The Tank Museum | Recipient

G.C. Hopkinson

HOPKINSON, Major-General Gerald, CB, OBE, DSO, MC

Gerald Charles Hopkinson was born in 1910 and was educated at the Imperial Service College and Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Royal Tank Corps in 1930 and posted to India, where he was mentioned in despatches and attended the Staff College at Quetta. He was awarded a MC in 1937 for his actions in the Waziristan campaign on the North West Frontier. Gerald Hopkinson fought in North Africa with 46 Royal Tank Regiment and commanded 44 RTR in Italy and North West Europe. In 1945 he was awarded a DSO.

Following a series of staff appointments, Gerald Hopkinson and 1st Royal Tank Regiment were posted to Korea in 1952, where the tanks were used as mobile pill-boxes in an artillery role.

From 1953-56 he commanded 33 Armoured Brigade in Germany and following a series of promotions became Director, Royal Armoured Corps (DRAC) in 1959, holding this post until his retirement in 1962. He made many changes to the Corps during this period, saving the School of Tank Technology from closure and trialling the Stalwart Heavy Load Carrier.

He was appointed OBE in 1953 and CB in 1960. He died in 1988 aged 79.

Tales of valour

Distinguished Service Order

In the advance from the R Seine to the R Somme in which 4 Armd Bde formed the spearhead of 12 Corps, the 44th Royal Tank Regiment, commanded by Lt Col Hopkinson, led the advance on the main axis. It was largely due to Lt Col Hopkinson's energy and determination and his skillful handling of his Regimental group that the speed of the advance was maintained. He was always to be found well to the fore. - In particular at Poix on 31 Aug 44. his quickness in decision and in putting his orders into effect led to the surprise of a large column and its total destruction, the flank guard in protecting it having been destroyed in less than half an hour. In two days his Regt captured over a thousand prisoners and inflicted great damage and many casualties on the enemy. His resolute spirit and cheerful acceptance of any task however difficult, and however weary he and his Regt might be, have been an inspiring example to the fine Regiment which he has now commanded for over a year.

Immediate DSO

Recommended by : Brigadier R.M.P. Carver, Comd 4 Armd Bde

Approved by : B.L. Montgomery, Field Marshall, C in C at Army Group

COMPANION OF THE MOST HONOURABLE ORDER OF THE BATH - MILITARY DIVISION

OFFICER OF THE MOST EXCELLENT ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE

DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER

MILITARY CROSS

1939-45 STAR

AFRICA STAR, 8TH ARMY BAR

DEFENCE MEDAL

FRANCE & GERMANY STAR

INDIA GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL, NORTH WEST FRONTIER 1935 BAR

INDIA GENERAL SERVICE MEDAL, NORTH WEST FRONTIER 1936-37 BAR

ITALY STAR

KOREAN WAR MEDAL; BRITISH ISSUE, CUPRO NICKEL

UNITED NATIONS SERVICE MEDAL FOR KOREA (BRONZE)

WAR MEDAL

QUEEN ELIZABETH II CORONATION 1953

CROIX DE GUERRE WITH PALM

ORDER OF THE CROWN WITH PALMS

MINIATURE MEDAL GROUP