30th July 1913 - November 2007
Lt Col Wingate Charlton taken at the unveiling ceremony of the village sign in 2004.
From The Telegraph obituaries 15/11/2007
Lieutenant-Colonel Wingate Charlton, who has died aged 94, won a Distinguished Service Cross, one of America's highest gallantry awards, in the last weeks of the campaign in Europe.
On April 19 1945 the tanks of the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars (8KRIH) were advancing on Elstorf, near Hamburg, with "B" Squadron, commanded by Charlton in the lead. As they turned on to the autobahn, German 88mm guns opened up on them and the whole squadron took a hull down position, returned fire and quickly destroyed two guns.
At the next village they ran into another enemy strongpoint, consisting of four 88mm guns protected by infantry who were well dug in. Charlton went forward to reconnoitre and then overran the position, knocked out four guns and took a number of prisoners.
The citation for his DSC paid tribute to his inspiring leadership, fearlessness and aggression.
Dorrien Richard Wingate Graham Charlton, the son of a general who had fought in the First World War, was born at Woolwich on July 30 1913. He was educated at Eton, where he was a keen oar and whipped in for the Eton Beagles.
After Sandhurst he was commissioned into 8KRIH and posted to Egypt. There he met Lee Miller, the American beauty and fashion model who subsequently became the war photographer for London Vogue. They were attracted to each other and became close friends.
She and Charlton journeyed together to the Sinai, the Suez Canal, and the Coptic monasteries at Wadi Natrun, known to expats as the Troon.
According to Carolyn Burke's recent biography of Lee Miller: "They packed picnic lunches and occasionally gear for the night; the young officer introduced Lee to medieval romances, which he read aloud in their tent. During the day, he accompanied her as she photographed the rounded buildings from arresting angles."
Charlton saw active service in Palestine in 1936 before being seconded to the Transjordan Frontier Force as adjutant and ADC to King Abdullah of Jordan. A good Arabist, at the outbreak of war he became one of the young squadron leaders of John Bagot Glubb "Pasha" in the Arab Legion.
In 1941 Charlton was badly wounded in the Syrian campaign. After recovering he returned to England, where he trained as a parachutist with the SOE. He was given the field name "Major Graham", but two SOE missions were aborted at the last minute and he rejoined his regiment after D-Day for the final phase of the campaign.
Charlton returned to Germany after the war as second-in-command of 8KRIH, taking with him a pack of beagles of which he became Master. His war wounds meant that he had little use of his left arm and shoulder, but this did not prevent him point-to-pointing or hunting.
A secondment to the Northamptonshire Yeomanry allowed him the chance to indulge his passion for hunting with the Midland packs.
He then attended Middle East Staff College before being appointed British military and air attaché in Damascus, where he served during the Suez crisis. After a posting to HQ Allied Forces Central Europe at Fontainebleau, in 1962 he retired from the Army.
For the next 30 years Charlton worked for the Royal Humane Society, first as secretary and later as deputy chairman.
He settled in Essex, where he was High Sheriff in 1976 and a Deputy Lieutenant of the county from 1972.
He served on the Diocesan and Deanery Synods and on the Council of Essex University where, during the "swinging sixties", he proposed (unsuccessfully) that the university should have a pack of beagles and a chapel.
An accomplished poet, he was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and had poems published publicly and privately. He was appointed MBE (Military Division) in 1961 and OBE in 1975.
Wingate Charlton died on September 9. He married, in 1945, Angela Windle. She predeceased him and he is survived by their two sons.
Lt Col Charlton as he wil be remembered by many Takeley people as he inspects a Poppy Day parade, on this occasion held inside because of bad weather.