concretely planned.

I found the planners at work in what had once been a girls' school somewhere in Britain. It is now Civil Affairs Staff Training Centre.

It turns out officers qualified by their natural abilities, their civilian experience and their intensive training to cope with the innumerable problems of civilian life which will arise immediately the main problem —the presence of the Nazis—has been liquidated by our Fighting Forces.

The trainees' average age is 45 to 46. They have been carefully chosen not only from the Armed Forces, but from the Police, Civil Defence, National Fire Service, Local Government and Colonial Service.


All are qualified as specialists in some phase of key civilian activity. Nearly. all are at least bilingual.

The Commandant, an ex-business man with wide Continental experience, outlined some of their tasks as follows :

They set foot in Europe with the advance-guard of the Army. They must be ready to bring order out of disorganisation and chaos.

The homeless, the lost and the sick, must be tended. Among them will probably be traitors and spies, deliberately left behind.

Men of must be rallied to re-create the shattered community life which the Germans will have left us.

Food and fuel will be wanted. The sanitary services, the hospitals, the water supplies, the factories and the fields must be set to work again without delay.

Posts, newspapers, must be re-established. Temporary buildings will be needed.

Civil defence and fire-fighting organisations will be essential if the Luftwaffe can spare a single bomber to hamper our communications.

The trainees are given two guiding principles :

1.—These officers are part of the Army, and their duties are definitely military, Their sole object is to further the object of the C.-in-C., which is to drive back, engage and destroy the enemy.
2.—The Army's Civil Administration is non-political, like the Army itself.

It is emphasised in the training that the Army administration will give way to civil administration as soon as the C.-in-C. decides that the situation warrants it.

Part of the course consists of an exercise " in which the trainees In groups of five are given an imaginary situation to tackle, on the assumption that a landing is being made in, a particular territory. Mistakes are discussed at special sessions at the end of the day's work.

This school of Civil Administration is working in close harmony with the Allies. There are lecturers and students from the United States and our European Allies.

Census Records

1911 Wales Census for Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson Glamorgan Penarth:[8]

Address: 12, Plymouth Road, Penarth
Tom Roe Thompson, Head, 33, married, Solicitor, born in Penarth, Glamorgan
Dorothea Thompson, Wife, 30, married, completed years of marriage 2, children born alive1, still living 1, born in Cardiff, Glamorgan
Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson, son, 1, born in Penarth, Glamorgan
Elizabeth Skyrme , Servant, 24, single, Cook Domestic, born in Tonna, Glamorgan
Hilda Thomas, Servant, 18, single Housemaid Domestic, born in Penarth, Glamorgan
Mary Evans, Servant, 30, single, Nurse Domestic, born in Pentre, Ystrad, Glamorgan


THOMPSON Graeme Thomas Roe of Stepps Barton Axmouth Seaton Devon died 21 October 1968 Probate Llandaff 4 Febuary 1969. £102194. [9]

