The Distinguished Conduct Medal was instituted as an award to Warrant Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and men for “distinguished, gallant and good conduct in the field”. For all ranks below commissioned officer, it was the second highest award for gallantry in action after the Victoria Cross and the other ranks equivalent of the Distinguished Service Order, which was awarded only to commissioned officers.
CORPORAL J ADAMS 2 LIR
On 16 May 1944. during the battalion attack on Colle Monache, Cpl Adams was commanding a section in 14 Platoon, which was the right forward Coy of G Company (the right forward Coy).The Coy was being subjected to heavy shelling and small arms fire and after advancing about 500 yards, 14 Platoon had all its NCOs and its Platoon Commander made casualties with the sole exception of Cpl Adams.
Cpl Adams immediately assumed command of the platoon, reorganised his sections and pressed on with great personal courage, which heartened his men and enabled him to lead them onto the capture of the final objective. On the right of the final objective, was a Mark IV Tank with infantry dug in around it, creating a strong point. Cpl Adams, without hesitation and ignoring completely the enemy fire, personally led….
His dedication and his great personal courage alone made possible the capture of that particular objective. He was later wounded himself and evacuated.
RIFLEMAN H CHALMERS, 2 LIR
“Rfn Chalmers is the Bren Gunner of a section of 17 Pl H Coy. During the attack through the Gustav Line at Colle Monache, Rfn Chalmers’ section commander was wounded. The Bren group at this stage was apart from the rest of the section who were pinned down by close range small arms fire from Germans in buildings close by. There was also a determined group of Germans firing at the rest of platoon from the trenches to the right flank and the whole advance was temporarily held. Rfn Chalmers then without any orders to do so decided to destroy the latter position. This necessitated crawling 100 yds up a ditch and then an assault across another 60 yds. This he did, although under heavy fire all the time from a variety of directions. He then charged across the open by himself firing his Bren Gun from the hip. The German position comprised of eight men and two MGs. Rifleman Chalmers killed one and the rest surrendered. This act of gallantry was carried out not because he was ordered to do it but purely because he conceived it was his duty to do it. Rfn Chalmers was alone responsible for dislodging this post and enabling the battalion to advance and force an entry into the village.
His conduct through the whole of this battle was exemplary and his merry attitude and his determination to close with the enemy had an inspiring effect not only on his section after the loss of their leader but throughout the whole platoon.”
CSM GJ CHARNICK, 2 LIR
“During Apr ’45, CSM Charnick was CSM of a Rifle Coy. On three occasions in the attack on the bridge over the Conselice Canal south of Lavenzola, in the overrunning of an enemy battery of 150 mm guns near Coltra and the attack on the bridge at Quartesena he showed great courage, resourcefulness and leadership under fire. His cheerfulness and willingness to carry out any task was a constant source of encouragement to the men of his Coy.
In Oct 1944, in the attack on Casa Spinello, he took charge of a difficult situation when all three officers of a rifle Coy had been killed, and despite darkness, rain and mud, enemy minefields and heavy fire he consolidated the position, supplying the position with ammunition and personally evacuating one casualty from the interior of an uncharted minefield. In Nov 43 in the attack on Fossacesia on the Sangro, CSM Charnick showed great gallantry in engaging and destroying singlehandedly an enemy post which had been holding up his Company’s advance and causing casualties.
CSM Charnick has been CSM of a rifle Company since Mar 1943, has been wounded, has fought in every important battle in which the Battalion has been involved since the beginning of the North African campaign and has been once previously unsuccessfully been recommended for a decoration. He has shown himself to be the type of Warrant Officer who is a credit to the traditions of his Regiment and the Infantry.”
L/CORPORAL GREGORY, 2 LIR
“This Rfn displayed great courage and coolness during the attack on the afternoon of 5 Aug ’43. Under heavy fire he brought his 2″ mortar into action to engage an enemy strong point in a hut. Still under heavy fire he continued to engage the enemy till he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to withdraw. He then found a rifle and with L/Cpl Brodie formed a centre of resistance against an enemy counter attack. He kept up continuous fire with his rifle and helped to beat off four attacks against his position. After L/Cpl Brodie had been wounded and taken back, Rfn Gregory remained and sniped the enemy although his position was an exposed one. His courage and disregard for personal safety was of the highest order and he was an inspiration to his company and the Battalion.”
