The Military Cross is an operational gallantry award given to all ranks of the services in recognition of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land. Personnel who perform a further act of such gallantry which would have merited a second MC will be issued with a silver bar ornamented by the crown.
LIEUTENANT JH ALLAN, 2 LIR
“At Cona on the night of 21-22 Apr ’45, Lt Allan commanded the reserve platoon of his company. The other platoons had suffered 16 casualties attempting to seize the bridge over the Po Di Volana in the face of heavy machine gun and bazooka fire and from a 150mm gun sited covering the bridge at a range of 100 yards.
Lt Allan’s platoon was ordered to seize the bridge at all costs. Leading his platoon in the most gallant manner he dashed across and in one rush seized the bridge and a house on the other side killing several of the enemy and taking 12 prisoners. The 150mm gun was also captured intact.
This officer’s actions are worthy of the highest praise. He showed immense dash, gallantry and tirelessness not only on this occasion but throughout the operations between the Rivers Santerno and the Po where because of the speed of the operations platoon commanders were able to get very little rest.”
MAJOR MS BOSWELL, 1 LIR
“Major Boswell has been commanding C Coy 1/LIR throughout all the actions in which the Bttn has been engaged on the River Senio with the exception of a short period in hospital as a result of a wound. He particularly distinguished himself during the following periods: 20/26 Feb ’45 when his Coy took part in the advance up to and capture of the South bank of the Senio, and during the period 3-11 March ’45 when his Coy was holding a stretch of the near flood bank of the river which was also held on the far side by the enemy and resulted in almost continuous close quarter fighting. At the time of the advance on the bank on the night 23/24 Feb ’45, Major Boswell’s ingenuity and personal example in the carrying out of each detail of the operation was undoubtedly largely responsible for the success of that operation on his Company’s sector. During these periods, Major Boswell displayed throughout leadership of the highest order. He was constantly up on the bank with his forward sections taking part in grenade battles and personally laid explosive charges in the bank to blow up enemy positions.
His cheerfulness and complete disregard for personal safety particularly when taking part in close quarter fighting with his forward sections have been a real inspiration to the troops under his command and have had a direct bearing on the high morale and fighting efficiency of his Coy”.
MAJOR RW BOYD, 2 LIR
“Major Boyd led E Company in the attack on Sanfatucchio-San Felice. The main brunt of this severe battle fell on E Company for they had the task of breaking into the town from the rear which necessitated a most difficult approach. They were under small arms and mortar fire as soon as they moved from the start line. In spite of numerous casualties, Major Boyd led his company forward. They were pinned down at close range by very heavy M.G. fire very close to the north side of the village. He inspired his whole company to charge the village and they broke into the houses where furious fighting prevailed which lasted for nearly two hours. E Company captured nearly all the village alone killing a large number of Germans, capturing about twenty with severe losses to themselves.
On this objective being captured, the attack on the left was held up by heavy fire from the right flank which included direct SP guns.
Major Boyd having located these new centres of resistance launched a new attack. They were held up in the corn where furious fighting began with grenades and small arms. This, Major Boyd eventually cleared up and personally led a charge on their new objective which they eventually broke into. About seventeen more prisoners were captured mostly wounded and seven killed. At this stage Major Boyd had lost nearly half his men – practically all close range small arms casualties. He spent the next two hours resisting a local counterattack by a German company. Another counterattack developed after dark when a force of Germans penetrated H Company’s positions. Major Boyd restored the situation after a fierce grenade battle in the dark.
Major Boyd’s conduct throughout these operations has been exemplary and his personal dash and fearlessness an inspiration to his men.”
CAPTAIN WE BROOKS (TWICE), 1 LIR
“On the night of 17/18 July ’43 during the Battalion’s night attack on German positions south of Catania airfield, the leading Coys came under heavy fire and concentrated automatic and mortar fire at very close range. Without hesitation, Capt Brooks led his Company forward and engaged in hand to hand fighting with the enemy in pillboxes and earthworks on the objective. Inspired by his personal example his Coy gained their objectives but immediately came under heavy automatic and mortar fire from enemy positions elsewhere. Finding that the Company commanders of the Coys on his flanks were both out of action Capt Brooks took general charge of the situation organising the layout on the objective. During all this time he moved about among the men with complete calm and indifference to personal danger. When the Bttn later had to withdraw to conform to the general line of FDLs. Capt Brooks remained to the end supervising the removal of the wounded – still completely indifferent to personal danger. Throughout the whole action, Capt Brooks showed courage and devotion to duty of the very highest order.”