Time Line

Date Particulars Station/Location Authority
31 August 1909 Born 12, Plymouth Road, PenarthBirth certificate
c.1918 - July 1923 Educated St Andrews Preparatory School, East Grinstead under the Rev. R.A. Bull
Sept 1923 to 29 March 1927 Educated, Repton School OTC - Lance Corporal Repton School
May 1927 to August 1927 Educated Mr C. Lermit, Le Colombier, St Jean de Braye, France
24 August 1927 to November 1927 Crammer Mr Tinniswood, Holmdale, Camberley
November 1927 Navy Army and Airforce Entrance Examination
1928 - 1931 Army Note of Interview 12 Aug 1941
2 February 1928 Entry to Royal Military College SandhurstSuccessful candidate form.
1929 Passed out from Royal Military College, 11th out of 170 cadets. Sandhurst
September 1929 Royal Tank Corps, 1st Battalion (2nd Lieutenant) Bovington, Dorset
September 1929 - December 1929 Tank Driving and Maintenance - passed Bovington Camp
January 1930 to July 1930 Young Officers' Course, Royal Tank Corps - passed Military College of Science, Woolwich
July 1930 to September 1930 Tank Gunnery Course - passed Lulworth
September 1930 Young Officers' Course, R.A.O.C - passed
May 1931 Resigned commission Bovington, Dorset
16 July 1932 Married Dora Bridget Gladstone Llandaff Cathedral
1931 - 1939 Directeur d'Agence Immoblierière Note of Interview 12 Aug 1941
12 July 1933 Birth of son, Brian Gladstone Roe Thompson Llandaff
8 July 1938 Birth of daughter, Susan Jane Thompson Exeter, Devon
28 February 1941 Thompson Prospect Topsham Exeter - Interview Successful and Hopeful await result in few weeks, much love Gay Woolwich Telegram sent by GTRT to DBT
28 March 1941 Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, Intelligence Corps
28 March 1941 Posted to Intelligence Corps Depot
22 May 1941 Attached as I.O.I/B. London District, to remain on strength of Depot
29 July 1941 Posted to No. 44 Field Security Section, with acting rank of Lieutenant
1 September 1941 Posted to Intelligence Corps Dept., reverting to substantive rank of 2nd Lieutenant and attached to I.S.R.B. for special duties Oxford
16 September 1941 Reported for duty with I.S.R.B. with acting rank of Captain to be specially employed without Army pay and access G.S.O. III
July 1943 3rd Course of Instruction, C.A.S.C. Civil Affairs Staff Centre, Southlands House, Wimbledon
1 September 1943 Ceases to be specially employed and is entitled to remuneration from Army Funds
1 September 1943 Posted to I.E. pool I.E.D. retaining temporary rank of Captain S/O O.T.A. North Africa with acting rank of Major Oxford
11 September 1943 Embarked Liverpool for Nusus (sic) Liverpool
6 January 1944 Relinquishes GSO2 region 5 AMG x(1), Assumed appointment of SO2 (C.A.), Unit:- ACC & AMG X(1)
10 April 1944 Embarked for UK
12 April 1944 to 26 April 1944 No. 19 Field Security Course Matlock Could not have attended as at sea.
23 April 1944 Disembarked UK (transfer to C.A. U.K.) UK
23 April 1944 Relinquishes appointment as S.O.2 C.A. Admin Italy and retains temporary Major
23 April 1944 Selection for appointment in No. 1 C.A. Pool (S.O. 2 C.A. (Major) Police w.e.f. 23/4/1944 UK
23 April 1944 Relinquishes appointment as SO2 (C.A.) retaining Temporary Major rank
3 October 1944 To relinquish commission on account of ill health - granted Hon. Major
Returned to Civilian Life
27 April 1945 Birth of son, Michael John Thompson Exeter, Devon
21 October 1968 Died of heart attack Stepps Barton, Axmouth, Seaton, Devon


  • Michael Thompson, firsthand knowledge. Click the Changes tab for the details of edits by Michael and others.
  • RMC Sandhurst archive.
  • Records from Army Personnel Centre
  1. Entered by Michael Thompson, Mar 19, 2012, updated July 2017
  2. O&C Schools Examination Board
  3. Original Certificate "A."
  4. Army Form B.108 B.
  5. War Office Joining Order A.G. 23(b)/4202, concerning P/44210 - W.S. Lt. G.T.R. Thompson, I.C.
  6. The Auctioneers' and Estate Agents' Institute of the United Kingdom
  7. Daily Telegraph (probably 1944)
  8. 1911 Wales Census for Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson Glamorgan Penarth
  9. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 for Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson 1969 Taafe-Vyvyan

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Memories: 1
Enter a personal reminiscence or story.
Whereas he was born in Penarth, South Wales, he spent much of his young life at Birchwood, Malvern, Worcester where his father owned a large estate.

The Lodge at Birchwood was where Sir Edward Elgar composed his work "Dream of Gerontius", but this was before the Thompsons owned the property. Graeme Thomas Roe Thompson, known as "Gay" to his friends, and "The Major" to others, was educated at Repton School in Derbyshire, and went to Sandhurst after leaving school. From Sandhurst, he went into the "Greys", I think, a cavalary regiment as a subleton until he came out of the army on marriage to Dora Bridget Gladstone. The couple joined his parents in the south of France (Menton) where they lived until about 1938. GTRT as a young man worked as an Estate Agent and spoke fluent French. With the outbreak of War in 1939, he joined up but was transferred to the Belgian Section of the Special Operations Executive in Baker Street, London, working with Major Claude Knight (my late Godfather) and ultimately Hardy Amies. He left SOE in the War and saw service in North Africa and Italy. After the War, he lived the life of a Gentleman, running a smallholding initially at Fordingbridge, Hampshire, moving to Seavington in Somerset and eventually in 1952 to Axmouth in Devon, where he died prematurely of a heart attack in 1968 at the age of 59. Written by Michael Thompson, son

posted 19 Mar 2012 by Michael Thompson   [thank Michael]
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Rejected matches › Thomas Thompson (abt.1828-)

Graeme is 18 degrees from Laurie Giffin, 38 degrees from Toni Morrison and 17 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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