The Distinguished Service Order is an operational gallantry award given for highly successful command and leadership during active operations.
LT-COL HEN BREDIN, DSO MC, 2 LIR
“Lt-Col Bredin commanded 2 LIR during the period 12-25 April ’45 when 78 Division advanced from Santerno to the Po. This Bn was mounted in Kangaroos (adapted armoured cars/tanks) of 4 Hussars and affiliated to the 9 Lancers. On four occasions, this force was launched through the leading elements of the division (78th Infantry Division) in order to exploit success. On each occasion, outstanding results were achieved, the enemy’s defences being penetrated and havoc and confusion caused in his back areas. In particular, on April 18th, the force was launched between 36 and 38 Bdes (brigades) in the Consandolo area (Map Reference 237651) and executed a dashing advance of 10,000 yards (yards), capturing the bridges over the Fossa Sabbiosola near Coltra (Map Reference 246677) from the SW (south-west) and reaching the Scolo Bolognese between Portomaggiore (Map Reference 263699) and S (Santa) Nicolo Ferrarese (Map Reference 186714). A bridgehead was established over this obstacle.”
“In the action, medium arty (artillery) was overrun, tanks, SPs and 88 mm’s destroyed or captured and many prisoners taken. Again, on 21 April, the force advancing in the late afternoon and late into the night in bright moonlight seized bridges over the Po Di Volano at Cona (Map Reference 191820) and over the canal at Quartesana (Map Reference 213823). This constituted an advance of 8,000 yds against stiff opposition. Again, the enemy were thoroughly disorganised and all types of equipment seized and many prisoners taken.
These fine successes in a type of operation entirely new to the participants were very largely due to the outstanding skill and powers of command shown by Col Bredin. In these fast-moving battles, he always had a thorough grasp of the situation and acted with admirable speed. Such was the confidence of his Bn (battalion) in his leadership that they cheerfully and enthusiastically embarked upon tasks which might have appeared foolhardy under less inspiring leadership. Lt-Col Bredin’s co-operation with his fellow C.O. of the 9 Lancers was a model of what should be done in these circumstances.”
LT-COL J COLDWELL-HORSFALL, MC, 2 LIR
“On the afternoon of 15 May, the CO of the Bttn (battalion) was killed on recce. When Major Coldwell-Horsfall arrived to take over command that evening, the situation was very confused as the breakthrough of the Gustav Line had just begun. Major Coldwell-Horsfall completed the plan to capture Sinagoga (825177) next morning with considerable skill. On 16 May, Major Coldwell-Horsfall commanded his Bttn with great skill and set a magnificent example of personal bravery and leadership. During the action, his Bttn captured many P.W. (prisoners of war) and knocked out a number of enemy SP guns and captured their objective with outstanding speed. The success of this operation was largely due to Major Coldwell-Horsfall’s excellent leadership.”
MAJOR JW DUNNILL, 2 LIR
“This officer has on several occasions since 1 Jan ’43 acted with distinction in the face of the enemy when commanding his Coy. In particular at Heidous on 23 Apr ’43, when his Coy was ordered to capture the village in a night attack, Major Dunnill’s leadership, determination and personal courage were outstanding.When his platoons were held up by enemy fire, Major Dunnill lead an assault with Coy HQ in which he was slightly wounded. The forward platoons then held the Germans by fire while Major Dunnill organised another assaulting party. Under heavy fire Major Dunnill led a fresh attack with a small party, a splinter hitting him on the temple. He thereupon seized a Bren Gun and silenced an enemy MG post that was holding up his advance.
When this sortie failed, Major Dunnill and one man began to stalk enemy MG positions killing the occupants of several enemy positions. Major Dunnill then came under mortar fire and was wounded in the foot and the Rifleman with him was knocked senseless. However, he gained high ground where he was attacked by some Germans. Waiting until they came near, Major Dunnill then threw his last 36 Grenade into their midst. In the resultant confusion he withdrew and was later ordered to the RAP by the Commanding Officer.
The gallant action of his Coy was outdoubtedly due to Major Dunnill’s splendid example which has always inspired his men in action.”
LT-COL IH GOOD, 1 LIR
“During a silent attack on the Bottaceto line on the night of 17/18 July ’43, Lt-Col Good’s Battalion, in its first engagement, came under heavy enfilade fire from a large number of automatic weapons and from mortars and artillery. Bitter fighting developed and it was extremely difficult to discover the exact situation of the leading Companies.
With a complete disregard of danger, Lt-Col Good went forward over very open and bullet swept ground, discovered the exact situation and reported it. Later, during the early hours of 18 July, when ordered to withdraw his Bttn, and take up a defensive position some 400 yards in the rear, he extricated his Companies with great skill, despite the fact that they were disorganised due to heavy and confused fighting and that there was only a short period of darkness left. Due to Lt-Col Good’s untiring efforts the Battalion had reorganised, was digging in on the new position by daylight and was ready and eager to continue the fight despite its heavy losses. Later, at Gravina di Catania, his Battalion, which was advancing through very difficult and close country was held up by skilfully concealed Machine Guns and Mortars, once again Lt-Col Good went forward at very considerable risk to his leading Companies with the result that they were able to hold their gains and harass the enemy who withdrew again through the night.
Lt-Col Good has been an inspiration to all. His cool courage, sound decisions and imperturbability under fire have been a splendid example. This is reflected in the fighting spirirt of his Battalion which is unimpaired despite heavy casualties and great physical exertion. Lt-Col Good has shown outstanding powers of leadership and bravery of a very high order.”
LT-COL TPD SCOTT, 2 LIR
“Lt-Col Scott has carried out consistent good work during the Tunisian campaign which includes:
a) Making the 1st Bttn Royal Irish Fusiliers into a first class fighting machine.
b) Taking over a unit (2nd Bttn London Irish Rifles) which has been severely handled and pulling it together again.
c) Temporarily taking over the Brigade for 3-4 weeks.
In the latter case which included a delicate period Feb 26/28 ’43 at Bou Arada – Col Scott handled his Brigade with skill and determination and restored a situation which at one time looked threatening.
Although I can quote no specific act of gallantry on the part of this officer, his devotion to duty has been of a high order and the good work done has been entirely due to this officer’s very considerable personality and powers of leadership.
I recommend that he should be awarded a periodical DSO for his valuable services.”
LT-COL JA SPERLING, 1 LIR
“This officer throughout the period of the final battle in Italy from the Reno to the crossing of the Po led his Battalion with outstanding skill and imbued it with a high degree of enthusiasm and determination to destroy the enemy. He was responsible for the highly successful assault crossing of the Reno on the night 5/6 April ’45. The plan was good and executed with considerable dash and determination by his Bttn.
Over a wide water obstacle, against long prepared positions strongly held, his Battalion attacked and achieved immediate success killing many and capturing over 200 prisoners in one night. Following it up, they cleared a further 3000 yds of prepared positions during the next 24 hours.
His personal leadership, infectious cheerfulness and determination coupled with disregard for personal safety have been responsible for the degree of success his Battalion has achieved through the operations.”