The second citation says:
“From 4-10 Feb ’44 C Coy of which Major Brooks was in command was holding positions close the “Factory” area of Caracetto. During this period, the enemy launched very strong attacks on the Bttn front and on its flanks. On one occasion, an attack got within fifty yards of C Coy’s position and the situation was extremely critical as the enemy had managed to get into a gully under temporary cover from which they brought intense fire to bear at close range. Major Brooks at once went into the upper storey of a house with a Bren gun from where he engaged the enemy in the gully to such good effect that they were beaten off. The house at the time was under fire from enemy high velocity weapons and during this time sustained several direct hits through the upper storey with A.P. shot. This did not deter Major Brooks in the least. By this gallant action, he contributed very largely to the defeat of the enemy. Throughout the whole action, his personal bravery and example were of the highest order – no thought of personal safety was ever allowed to interfere with his duty – and were an inspiration to all ranks ensuring that they held firm during a most trying and critical action.”
LIEUTENANT J CHAPMAN, while attached to 1 Royal Irish Fusiliers
“On 7 April 1943 after the attack on the final objective on JEBEL EL MAHDI Lieut Chapman was in command of a fighting patrol sent forward to exploit success. The patrol encountered a force of 33 Germans dug in with three MGs. Although his patrol was inferior in numbers Lt Chapman at once attacked. Twelve of the enemy were killed and a number killed and a number wounded and Lieut Chapman himself was seriously wounded in the head. Throughout the action enemy shells were falling and considerable interference was encountered from one flank by enemy MGs from another position. In spite of this the action was completely successful and the remainder of the enemy surrendered to the patrol.
This officer set a magnificent example to his men inspiring them to pursue the action to its successful conclusion, after he himself was wounded.”
LIEUTENANT MOW CLARKE, 2 LIR
“This officer displayed the most outstanding courage on 5/6 Aug ’43 when the Bn was establishing a bridgehead on the R.Simeto. His company on the left of the attack was disorganised due to the activities of snipers and a local enemy counter attack. Lieut. Clarke reorganised all his available men and attacked with determination two enemy strong points inflicted casualties on them and forced the occupants to retire. His prompt action at a critical moment undoubtedly prevented a serious situation arising. Later Lieut. Clarke led a reconnaissance patrol which brought back valuable information.
This officer’s bearing and disregard for personal safety throughout the operation was an inspiration to all his men and was undoubtedly one of the factors in the success of the attack.”
CAPTAIN GE COLE, 2 LIR
“This officer has been adjutant of his battalion since before the May offensive in Italy. During the operations on Monte Spaduro in October and Monte Grande in November and December his work, in conditions of personal danger and discomfort, has been outstanding. On many occasions, his care, tact, and sheer disregard for his own safety and comfort has saved his battalion casualties and fatigue.
During the battle at Spinello on 24 Oct ’44 he personally maintained close touch on the wireless with his brigade headquarters in spite of several direct hits from heavy guns on his command post. During the May and June battles from Cassino to Trasimeno he never spared himself, and was largely instrumental in the arrangements which resulted in his battalion keeping close on the heels of the enemy.
For devotion to duty when all others are overcome by the fatigue or strain of the battle, this officer’s record shows a very fine example.”
LIEUTENANT J COOKE, 1 LIR
“On the night of 5/6 Apr ’45, 12 Platoon B Coy 1/LIR commanded by Lt J Cooke took part in the initial assault crossing of the River Reno. 11 Platoon, who were on the right of 12 Platoon suffered heavy casualties in their initial assault on a German strong point on the North bank of the river and were unable to link up with 12 Platoon for the move forward to the bridgehead objective, Lt Cooke on his own initiative pushed onto this objective with 12 Platoon and took 20 prisoners. In silencing one post he personally led the assault of a section and with his Tommy Gun accounted for four enemy killed. This enabled the reserve Platoon to come up and assist in the further advance of the Coy. Whilst consolidating on the bridgehead objective, Lt Cooke was wounded in the leg, but insisted in staying with his Platoon. The Platoon then advanced to the Coy’s final objective around 493538. Lt Cooke personally led this advance and on reaching the objective supervised the consolidation of his position. The devotion to duty of this officer, his personal courage and fine leadership were an example to all under his command and played a great part in the success of the Coy’s action.”
