Oliver Gyles Longley CBE MC (30 September 1918 - 28 May 2015) was a British Army officer of the Second World War who won the Military Cross in 1943 for his actions in Italy while commanding a squadron of 44th Reconnaissance Regiment near Battipaglia. Longley had a number of narrow escapes during his military service, including stepping on a mine that failed to explode
Telegraph Obituary 15 June 2015- Renonnaissace Officer who survived machine-gun fire and grenade attacks in Italy https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11675477/Gyles-Longley-Reconnaissance-officer-obituary.html
On September 16 1943, after the Allied landings at Salerno, Italy, Longley was commanding a squadron of 44th Reconnaissance Regiment (44 RR) which was holding a position south-west of Battipaglia. At dawn, they came under intense shell, mortar and machine-gun fire. His command car was riddled with bullets and was knocked out.
The wireless sets were not working properly and as he ran over to contact one of the positions he saw a German taking aim at him. He dropped to the ground and the bullet missed him but a shell burst behind him wounding him in the foot.
The battle raged all day. One of his armoured cars was set ablaze, killing all the crew. The enemy made determined efforts to surround the squadron but thanks to stiff resistance and the support from the Allied artillery, they withdrew before dark having taken severe losses.
Longley was awarded an Immediate MC. The citation paid tribute to his courage and inspirational leadership.
Oliver Gyles Longley, the son of an officer (Charles William Longley) in the Honourable Artillery Company who was also awarded an MC in the First World War, was born at Streatham on September 30 1918.
He was educated at Tonbridge and then spent some time working in the family business at Smithfield before joining Gestetner, manufacturers of stencil duplicators, in 1936. He married Ginette Edith Wilson on 15th January 1949 at Le Vesinet. She worked in General de Gaulle’s private office in London
Images 1 and 2 Oliver Longley
Image 3 Ginette Longley (wife)
Image 4 Charles Longley (father) who married Catherine Hovenden of 7 Pinfold Road at St Leonard's on 27 Jan 1914