My forthcoming book

My forthcoming book
My forthcoming book

Saturday, 24 April 2021

Jim Denniston - DOS 21st Army Group

James Guy (Jim) Denniston served first as private in the London Scottish, and was then commissioned on 13 August 1915 in the Seaforth Highlanders. He served in France and then in Egypt. He transferred to the RAOC in the late twenties and attended the 7th Ordnance Officers Course. 

In the thirties he was posted to Singapore where he is credited with the major expansion of the RAOC depot there. In WW2, he 'marched with the 8th Army' in North Africa, before a posting with RAOC training. 

He was appointed DOS 21st Army Group. In my blog piece for Pen & Sword, I describe the scene when he addressed the assembled leaders of the RAOC in the final preparations for D Day. This is how he began his speech:

‘We in the Expeditionary Force are the “happy few.” Let us remember that there may be, in our bases behind, many who are thinking of our good fortune; let us remember that they, too, would very willingly take our places in the front.'

He led Ordnance in the 21st Army Group until Cyril Cansdale took over when it became BAOR. Denniston was then posted back to the Middle East until his retirement. This final posting had coincided with a difficult phase of economic re-organisation which was made still more difficult by receding manpower, reduced estimates and a certain element of doubt and indecision. 'General Denniston (as he became) met all difficulty with indomitable courage and unfailing cheerfulness’

Denniston, Williams and Clarke (DDOS 2nd Army)
 

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