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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


11th Hussar officer, John Poston was one of the minor heroes of the war in the North African desert. Posted to the 11th Hussars in January 1940, he commanded 'A' Squadron of the regiment under Lt.Col.John Combe during Operation Compass. Combe had trained his men well and they contributed greatly to the rout of the Italian forces that opposed them, notably at the Battle of Beda Fomm. Poston won the Military Cross in March 1942, while still a lieutenant. He was picked by General 'Strafer' Gott to be his Aide-de-Camp but when that general's aircraft was ambushed by Luftwaffe fighters and Gott himself was killed, the new commander of the 8th Army, General Bernard Law Montgomery, opted to retain Poston's services as ADC. From then on, Poston was a part of the general's entourage, serving faithfully from El Alamein, through Sicily, Italy and Northern Europe, along with Montgomery's batman (personal servant) Corporal English. Poston was promoted to Captain in November 1943 and then to Major in December 1944 as well as winning a bar to his MC. His closeness to, by then, Field Marshal Montgomery was such that his boss not only allowed him use of his private plane when he returned to London on leave but was allowed to stay until he had won the heart of the woman he had set his heart on marrying (doubtless it did not take him too long to convince her). Sadly, Major Poston was never to return to England to marry his fiancee. He was killed in an ambush by German forces on April 21st, 1945, aged 25, as he was returning to Field Marshal Montgomery's tactical HQ at Luneburg Heath, northern Germany. Monty's grief at losing his faithful aide was such that he broke down during the funeral. Major John Poston MC and Bar was buried some 200 yards from FM Montgomery's Tac HQ with his old regiment, the 11th Hussars, providing trumpeters, an honour guard and firing party for salutes.

This is a simple tribute to a gallant British officer who died some 68 years ago this April.

I wanted to depict Poston as he was during the Market-Garden operation, a captain with an MC. Underneath his battledress, his khaki 'desert shirt' has his previous Lieutenant's rank for desert war/Sicily dioramas.


A hussar and his boss

Captain Poston wears his regiment's distinctive cherry-red banded beret. I will eventually also give him another regimental distinction, a very nice looking cherry-red sidecap with the 11th Hussar badge.


Full shot of Poston and Monty

The beret, shoulder ranks and service belt are scratchbuilt. I originally used a different headsculpt but I felt in the end that the sculpt didn't really look much like the very few photos of Poston that I'd seen and opted for this one instead. Yes... it's one of the Ken (as in Barbie's Ken) heads.


Differences in Rank

Eventually I hope to be able to do this particular diorama... complete with Grant tank of course!
 

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Love the smile. Great story, that many have probably never heard of (I know I hadn't.) Great job on the beret, belt, and rank. I look forward to the tank!
 

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The Mighty Boosh
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Nice job!

It might be worth asking Peter the Painter how much a custom Poston HS would be. that would be the icing on the cake.
 

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wave man TDY staff
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The smile looks pretty darn close to the photo. Would a Hussar officer get by without a tie or a cravat of some sort?
The loss of a close companion like Poston, particularly so close to war's end, had to be shattering to Monty, who'd seen so much loss in his WW1 service. Hard-nosed Patton suffered a similar loss.
A very nice tribute, Norrington.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good point Pukingdog - will get a tie for Captain John ASAP. My biggest problem with this project was I just had that one photo to rely on - and it's not the greatest photo. In any case, I'm on the look out for a better HS. I'm working to get Monty's staff - Cpl.England and Freddie de Guingand (which I already do have but not worked on yet) completed - together to compliment my 'Full Monty' collection (got a set of Montys in his various getups, like I'm doing with Patton).
 
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