CAPTAIN J LILLIE-COSTELLO, 2 LIR
“On 21 January ’43 on Pt 286, 3 miles north of Bou Arada, Captain Costello led his company across a very bare and exposed feature which was under very heavy Mortar and Machine Gun fire. He was an outstanding example of coolness and his leadership enabled the feature to be taken. During the action, an enemy Machine Gun was causing considerable casualties. Capt Costello took his Bren Gun from the dead gunner and in the open mounted the gun onto the dead man’s back and engaged the enemy’s Machine Gun until it stopped firing. When the majority of his Company was driven off the feature by the heavy fire, Capt Costello stayed with a few of his men and held it until the arrival of reinforcements.”
LIEUTENANT AE CRAMPTON, 1 LIR
“2/Lieut AE Crampton has displayed great gallantry and extremely high powers of leadership and devotion to duty. During a night attack on 17 Jul ’43 this officer led his platoon with great coolness and judgement although himself stunned at one time by a bullet which passed through the rim of his steel helmet and grazed his scalp.
The following night this officer led a patrol onto the objective from which the Battalion had been forced to withdraw and penetrated on to enemy positions bringing back valuable information. Again the following night he led a patrol to the same area and, as it was suspected that the enemy might be withdrawing, this patrol was ordered to stay out until daylight. As soon as daylight came the patrol was able to confirm that the enemy was still in the positions. 2/Lt Crampton skilfully withdrew the patrol under heavy enemy fire, himself remaining to the last to ensure that the rest got away. Later he went forward to assist in the recovery of casualties.
The following night he led a further patrol to blow up a pile of “S” mines which the enemy had dumped in their own wire preparatory to laying. This task he accomplished most successfully. Throughout all these patrols, this officer has displayed gallantry and leadership of a very high order indeed.”
MAJOR DHM DAVIES, 2 LIR
“On 23 October ’44, Maj Davies’ company was ordered to capture Spinello Farm in the Monte Spaduro area. The attack was carried out over open ground in daylight. Major Davies brought his company very close up under the covering artillery and mortar fire and assaulted the farm, moving himself with the leading platoon. During very close and bitter fighting amongst the farm buildings, he was wounded by a grenade in the legs and arm. Only after the farm had been finally cleared of its very determined garrison and Maj Davies had reported its capture on his wireless did he allow himself to be taken to the RAP, after all other wounded had been evacuated. The success of this operation was largely due to the careful planning and personal gallantry of this officer, and the repercussions of this success were vital to the success of the Divisional attack on Monte Spaduro.”
CAPTAIN RHYS-EVANS (RAMC), Attached to 2 LIR
“Capt Evans has been RMO of a battalion since November ’43. During January ’45 in the bleakest conditions of snow and ice, by his energy and forethought he kept the sick rate of the battalion at a very satisfactorily low figure. No thought or discomfort deterred him from visiting the foremost platoons frequently.
During many battles including the Sangro in Nov ’43, Liri Valley in May ’44 and particularly at Monte Spaduro in Oct ’44 his work in the RAP tending casualties under very heavy fire has been a very high example of consistent devotion to duty.
Out of battle his study of psychology, his constant efforts to educate the troops medically and to prevent diseases makes him a very valued member of the battalion staff and all that an RMO should be.”
CAPTAIN DW FAY (TWICE), 2 LIR
The first MC citation said:
“This officer commanded his platoon of E Company during the Bn (battalion) attack on Colle Monache. E Coy (company) met heavy M.G. (machine-gun) fire from left, front and flank. By his skilful leadership of his Pl (platoon) and personal conduct, Lieut. Fay stormed these positions and both killed and captured a considerable number of Germans. During the final attack on the objective, Lt. Fay was ordered to exploit round and beyond. This he did with great speed and entirely liquidated the crew of a German A.Tk (anti-tank) gun and reduced the remainder of the garrison to surrender. His example throughout was an inspiration to his Pl.”
