Arthur Harre

Bank: Coutts & Co

Place of work: London Strand office

Died: 27 October 1942


Arthur Dunstan Beverley Harre was born on 19 May 1913 in St Dunstan's Vicarage, Benoni, Transvaal, South Africa, the son of Reverend Alfred Thomas Harre and his wife Louise. He was educated at Junior King’s School, Canterbury and St John’s School, Leatherhead before going to work for Coutts & Co, London. 


Outside work Harre was a member of the Territorial Army, having joined the Westminster Dragoons in 1937. He was mobilised at the outbreak of the Second World War and in November 1939 was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Tank Regiment. In January 1940 he was appointed to General Montgomery's staff at the headquarters of the 3rd Infantry Division as a Motor Control Liaison Officer. He took part in the Belgium campaign and escaped from Dunkirk by swimming off the beach. He was awarded the Military Cross for his gallantry during the campaign.


Harre returned to England to work for General Montgomery, firstly as an Aide-De-Camp and then as a Staff Captain. In 1942, he was granted permission to undertake a more active role as a Lieutenant in the Royal Tank Regiment and was posted to Egypt in May that year. It was during the Battle of Egypt that Lieutenant Harre was hit with an anti-tank gun and was killed on 27 October 1942. He was 29 years old.


General Montgomery wrote of him 'He was fighting his troop in a big tank battle; he did magnificent work and quickly knocked out a number of enemy tanks. Then the enemy retired. Then the Squadron-Commander sent out a call to follow up. Arthur went forward with his troop. He did great work, but finally he received a direct hit from an anti-tank gun, and was killed. He was a magnificent fighter, and it is leaders like him that made possible our great victory a few days later. He is buried in a valley near El Wishka, some miles south of Alamein...I was very fond of him, and was much upset when I heard of his death. I had only, just before I heard, issued orders that he was to come in and serve on my staff'.


Arthur Harre is commemorated on a bank memorial at Coutts & Co, London 440 Strand.

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