John W Gray (Phantom)
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John Willoughby Gray – GHQ Liaison Regiment

Officer Commanding, No. 9 Patrol, GHQ Liaison Regiment (“Phantom”), attached to the 11th Armoured Division. Recce’d Belsen on 15th April, 1945.

Liberation of Bergen Belsen
John W Gray (Phantom)
Centre with Beret

Commissioned 24/2/1940 Royal Regiment of Artillery [emergency commission].

Earliest organised entry into Belsen was made on 15 April at 1615hrs, with Capt JW Gray GHQ Liaison Regmt, Maj J Tonkin 1SAS Bgde & Brigadier Glyn Hughes, Assistant Director Medical Services, making a specific inspection of the hutted camp area.

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GHQ Liaison Regiment, codename “Phantom” was an innovative, special reconnaissance and liaison unit, that was formed during World War 2. Their role was to provide real time intelligence about Allied and Axis positions from the battlefront.

Their reconaissance patrols operated close to the front line, gaining a crucial overview of battles by observation, contact with forwrd units and listening to the radio traffic generated by units directly involved. They relayed this information by wireless, via their Squadron HQ, to their Liaison Officers who worked alongside the Commander in overall control of the battle. By bypassing the normal chain of communication in this way, the Commanders were given an unprecedented up-to-date picture, to assist them to progress the battle.

John W Gray (Phantom)
John W Gray (in foreground)

Born 5th November 1916, London
Died 13th February 1993, Salisbury

Liberation of Bergen Belsen

Later known as Willoughby Gray, He was an actor and writer, known for A View to a Kill (1985), The Princess Bride (1987) and Madame Bovary (1964). He was married to Felicity Gray. He is best known for playing Sir John Stevens in Howards’ Way.

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This archive has been established after my own relative, Reg Price, took part in the liberation and subsequent humanitarian effort of Bergen Belsen in April 1945. Reg produced this famous sign at Belsen. As part of the 113th DLI, Reg and his comrades were at Belsen for 5 weeks and left when the last hut was empty and ceremonially burnt down. This archive compiles all available resources to build a lasting tribute to all the men and women who helped - any unit, any nationality. If you have a relative, or any info, on the relief effort at Belsen, we’d love you to please get in touch. Email us: liberator@belsen.co.ukThank you Nick Price CreativesFacebookTwitter