Desmond Fay’s second citation said:
“On 23 Oct ’44, Lt Fay was ordered to take a recce patrol to ascertain the strength and dispositions of the garrison of Spinello Farm on the Monte Spaduro area. This farm was known to have a minefield in front of it. Going out about midday with a Sergeant (Farthing) and 2 Rfn he advanced to a point some 80 yds from the farm over extremely difficult country under view from the flank and very precipitous. He left his 2 Rfn under cover and advanced with the Sgt over open grassland to the farm at the front edge of which he found a slit trench which contained 3 Germans one of whom he shot, the second escaped whilst the third he took prisoner and brought back to Bn HQ. The garrison although over 30 men strong and backed up by a Coy on a nearby feature were completely taken by surprise. This prisoner gave much information which helped greatly in the capture of the farm which took place two or three hours later. Having had to crawl a good proportion of the way Lt Fay was very exhausted by the end of the patrol.
Later in the afternoon, he took part in a daylight attack on the farm and took over command of the company when his Coy Commander was wounded. During the early part of the night he beat off four attacks with his depleted Company and was a source of encouragement and inspiration to all, organising and improving the consolidation of his position.
The gallantry and enterprise which Lt Fay showed both in his patrol and his defence of the farm was quite out of the ordinary and can seldom have been surpassed.”
MAJOR G FITZGERALD, 2 LIR
“Major Fitzgerald joined the 2/LIR in Aug ’43 in Sicily. Since that time, he has fought in every battle in which the Regiment has taken part. Before being given command of a Coy last August he commanded the A.Tk platoon and was continuously in action in the Liri Valley and the pursuit actions that followed. In the battles around Lake Trasimeno, the successful outcome for the Regiment was largely due to Maj Fitzgerald handling his guns at the closest ranges and engaging and silencing enemy strong points. His methods with his 6 pounders became a by word in the Regiment.
Since then he has shown himself to be an outstanding Coy commander particularly in the difficult hill fighting around Monte Le Pieve last winter.
During the Po Valley campaign at Cona on the night of 22 Apr Maj Fitzgerald was ordered to capture the bridge over the Po Di Volano. In the darkness the tanks with his Coy could only give support if properly guided into position. The bridge was defended by a Coy of Germans with bazookas and a 150mm Medium Gun.
The bridge was stormed after most of the leading Pl were killed or wounded but could not be secured until the immediate vicinity was cleared. Major Fitzgerald did this personally and after some hours confused fighting the enemy who had not been captured was driven from the village. The fact that this Coy achieved it objectives was very notable in view of the strength of the enemy and there being no chance of reconnaissance and all the difficulties and confusion arising in fighting in a built up area. The success of the operation was due to Maj Fitzgerald’s great personal initiative at the critical moment and his courage which is of a pattern with all his past conduct in the Regiment and has won him the devotion and admiration of all who have served with him.”
MAJOR J FITZGERALD, 2 LIR
“This officer was commanding F Company in a two Coy attack to secure a bridgehead over the River Simeto on the afternoon of 5 Aug ’43. He led his Coy with great dash and gallantry throughout the attack. Some disorganisation was apparent after the bridgehead had been gained owing to the activity of enemy snipers and loss of officers and NCOs during the attack. It was at this point that Major Fitzgerald realising that the attack might become serious took charge and with great coolness and efficiency directed the reorganisation of the two companies thus ensuring the complete success of the operation. His personal courage and disregard for personal safety were of the highest order.”
LIEUTENANT J GARTSIDE, 2 LIR
“Lieut J Gartside commanded 13 Pl of G Coy throughout the battle of Sanfatucchio. The day after the capture of this feature, a new attack was launched to clear the vital ridge of 410904. Lt Gartside’s platoon and a troop of tanks alone could be spared for this task. The area in question contained two groups of buildings which were held by a German company at least seventy strong. Lt Gartside organised this attack admirably: by skilful use of ground and cover he worked his way close to the first objective. He personally led his men in the attack when the enemy put up a fierce resistance with grenades and small arms. Lt Gartside and his platoon charged the buildings and broke in. The fight lasted half an hour and each house had to be stormed in turn. The whole battle lasted an hour and a half, 17 wounded prisoners were taken, many others wounded, 12 were killed in the house and the others scattered in flight through the corn. Such results with such a small force were due to Lieut Gartside’s courage and resolute leadership and its issue affected vitally not only the holding of the Bttn sector, but also future operations of the Brigade.”
MAJOR CAF GIBBS, 2 LIR
“Throughout the Italian campaign, Major Gibbs has been commanding F Company. At all times, he has led his company with great skill and personal courage and his whole company reflect his personal conduct.
