Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1945, Major Cecil Douglas Bremner M.C., 4th Battalion, the East Kent Regiment, died of wounds sustained a week earlier during the fighting in Italy.
The son of Major Cecil James Bremner M.C. of the Royal Army Service Corps, he was educated at Lancing College before attending the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. At the end of December in 1939 he was commissioned in the East Kent Regiment.
In October of 1942 Major Bremner’s battalion embarked for North Africa, where they would be involved in Operation Torch, the allied landings on the coast of Algeria. The following month at Djebel Abiod they were engaged by a large number of Italian paratroopers, and with the loss of one officer captured forty of the enemy. By February of 1943 Major Bremner’s battalion was near Robas, having had a series of minor engagements with the remaining enemy forces after the Germans had been pushed back to Tunisia. After leading his company into an attack and running into a machine gun nest which precipitated a fierce fire fight, he was surrounded on three sides. The company’s successful withdrawal, although with the loss of one man killed and six wounded, was credited to his skill. He was wounded the following month during a fire fight while on patrol near Medjez al Bab.
For his devotion to duty between the 15th of May and the 3rd of July in 1944, Major Bremner was awarded the Military Cross. The citation referred to his conspicuous gallantry and distinguished services in Italy, during the advance from the Rapido to Aquino and the successful attack at Moiano against a strong enemy position.
On the 14th of April, 1945, Major Bremner’s battalion was south of Mandriole, near Lake Comacchio in Italy, part of their mission being to take the town of Argenta. They came under attack and suffered heavy casualties – during close fire from enemy rifles and bazookas, Major Bremner was grievously wounded and died a week later. He lies buried in the Ravenna War Cemetery, and is remembered on the war memorial at Wilmington in Sussex.
Cecil, born in Kenya, was 24 years old and married with a two-year-old daughter.