Maj Hugh Paul “Grandfather Longlegs” Seagrim

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Maj Hugh Paul “Grandfather Longlegs” Seagrim

  • Birth 24 Mar 1909 Ashmansworth, Basingtoke and Deane Borough, Hampshire, England
  • Death 14 Sep 1944 Rangoon, Yangon Region, Myanmar (Burma)
  • Burial Rangoon, Yangon Region, Myanmar (Burma)
  • Plot 4. A. Collective Grave 13-20.
  • Memorial ID 56530332

Casualty of WWII, and recipient of the George Cross (the highest British and Commonwealth gallantry award for military personnel in actions which are not in the face of the enemy). He was educated at the King Edward VI School in Norwich, the school attended by Admiral, Lord Nelson. He had ambitions to be a doctor or a Church Missionary but after his father died in 1927, there were insufficient funds for a university course. He was the youngest of five sons all of whom had careers in the armed services.He graduated from Sandhurst and joined the 19th Hyderabad Regiment ~ Service No:49359, British Indian Army. He was seconded to the 20th Burma Rifles, becoming an expert in several Burmese languages, notably passing his examination in spoken Burmese in just five weeks. When the Japanese invaded Burma, he raised irregular guerilla forces from the Karen rebels. Other Awards: D S O, [Distinguished Service Order], M B E [Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire] His brother, Lieutenant Colonel Derek Anthony Seagrim, also fell and was awarded the Victoria Cross.They have the distinction of being the only siblings to be awarded Britain's two highest awards for gallantry,the Victoria Cross and George Cross. Citation "The following details are given in the London Gazette of September 12th, 1946: "Awarded the George Cross for most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner." Major Seagrim was the leader of a party which included two other British and one Karen officer working in the Karen Hills of Burma. By the end of 1943 the Japanese had learned of this party who then commenced a campaign of arrests and torture to determine their whereabouts. In February 1944 the other two British officers were ambushed and killed but Major Seagrim and the Karen officer escaped. The Japanese then arrested 270 Karens and tortured and killed many of them but still they continued to support Major Seagrim. To end further suffering to the Karens, Seagrim surrendered himself to the Japanese on 15th March 1944. He was taken to Rangoon and together with eight others he was sentenced to death. He pleaded that the others were following his orders and as such they should be spared, but they were determined to die with him and were all executed." On the village green at Whissonsett, Norfolk,where their father had been rector, a Saxon-style cross was erected in 1985 in memory of the two gallant brothers. A small party of Karen tribesmen travelled from Burma to the dedication and placed a plaque on the pillar of he cross in remembrance of Hugh. The brothers are also commemorated in the church of St Mary the Virgin there. They were sons of the late Reverend Charles Paulet Conyngham [otherwise Cunningham] Seagrim and of Amabel Emma Halsted Seagrim [nee Skipper]of East Dean, Eastbourne, Sussex.


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  • Created by: CWGC/ABMC
  • Added: 7 Aug 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 56530332
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Maj Hugh Paul “Grandfather Longlegs” Seagrim (24 Mar 1909–14 Sep 1944), Find A Grave Memorial no. 56530332, citing Rangoon War Cemetery, Rangoon, Yangon Region, Myanmar (Burma) ; Maintained by CWGC/ABMC (contributor 6) .