The achievements of F Company in the Battle of Sanfatucchio from 21st to 24th June ’44 were notable. In the initial attack Major Gibbs had the task of seizing the high ground (in the) rear of the enemy strong points prior to the assault. This difficult job they did in the face of stiff opposition. Major Gibbs personally led the assault on one group of houses which were cleared with bomb, smoke and small arms. After this, the company was pinned down by fire from many MGs short of their objective. Major Gibbs realised that if he could not get on, the whole attack with H Company on the right would be in jeopardy. He rallied his men and personally led them on until they got to grips with the enemy killing many and capturing others. After three hours of hand to hand fighting, crawling up ditches and through the corn they had stormed their objective. Major Gibbs was then ordered to attack the San Felice crossroads. This he did and came under fire immediately from S.Ps and about a company of Germans in that area. Major Gibbs worked his troop of tanks round the left in enfilade and as soon as they open fired, charged with one platoon through the corn. The platoon commander was killed and seventeen of his men hit, but they never stopped and slew many Germans at point blank range and survivors surrendered. If this attack had not succeeded the whole Bttn position and H Company holding the cemetery would have been in great danger.
Major Gibbs’ conduct the next day was of (a) similar pattern, he organised his depleted coy admirably and broke into a number of most important buildings on the heels of the enemy. Within an hour he successfully resisted a violent counterattack calling down mortar fire on his own position owing to the closeness of the range. His company was engaged with the Germans at 100 yards range all that night and the next day and the next night. During that time, they accounted for eleven Germans. (On) The morning of the 24th June when the Irish Fusiliers continued their attack, Major Gibbs was given the option of pulling out as his position was within 100 yds of the barrage opening line. This he refused to do and at zero hour under the barrage was engaging with the enemy with everything he had including A.Tk weapons. This effort made the task of the attackers here a much easier one.
Major Gibbs’ personal conduct throughout has been most gallant and his men never flagged with his cheerfulness to keep them going in spite of their trying and prolonged ordeal aidless.”
RSM W GIRVIN, 2 LIR
“This warrant officer of 21 years service has been RSM of his Battalion since June 1943. He has taken part in every battle which the Battalion has fought in N.Africa, Sicily and Italy, being previously a CSM.
During the offensive of May and June ’44 his main concern as is usual was the supply of every type of ammunition to the Battalion. This he achieved by every method of transport including mule in the conditions of the greatest difficulty and danger owing to enemy demolitions and heavy harassing fire. During the breaking of the Gustav and Hitler Lines and at the Battle of Sanfatucchio the Bttn used unusually large quantities of ammunition but were never short owing to RSM Girvin’s ingenuity and devotion to duty.
Before the Battalion’s attack at Sinagoga his work in organising and encouraging the Battalion in a forward forming up position under heavy artillery and mortar fire contributed very greatly to the spirit in which the men went into a successful attack.
During all these campaigns he has carried out his duties with skill and devotion, being only concerned with the success of his Battalion.”
CAPTAIN HC GRAYDON (RA ChD), attached to 2 LIR
“During the action by 2nd Battalion London Irish Rifles on Point 279, the Rev Harry Graydon moved amongst the foremost troops encouraging the fit and tending the wounded. Under very heavy enemy fire he showed a complete disregard for his own personal safety. His gallantry was an outstanding example to all who saw him.”
LIEUTENANT J GRENNAN, 1 LIR
“On the night of 24/25 Dec ’44 Lieut Grennan was in charge of a fighting patrol detailed to destroy the enemy in and around the house at 333284 near Faenza. During the approach to the house, the enemy was encountered in several previously unlocated weapon pits about 100 yards from the house. With great determination and despite the fire from two enemy MGs (one on each flank), Lieut Grennan led his patrol straight into close quarters, the patrol thereby killing three of the enemy and wounded one, two more probably killed. The enemy in the house now being thoroughly on the alert, Lieutenant Grennan successfully withdrew his patrol. The exact information which he brought back of the enemy’s dispositions was invaluable in planning the subsequent Coy attack, which captured this position. The determination and powers of leadership of this officer were entirely responsible for this successful patrol action.”
MAJOR E GRIFFITHS, while attached to 6 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
“On 21 Jun 1944 D Coy commanded by Major Griffiths was given the task of supporting the right hand Coy in the advance on PUCCIARELLI. During the advance contact was lost with this Coy and Major Griffiths went forward through very heavy Mortar fire to establish this contact and found the forward Coy pinned down by MG fire.