SERGEANT HF GUY, 1 LIR
“On the 20 Feb ’44 in the Anzio Bridgehead, the company to which Sgt Guy belonged was ordered to attack to relieve the Bttn HQ 7 Oxf Bucks, which was at the time surrounded. Immediately the attack began, enemy MGs opened fire and both shell and mortar DF tasks were brought down, with the results that in a few moments all officers and WOs in the Coy became casualties. Without hesitation Sgt Guy immediately took command. Exposing himself fearlessly he went from platoon to platoon, rallied the men and led them with such dash that the objective was reached and 7 Oxf Bucks relieved. During this advance, Sgt Guy was wounded, but this in no way deterred him from leading the Coy. Shortly after the objective was reached, Sgt Guy was again wounded, but he steadfastly continued to carry on despite the pain and loss of blood until he was ordered to the RAP by his Commanding Officer.
Throughout this action, Sgt Guy displayed courage of the very highest order and by taking command at a critical moment was mainly responsible for the success of the operation.”
CSM F KELLY, 1 LIR
“On 2 Mar ’44, this Warrant Officer was CSM of D Company, which was ordered in the evening to clear the enemy from a wadi at about 823303 in the area NW of the Flyover bridge in the Anzio bridgehead. This was partially done but owing to darkness, the thickness of the scrub, and casualties from shellfire, it was not possible to finish the job that night, The next day, the remnants of the Company went forward to complete the job. Almost immediately the Company commander received wounds from which he later died and CSM Kelly received a bullet wound in his chest. Although by now, there was only 15 men left in the Company, CSM Kelly carried on, saw the task completed and remained to see that the position was held until it was possible to get reinforcements under cover of darkness. Although wounded and under constant fire, he remained cheerful to the end, and his gallantry and duty was of the highest order, and ensured that all the enemy was either killed or captured, and the situation completely restored. His example of courage and his determination to see the task completed, under the most trying of conditions, were beyond praise.”
SERGEANT S KELLY, 2 LIR
“On 30 Nov ’43 during the attack on Fossacesia Sgt Kelly personally accounted for three enemy posts which were holding up the attack. On entering the town the leading tanks became divorced from the infantry, Sgt Kelly quickly appreciated the situation and led his platoon to their support clearing a way for them through the town. This enabled the tanks to take up dominating positions on the further side of the town.
On 2 Dec on the Treglio Ridge, Sgt Kelly led his platoon under heavy MG fire in a bayonet charged dislodging the enemy from their positions and consolidating. Here although running short of ammunition the platoon beat off a determined enemy counter attack. During this counter attack Sgt Kelly was wounded but refused to leave until the position was firmly established.
Throughout, Sgt Kelly has shown great powers of leadership and complete disregard for personal safety. His example has been inspiration to all. I strongly recommend the award of the DCM.”
CORPORAL W MCCLELLAND, 1 LIR
“On the night 5/6 Apr ’45, Cpl McClelland was NCO i/c of 2” Mortar and PIAT group in 15 Pl C Coy 1/LIR. During the initial assault across the R.Reno, in Square 5252, the Pl Commander, and Pl Sergeant were both wounded and Cpl McClelland took temporary command of 15 Pl. shortly afterwards, he himself was wounded in the leg but, despite this, carried on encouraging and leading his Pl under the most difficult of conditions. His leadership inspired the Pl to hold the ground they had gained despite heavy machine gun fire and mortaring and it was not until at least an hour had passed that Cpl McClelland was relieved by an officer. Later the Pl advanced a few hundred yards and got out of wireless touch with its Coy HQ. Twice he took back messages across fire swept ground, running and crawling in water logged ditches, to Coy HQ. Both of these messages enabled the Coy Commander to take actions to help the Pl. On 6 Apr ’45, 15 Pl assisted in an attack with tank support and throughout the action, Cpl McClelland displayed great courage and cheerfulness especially under heavy mortar fire. During the night 6/7 Apr Cpl McClelland offered to carry out vitally important contact patrol with the Coy on the right. Despite enemy fire and minefields this patrol was successfully accomplished during the night.
On the morning of the 7 Apr, when his Pl was being relieved, Cpl McClelland was severely wounded by an A/P mine. Even then he displayed great cheerfulness. The success of the severely handled and much reduced 15 Pl. throughout the whole action was due to the courageous example and excellent leadership displayed by this NCO.”
