Grayburn, John Hollington (1918-1944)
Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the Second World War, 1939-1945.
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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.
Details: John Hollington Grayburn (1918-1944), born 31 January 1918, son of Lionel Markham Grayburn and Gertrude Grayburn of Roughwood Farmhouse, Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire, formerly of Cedar Cottage, Dawlish, Devon. Married to Dorothy Constance Marcelle Grayburn, of Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire.
Attended Walton Lodge School, Walton, Clevedon, Somerset.
Attended Sherborne School (Abbey House) September 1931-December 1935; 6th form; House Prefect; XXX Blazer (1935); Captain of Boxing (1935); PT Instructor with Badge; Trebles (1934-1935).
Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.
WW2, Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, AAc, formerly Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Awarded the Victoria Cross. John Grayburn VC was killed in action at Arnhem, Holland, on 20 September 1944, aged 26.
Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands, 13. C. 11. Inscription on his headstone: ‘YET SHALL HE LIVE. ST JOHN XI.25’ www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2644711/grayburn,-joh...
Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation war memorial in Hong Kong,
Chalfont St Giles War Memorial www.roll-of-honour.com/Buckinghamshire/ChalfontStGiles.html
Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance; Abbey House roll of honour.
In the 1977 film, 'A Bridge Too Far', Christopher Good played a composite character of Grayburn and Tatham-Warter
Obituary, 'The Shirburnian', July 1945: 'G.G.G. writes: Now that Jack Grayburn has gone, it may be fitting to recall an incident of eighteen months ago. He arrived for training as a parachute volunteer from a well-known regular battalion, where he had commanded the carrier platoon. It had not been easy for him to get away. On arrival he found that he would be posted to the Airborne Division then forming at home, which had no early prospect of active service (it had to wait a year, until the battle of Normandy). He at once applied for the posting to be cancelled, so that he could be sent on a draft to the division, which had already been fighting for some months in North Africa and Sicily. He was told that this could only be done with the written consent of his prospective C.O. After several telephone calls and a hurried journey south, he wrung consent out of a reluctant C.O. He then asked if he might have a few days leave with his wife and infant, and after that he would be very glad to go. Going on draft is less attractive than joining a new unit, and most men avoid it as far as possible. But to him only one thing mattered, to get to grips as soon as he could, since it had to be done. Such singleness of purpose was rare even among parachute troops, and it came as no surprise to learn recently that it finally won him the V.C.'