by NEIL GREENLEES
The Mayor Councillor Ronnie Crawford with Major-General Corran
THE Mayor Councillor. Ronnie Crawford recently
welcomed a Military Cross recipient to Lagan Valley Island.
Mr. Crawford described Major-General Corran Purdon as one of the
greatest individuals' he had ever met.
Born in Co. Cork in
1921, Corran Purdon was commissioned into the Royal Ulster
Rifles in 1939.
' He volunteered for the Commandos and
received the Military Cross for his part in raids on Norway and
perhaps the most daring allied raid of World War 11 on St.
Nazaire. where he was wounded and captured.
escaped from Spangenberg PoW camp, where he was imprisoned, and
was on the run for 10 days before being recaptured and
transferred to the notorious Colditz prison, where his
companions included Airey Neave and the amputee air ace Douglas
Upon release, he enlisted and served with the American
army until he returned home. Major General Purdon subsequently
served in Palestine, Suez, Malaya and Cyprus. During the Dhofar
war he commanded the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces, where he was
awarded the Bravery Medal for 'outstanding courage and
leadership under intense fire'. He was also awarded the DSM and
Commendation Medal for bravery on operations.
the meeting Mr. Crawford said: "It has been an immense privilege
to meet a wartime hero with such a distinguished record of
service. He was one of a dwindling band of survivors of the
notorious Colditz prison, and I commend him for the courage he
has shown throughout his career."