He immediately went to the reserve troop of tanks and ordered them to join his Coy which by this time was also under heavy MG fire. In spite of this fire, Major Griffiths visited each platoon in turn to organise his advance; his outstanding courage and cheerful determination inspired everyone. When the advance started, Major Griffiths went to the front of his leading platoon and led his Company forward.
An enemy MG was encountered during this advance which threatened to hold up his Coy, so Major Griffiths himself went forward with greatest courage and determination succeeded in putting the gun out of action – killing or wounding the entire crew, after which the Company was soon on its objective. This feat was only possible by the complete indifference shown by Major Griffiths for his own personal safety and is a typical example of the dash and brilliance shown by this officer at all times.
His determination is reflected in his Company and it is entirely due to him that the Company has done so well in the past.”
LIEUTENANT RM HAIGH, 1 LIR
“On 7 Feb ’44 when Captain Hardy in command of B Coy was wounded, and the other officers of that Coy had become casualties in action near the “Factory” area of Caraceto, Lt Haigh was sent to take over the Coy.
Just after he took over, the enemy put in another fierce attack on the Coy position which was preceded by a very sharp artillery and mortar bombardment together with MG fire from close range on the right flank. During the bombardment Lt Haigh moved about the Coy areas reorganising the defence after the previous attack and steadying the men, many of whose leaders had become casualties. During this time, he was wounded by small arms fire in the arm but continued his task without the slightest hesitation.
Later he found the enemy had got into part of the group of house occupied by his Coy HQ. At once he personally led an assault on the enemy in the houses and drove them out with grenades. During this phase, he was again wounded in the arm and leg with small arms but continued to control and direct the defence with great personal gallantry, resource and coolness. His personal example and display of leadership was of the very highest order enabling the Coy he had taken over at such short notice to maintain its positions.”
CAPTAIN DA HARDY, 1 LIR
“During 4-7 Feb ’44, Captain Hardy was in charge of B Coy, who occupied very exposed positions on the right flank of the Bttn near the “Factory” area of Caraceto. Many strong attacks were made on the Coy positions and on occasion Capt Hardy found an enemy party had penetrated through his forward Platoon position and was occupying a house in the same group as his Coy HQ. At once he took a PIAT gun and with another man attacked the house in spite of the hail of enemy fire to such good effect that the enemy fled leaving dead and wounded behind. This gallant action restored a very critical situation. Throughout the rest of the action, Capt Hardy displayed great personal gallantry, resource, initiative and coolness under fire of the highest order. His personal example was an inspiration to those around him throughout until he was wounded. Even then he continued to control and direct the defence with complete calm and efficiency until another officer arrived to take over.
By his actions he ensured that the Coy maintained its positions firmly in spite of heavy and constant attacks.”
CAPTAIN SIR J HENRY BART, 1 LIR
“This officer has commanded D Company throughout the fighting in Sicily and Italy and has always set the highest example of personal courage and devotion to duty. His calmness of manner and steady demeanour, no matter what the conditions of enemy fire, his personal example and untiring energy, no matter what the conditions of ground and weather, his unruffled outlook and complete disregard of personal safety under all circumstances have been an inspiration to those under his command at all times. I recommend him strongly for the periodical award of the Military Cross.”
LIEUTENANT AR HIBBERT, 1 LIR
“On the night of 23/24 Apr ’45, 15 Platoon C Coy 1/LIR RUR commanded by Lt Hibbert took part in a general advance onto the east bank of the River Senio. 15 Platoon was given the task of advancing and occupying a position on the bank about 337337. It was known that this part of the eastern river bank was held by the enemy, with covering positions on the west bank.
In the assault on the enemy positions, the left hand section of the Platoon met an enemy minefield at the bottom of the river bank. One member of the section had his foot blown off by a schu mine, and the explosion brought down spandau fire from close range upon the remainder of the section causing them to withdraw. The wounded man was left in the minefield and on discovering this Lt Hibbert immediately went forward through the fire and carried the man to safety.
