Wednesday, February 2, 2011


When this actor died in Switzerland, the largest wreath was sent by London's Heathrow airport staff along with a card that read: "To the finest gentleman who ever walked these halls. He made a porter feel like a king."

A graduate of Sandhurst, he returned to Britain in 1939 and was turned down by the RN, the RAF, and the Scots Guards. He got into the Rifle Brigade, later joined the Royal Marine Commandos, then commanded A Squadron of the "Phantom" reconnaissance regiment.

He told his troops that they only left their butcher shops and factories, but he "could've been with Ginger Rogers right now . . . "

After the war he was made a Legionnaire of the Order of Merit (the highest American order that can be earned by an alien). This was presented to Lt Col David Niven by General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Lt Col David Niven, Royal Marine Commando, Normandy 1944

Although Niven had a reputation for telling old stories over and over, he was totally silent about his war experience. He said "I will, however, tell you just one thing about the war, my first story and my last. I was asked by some American friends to search out the grave of their son near Bastogne. I found it where they told me I would. but it was among 27,000 others, and I told myself that here, Niven, were 27,000 reasons why you should keep your mouth shut after the war."

Niven also had special scorn for the newspaper columnists covering the war who typed out self-glorifying and excessively florid prose about their meager wartime experiences.

David Niven, 1910-1983

Wednesday Bird HERE



  1. I've never been disappointed by one of his movies... and going back into the military hurt his career... he's a man of honor who sacrificed so much when he didn't really have to.

    Where have they all gone?

  2. He was actually an officer in a "trews
    highland scots " regt., prior to the war along with another individual- who co-co starred in "charge of the Lt. Brigade", and "gunga din", and another production. He married an english lass- and their thatched cottage was a sanctuary to many of the patrotic hollywood personages. His exploits it the early 40's and late 30' would fill many a who's who. His hollywood career after the war outside of movies is unbelievable. JUST WHO WAS MISSIE???

  3. he was an army commando. royal marine commandos came later in the war My dad (no 5 (Army)Commmando was taught by him at Lochailort in 1941

  4. Read " The Last Gentleman of the SAS " to read more about David Niven's war service = very interesting and informative.


  6. Very appropriate sir niven thanks for serving your country