Hubert Dinwoodie GC OBE MC (Direct Recipient)

b. 24/03/1896 Bournemouth, Dorset. d. 28/08/1968 Ringwood, Hampshire.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 20-23/08/1946 Lubeck, Germany.

Hubert Dinwoodie (1896-1968) was born on 24th March 1896 in Bournemouth, the son of a master draper, George Dinwoodie and his wife Emma Jane (nee Long). They lived in Carse House, Wellington Road, Bournemouth but little more is known of Dinwoodie’s life except for his career in the armed forces in both World Wars.

Hubert Dinwoodie

In the First World War, he enlisted with the Dorset Regiment, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on 8th June 1915. He was attached to a Trench Mortar Battery and on 9th June 1916, he was awarded the Military Cross as an Acting Captain. At the end of 1916, he became an Assistant Instructor at a School of Mortars. He resigned his commission on 1st April 1920. He married Margaret Easton Tucker on 27th June 1923 in Milland, Sussex, but they divorced with no children in 1935. In 1937, he married Mary Pennell in Hendon. They had no children.

Between the Wars, it is believed he was on “civvie” street as there are no records of service. At the outbreak of WWII, he enlisted with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) and was commissioned as an Acting Squadron Leader on 8th June 1942. Three days later, the London Gazette announced the award of an OBE for Acting Squadron Leader Dinwoodie. He ended the Second World War as a Wing Commander.

Between 20th and 23rd August 1946, Dinwoodie found himself in Lubeck, Germany working on disposal of bombs at sea. German high explosive bombs were being loaded at Lubeck for disposal at sea, and two train loads of bomb, weighing approximately 1,100 tons, were waiting on the quayside. Loading was in progress when a 50kg bomb was accidentally dropped and exploded, killing 6 people and injuring 12. Dinwoodie was sent to Lubeck to clear the bombs; he found that they were an experimental type, fitted with a special shock-sensitive electrically operated fuse. Corporal Roland Garred was ordered to assist in dealing with these bombs and to take action to safeguard the munitions trains. Despite the considerable risk involved, Dinwoodie and Garred proceeded to defuse one of the bombs; they found that the explosion had been due to defective German workmanship or design and that in several of the bombs the fuse had already moved, rendering the bombs dangerous. All the work took place in an air of high tension. Leading Aircraftman John Hatton was asked to assist as motor transport driver during the 4 days it took to mske safe the bombs, working in the full knowledge that he was working with bombs that were highly sensitive. When it was necessary to move the bombs, he towed it carefully down the dock until it reached the desired position.

Dinwoodie was awarded the GC on 31st January 1947, while Garred was awarded the George Medal and Hatton was awarded the BEM for their contributions. Dinwoodie died on 28th August 1968 at Ringwood, Hampshire aged 72. He was cremated at Bournemouth Crematorium and his ashes scattered. His medal group including his GC, OBE and MC are held by the RAF Museum, Hendon.