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Major Ronald Grantham, MC & Bar
  Vixere fortes ante Agamemnoma
Multi; sed emnes illacriminables
Urgentur ignotique longa
Nocte, cara qula vate sacro.

[Many brave men lived before Agamemnon's time, but they are all unmourned
and unknown, covered by the long night, because they lacked their sacred poet.

Equally, brave men after Agamemnon might lack a 'sacred poet' to laud their deeds, yet their bravery is to be found recorded in reports and bulletins. What need then have they of bards to record their deeds?
     Ronald Grantham, born 21 May 1918, was admitted to the school on 13 September 1929. His father's unit is not recorded, nor is the date of his discharge although he is registered as having enlisted in '2 EE' [followed by MCC, which could possibly be a reference to the Machine Gun Corps]. In whatever unit he enlisted, he is well-recorded in other records as having attended the RMC, Sandhurst, being commissioned in the Royal Tank Corps (RTC) and being awarded his first Military Cross in 5 July 1940 when still a second lieutenant. He was awarded a bar to his MC in March 1945 when he was a temporary major.
     He was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery and leadership at the Battle of Souchez (a river and the site of much bloody fighting in World War

Major R. Grantham,
MC & Bar, RTC

One) during the retreat to Dunkirk in 1940. The Battalion Commander had been killed at some point in the retreat and while the French, British and German tanks were slugging it out. Confusion reigned. French tanks were being fired on by their British allies. Grantham left his own 'light' tank and ran to 'ring the bells' of remaining tanks in his regiment to tell the tank commanders they were firing on French tanks. He is reported to have done this 'in full view of the enemy'. [This was a confused tank battle by all accounts, but there is no evidence that enemy infantry were in close support of their tanks.] In any case, 2/Lt Grantham is believed to have saved many French lives as well as tanks, and made sure that fire was redirected to the enemy AMVs.
    On 12 February 1945, Major Grantham commanded a squadron of Churchill tanks supporting infantry in the battle for the Reichswald Forest. By the time the objective had been gained, but still under fierce opposition, only four out of fifteen tanks were battle worthy. Major Grantham left his own tank to command the fire and operations of his own tanks on foot. He succeeded in breaking a number of counter attacks with cool disregard for his own safety. For his leadership under fire, Major Grantham demonstrated courage and determination under fire and for this action he was awarded a bar to his Military Cross.
    Major Grantham resigned his commission in 1946 and entered civvy life. Regrettably, nothing is known of his later life, nor are the cause and date of his death known. We know that he kept a war diary, which is believed to have been donated to the Royal Tank Museum, Bovington. His medals, some letters, documents and a type-written copy of his war diary were advertised for sale in 2008 for an asking price of £4950.
     So is closed another brief chapter on a courageous Dukie whose valour and daring has not gone unknown and unrecorded.

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