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- A History of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus from the Coming of the Apostles Paul & Barnabas to the Commencement of the British Occupation (A.D. 45-A.D. 1
General Sir John Winthrop Hackett GCB, CBE, DSO & Bar, MC was an Australian-born British soldier, author and university administrator.
Hackett, who was nicknamed "Shan", was born in Perth, Western Australia. His Irish Australian father, Sir John Winthrop Hackett (1848–1916), originally from Tipperary,was a newspaper proprietor and politician and his mother was Deborah Drake-Brockman (1887–1965) — later Lady Deborah Hackett, Lady Deborah Moulden and Dr Deborah Buller Murphy — a director of mining companies. John Hackett junior's maternal grandparents were prominent members of Western Australian society: Grace Bussell, famous for rescuing shipwreck survivors as a teenager and Frederick Slade Drake-Brockman, a prominent surveyor and explorer.
He received secondary schooling at Geelong Grammar School in Victoria, Australia, after which he travelled to London to study painting at the Central School of Art. He then studied Greats and Modern History at New College, Oxford. As his degree was not good enough for an academic career, Hackett joined the British Army and was commissioned into the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars in 1933, having previously joined the Supplementary Reserve of Officers in 1931.
He served in Mandate Palestine and was mentioned in despatches in 1936 and then with the Trans-Jordan Frontier Force from 1937–1941 and was twice mentioned in despatches.
Hackett fought with the British Army in the Second World War Syria-Lebanon campaign, where he was wounded and as a result of his actions was awarded the Military Cross. In the North African campaign he commanded C Squadron of the 8th Hussars (his parent unit) and was wounded again when his Stuart tank was hit during the battles for Sidi Rezegh airfield. He was severely burnt when escaping the stricken vehicle. He received his first Distinguished Service Order for this event.
Whilst recuperating at GHQ in Cairo he was instrumental in the formation of the Long Range Desert Group, the Special Air Service and Popski's Private Army.
In 1944, Hackett raised and commanded the 4th Parachute Brigade for the Allied assault on Arnhem, in Operation Market Garden. In the battle at Arnhem Brigadier Hackett was severely wounded in the stomach, was captured and taken to the St. Elizabeth Hospital in Arnhem. A German doctor at the hospital wanted to administer a lethal injection to Hackett, because he thought that the case was hopeless. However he was operated on by Lipmann Kessel, who with superb surgery managed to save the brigadier's life.
After a period of recuperation, he managed to escape with the help of the Dutch underground. Although he was unfit to be moved, the Germans were about to move him to a POW camp. He was taken by 'Piet van Arnhem', a resistance worker from Ede, and driven to Ede. They were stopped on the way but Hackett had extra bloody bandages applied, to make him look even worse than he was. Piet told the checkpoint that they were taking him to hospital. They were let through despite the hospital being in the opposite direction, from which they had just come.
He was hidden by a Dutch family called de Nooij who lived at No. 5 Torenstraat in Ede, an address that no longer exists due to development. The de Nooij family nursed the brigadier back to health over a period of several months and he then managed to escape again with the help of the underground. He remained friends with the de Nooij family for the rest of their lives, visiting them immediately after they were liberated, bearing gifts. Hackett wrote about this experience in his book I Was A Stranger in 1978. He received his second DSO for his service at Arnhem.
He returned to Palestine in 1947 where he assumed command of the Trans-Jordan Frontier Force. Under his direction the force was disbanded as part of the British withdrawal from the region. He attended university at Graz as a postgraduate in Post Mediæval Studies. After attending Staff College in 1951 he was appointed