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Brigadier John Ormsby Evelyn 'JOE' Vandeleur DSO and Bar, ON (14 November 1903 – 4 August 1988) was a British Army officer who served in the Second World War.

Early lifeEdit

His family was originally from Kilrush, County Clare, where they were the local landlords. Vandeleur was born in Nowshera, India (now Pakistan).[1]

Military careerEdit

He was commissioned into the Irish Guards as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1924, serving in Sudan and Egypt before the war.[1]

As Commanding Officer of 3rd Battalion Irish Guards[1] he led the breakout of XXX Corps during Operation Market-Garden. His cousin Lieutenant-Colonel Giles Vandeleur (their grandfathers were brothers) was acting Commanding Officer of the 2nd Armoured Battalion Irish Guards.[2] He went on to command the 129th Brigade and 32nd Brigade.[1] He retired from the Army in 1951.[1]

His memoirs A Soldier's Story were privately printed by Gale & Polden in 1967.[3]

In the 1977 film A Bridge Too Far, Michael Caine played J.O.E.[4] and Michael Byrne played Giles Vandeleur. Brigadier Vandeleur (ret.) acted as Military Consultant to the production.

He lived out his life after the war in a magnificent manor house in Pinkneys Green, near Maidenhead in Berkshire.

Vandeleur died in Maidenhead, England in 1988.[1]

He is buried in Brookwood Cemetery.[1] His grave is marked by a simple headstone inscribed only "J.O.E. V 1903 - 1988" and underneath "Once an Irish Guardsman".

See alsoEdit

Joe's Bridge — is the nickname given to Bridge No.9 on the Maas–Scheldt Canal in the Belgian city of Lommel just south of the Belgian–Dutch border.


External linksEdit

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