The Collection of Medals to Artillery Units formed by Lt-Col. A.M. Macfarlane

The Collection of Medals to Artillery Units formed by Lt-Col. A.M. Macfarlane

Lt-Col. A.M. Macfarlane, RA (Retd)

Maxwell Macfarlane was born in London on 16 November 1930, the eldest son of a barrister and part-time gunner who had won the Military Cross in France in 1918.

He was educated at Mill Hill School, but the death of his father on active service in the Dutch East Indies in March 1942 extinguished any faint ambitions he had in the legal profession and so, after attending the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the Royal Artillery on 22 July 1950.

After service on Salisbury Plain, he joined 61st Light Regiment, RA, in Korea in July 1953 and, in his words, "found time to get slightly wounded before the Truce was signed."

Following marriage in 1956 Maxwell served in Hong Kong, attended the Staff College, Camberley and was Brigade Major RA to 51st Highland Division in Perth for three years (including a few months detached to Cyprus just before UN troops were first appointed to keep the peace).

After service with the Allied Staff in Berlin and at the HQ of BAOR, he became Defence Attache in Beirut in 1974, becoming much involved with the civil war in Lebanon from 1975 to 1977. During this time he was briefly kidnapped en route from Beirut to Damascus.

Returning to the UK, Maxwell worked at Woolwich, firstly with air defence ranges (particularly those on the Outer Hebrides and St Kilda) and then, on retirement from the Army in 1985, as a civil servant recruiting young officers for the Royal Artillery.

Maxwell began collecting campaign medals to artillerymen in 1963, being particularly interested in the campaigns of the Indian sub-continent and the 1914-15 Stars awarded to Indian troops of mountain batteries.

He and his wife have three children and, in his words, "so far, seven and a half grand-children."