Major John Hargreaves Elwes

Service Number 34710


World War 2



Aged 37
Commemorated at Medjez-El-Bab Memorial, Tunisia. Face 13

Son of Lt.-Col. H. C. Elwes, D.S.O., M.V.O., and Mrs. Elwes; husband of Isabel Elwes, of Rendcomb, Gloucestershire
In 1940 Major Elwes was in the 1st Battalion Scots Guards which began to land in Harstad in Norway on 26th April 1940 as part of The 24th Guards Brigade which was used to protect a number of Norwegian ports from German attack, though all fell by the end of May, and due to the troubling situation in France, the British began evacuating from Norway, which was completed by the 8th June.

Major Elwes won the Military Cross in Norway in May 1940. Military Cross Citation (Ref: WO 373/15) This officer brought up his company in front of Lindunget to cover the withdrawal of the Scots Guards from Dalsklubben on 18th May 1940. This duty was carried out, but when a further withdrawal was ordered, the message failed to reach him, with the result that his company was cut off from the rest of the battalion. After a continuous fight with the enemy, this officer managed to extricate the whole company and led them with great skill and daring for more than twenty miles over the mountains. After many adventures, including crossing a large river over which all the bridges had been blown, Major Elwes managed to gain contact with his battalion and rejoined on the early morning of the 19th May 1940. By the skill and enterprise of this officer the whole company was able to join up with the battalion with the minimum of loss.

By 1943. he was in the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards, late of "Doglets," Cove, Farnborough, Hants. In North Africa, on 6 March 1943, the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards took part in the defensive Battle of Medenine, after the Germans had counter-attacked the Allies, an attack that, if it had succeeded, would have caused the British many problems. The Scots Guards performed valiantly, using their anti-tank guns to great effect against the German armour, with many German tanks being knocked out by the Guards and other regiments, and the German offensive was soon called off.

He was killed on the 18 March 1943.


Country Location Name of Memorial Campaign Names Date(s)
England Colesbourne, Cheltenham GL53 9NR St James Church Colesbourne World War 2
John Elwes 18-3-1943 View
England Eton College In the Cloisters Eton SL6 6DB England Eton College War Memorial World War 1
World War 2
John Elwes 18-3-1943 View

Further information:

Find more information about a specific soldier visit findmypast. The Scots Guards are delighted that their Enlistment Books from 1840 to 1938 are now available at:

If you have information on a specific memorial please send it on to the Historical Committee. The Memorial information required is:

  • Who or what formation of the Regiment is named on the memorial. What event, dates or other inscriptions on the memorial.
  • The country, nearest town/city or other details of location.
  • A description of the memorial with a photograph if possible.
  • For bigger sites a copy of any advertising information or leaflets would be useful.

Please sent any information that you find to: Michael Campbell-Lamerton

As the information on the database builds up Michael Campbell-Lamerton will be sending regular updates to Archives at RHQ who remains the point of contact about for inquiries on past members of the Regiment.