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Alastair Timpson was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge before gold-mining in South Africa. He was commissioned into the Scots Guards serving initially with the 5th Battalion. He was then posted to the posted to the 2nd Battalion in Egypt.

In Sept 1941 he was seconded to the LRDG and became the Commander of the Guards Patrol - has active career was ended after a severe wound at Monte Camino - he was awarded the MC and twice mentioned in despatches.