CSM P MCDAID, 1 LIR
“On the night of 5 Sep ’44, D Coy 1/LIR was strongly counter attacked after capturing a feature north of Il Tribbia. The enemy attack was made in three waves each of a strong Pl strength and pressed home with the utmost determination by fanatics who knew the ground. There followed a hand to hand fight round a house which lasted some 1 1/2 hours. In the fighting, the Coy Commander was killed and CSM McDaid had to take over command of the Coy until another officer could be found. He conducted the fight with the greatest skill and determination keeping a steady control of the situation, yet not sparing himself to move up immediately to deal with any enemy infiltration on the cordon. On several occasions, he went forward and dispatched five enemy single handled with his TMC. His coolness and steadiness in a fast and hectic fight was the inspiration of all ranks. After 1 1/2 hours ammunition was low, generally to the last magazine and CSM McDaid decided to withdraw to the road behind the feature. Coolly giving orders and maintaining covering fire to the last, he successfully achieved the withdrawal and saw to the evacuation of the wounded. On arrival back at Bn HQ, he volunteered to go up again with another Coy and retake the position. CSM McDaid’s conduct was of the highest order and the successful withdrawal of the Coy was largely due to his actions. His courage, resourcefulness and coolness under fire, without thought of personal safety was an inspiration and example to his Coy.”
L/CORPORAL F NORMAN, 1 LIR
“Rifleman Norman was Signal operator with D Coy who occupied positions north of Lorenzo during 18-26 Jan ’44. On 24 Jan ’44, the Coy was subjected to very heavy mortar and artillery fire followed by a strong enemy attack.
During the early part of the enemy bombardment the Coy commander, CSM and one signaller were wounded and another man of Coy HQ killed in close proximity to Rfn Norman. He himself was severely wounded in the arm and leg and his wireless set put out of action by shell splinters.
At once he realised the vital need of maintaining the only means of communication with Bn HQ and crawled from one slit trench to another to get another set. He found this set also out of action from shell fire but crawled back with it, still under heavy fire and calmly stripped both sets until he had made the necessary repairs to get one set in working order again and reestablish communication. During the greater part of this time, he was working alone, his arm severely damaged and giving him great pain, the other members of Coy HQ dead or wounded around him but he refused to allow his own wounds to be attended to until he had reestablished communication.
By his coolness magnificent courage and complete disregard of personal safety he regained touch with Bn HQ and then calmly passed information of the situation thereby enabling the Bn Command to take the necessary measures to deal with it.
Finally he was relieved at Coy HQ but on return to Bn HQ seeing there was a shortage of signallers he insisted on remaining at duty there and was again wounded when Bn HQ came under heavy shell and mortar fire.
I consider his devotion to duty and gallantry under fire to be of the highest order and most strongly recommend him for the immediate award of the Distinguished Conduct Medal.”
L/SERGEANT H SYE, 2 LIR
“On 21 Oct ’44 on the occasion of H Coy’s night attack on Hill 387 of Monte Pieve the a/m NCO was at the outset Pl Sgt. Early in the attack his platoon which was leading the Coy came under intensive small arms fire and heavy shelling. Considerable casualties were caused and the Pl commander killed. L/Sgt Sye immediately rallied the few remaining men of his platoon and continued to press up the steep slopes towards the objective. All the time he was facing heavy MG fire and grenades at short range, but despite this he pressed on with total disregard for his personal safety.
By crawling forward he attacked single handedly one MG post and killed or wounded all of its occupants. Not content with this feat, he tried twice more to reach another MG post but was severely wounded in the attempt.
Throughout this attack, as on so many previous occasions L/Sgt Sye behaved with great personal courage and the highest quality of leadership.”
CORPORAL PJ TINDALL, 1 LIR
“On 26 Dec ’44, at Bisaura near Faenza, Cpl Tindall displayed a devotion to duty and aggressive courage beyond praise. His Platoon had made a successful night attack on a group of houses and was immediately counter attacked by a stronger enemy force, which infiltrated right among the farm buildings, firing at the house on 3 sides with MGs and endeavouring to knock it down with a Bazooka. In this situation, Cpl Tindall showed a spirit which inspired his whole Platoon. During 3 hours of continual fighting, during which his Pl Commander was killed, he handled his section with such energy, dashing from post to post, encouraging his men and directing their fire, that the enemy was continually beaten off: he himself used grenades and TMC to great effect, killing two enemy, twice with no thought for danger he dashed out of the house himself and cleared the enemy from the outbuildings.
At the end of 3 hours of fighting his Pl, largely owing to the inspiration of Cpl Tindall’s magnificent example, had beaten off all attacks and the enemy was forced to withdraw leaving 8 dead.
Cpl Tindall’s extraordinary gallantry on this occasion is consistent with the fine leadership and fighting spirit he has shown in all the actions of this Bttn in Sicily and in both campaigns in Italy.”