Military cross war hero dies

Rodney Harms
Rodney Harms
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A former Chesterfield man and Korean war hero has passed away, aged 87.

Rodney Halms, who won the Military Cross in Korea, rose to be a staff Colonel in the British army and held senior NATO and foreign appointments.

Born in Chesterfield, Mr Harms moved to Scotland after his father, Walter Stanley, was posted to Aberdeen as an RAF observer on Catalina flying boats during the Second World War.

His gift for languages won him a place to study French and German at Aberdeen University, but he had to give it up as his parents could not afford to pay.

Having been in the school Combined Cadet Force he joined the 30th Junior Leaders Training Battalion, Elgin, and from there went to Sandhurst.

He was commissioned into the Yorkshire-based Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, known as “The Dukes”, in 1949.

Claire Harms, his daughter said: “He was a very kind, compassionate and open-minded man.

“These qualities allowed him to have a great relationship with the men in his regiment as well as the different cultures he encountered on his postings all over the world.”

Mr Harms earned his Military Cross for an audacious daylight raid that destroyed a series of tunnels and trenches in central Korea in January 1953.

After service in British Honduras, Germany and Cyprus, he went to Saudi Arabia from 1968 until 1970 as deputy head of the British military mission to the Saudi National Guard in Riyadh.