Shortly after this, Lt Hibbert had his spectacles blown from his face by a near miss from a Mortar Bomb reducing his vision to a few yards. Despite this handicap Lt Hibbert reorganised his Platoon and again assaulted the enemy positions and despite heavy spandau fire and grenading he managed to establish two sections on the river bank. An enemy spandau post on the east bank between these two positions prevented the third section establishing itself and made the consolidation of the remaining two sections extremely difficult. Lt Hibbert immediately organised a small fighting patrol which he led himself against this post. The open ground and bright moonlight made it impossible to get to grips with this post with the result that the third section was firmly established on the false river bank to the left of the Platoon’s original position. The presence of the enemy post in the middle of platoon position virtually cut off the remainder of the platoon from the right hand section. Lt Hibbert decided to hold this section position despite the difficulties and personally supervised the digging of trenches. He continually ran the gauntlet of enemy fire between the posts to maintain touch between his right and left.
At first light, Lt Hibbert was able to review the situation and by the skilful use of grenades and 2″ mortars he drove the enemy from the post. The determination and complete disregard for personal safety displayed by this officer was responsible for the success of his Platoon, and the fact that he occupied the positions on the river bank ensured the safety of the Coy occupying positions on his right.”
MAJOR JD LOFTING (TWICE), 2 LIR
Major Lofting’s first citation said:
“On the Senio river near Cotignola on 22 Mar ’45, Major Lofting’s Company was ordered to carry out a raid, He spared no effort to ensure by meticulous planning and enthusiasm that this venture would be a success.
During the operation he stationed himself in a post from where he could best control the operation but which was also some ten feet from an enemy post which had to be subdued to ensure the success of the raid.
A grenade duel started in which Major Lofting took a leading part, at the same time issuing orders and instructions for the success of the raid. The raid was a complete success yielding 5 prisoners, whilst the enemy post near Major Lofting’s position was neutralised and could take no part in hindering the raid.
Major Lofting was on the site of the recently captured enemy position organising the consolidation within seconds of the termination of the assault. It was with the greatest difficulty that he was dissuaded from taking part in the assault. This incident is typical of several others that have occurred during Major Lofting’s two years as a Rifle Coy Commander. He has been twice wounded.
This officer’s personal courage, enthusiasm and devotion to duty is quite exceptional and the high fighting spirit of his Company reflects admirably his personality.”
John Lofting’s second citation said:
“In the thrust northward from the Santerno to the Conselice Canal by armoured forces and infantry in Kangaroos. Major Lofting’s company was supporting one of the leading tank squadrons.
On approaching the Conselice Canal through scattered resistance, it was found that the village of Cavamento on the near bank was strongly held by enemy infantry whilst the bridge was partially blown. Without hesitation Major Lofting decided to make a quick bridgehead, making the fullest use of the protection given by his Kangaroos, supported by the tanks from the near bank, whilst containing the enemy in Cavamento with his reserve platoon. His was a very bold decision.
A bridgehead was rapidly achieved much to the surprise of the enemy who were mostly caught off their guard by the speed of the operation. Over 100 enemy were either killed, wounded or captured, whilst two anti-tank guns and several carts full of enemy equipment were captured as the enemy were trying to evacuate them.
On two other occasions during the advance to the River Po, Major Lofting’s company has by its dash and swiftness into action achieved great success against the enemy. These successes are all in very large part due to the drive, gallantry and fighting spirit of Major Lofting who after 2 years as a rifle company commander is still an enthusiastic and inspiring example to his company.”
CAPTAIN F LYNESS, 2 LIR
“Capt Lyness has fought since almost the beginning of the North African campaign without a break. He was a platoon commander until after the Sangro battles of Dec ’43 when he became a liaison officer for a few months.
During the Sicilian campaign and early Italian campaign his patrolling was outstanding, particular on occasions on the Simeto River in Sicily when he showed great gallantry under heavy fire in extricating a patrol of another regiment from a very difficult position and bringing it and its wounded officer back to our lines. In the positions at Monte Castellone at Cassino he acted as liaison officer at Brigade HQ, his job being to contact battalions in exposed positions on the slopes of Monte Cairo. He carried out his duties for a month running considerable risks from the heavy shell and mortar fire which was a feature of the area.
During the battles of May and June ’44 from Cassino to Trasimeno he was the Bn Intelligence Officer, His skill, gallantry and cheerfulness under heavy fire in mobile battles was most marked and the work done by him in observing enemy movements and recording information had a great bearing on the battalion’s successful advance.
In the battle on Monte Spaduro in October ’44 and the holding positions in the Sillaro valley his work has been of the highest order and his devotion to duty in spite of obvious strain brought on by such a long continuous period of active operations has been unstinting.”
CAPTAIN AF MACE, 1 LIR
“In the Wadi area NW of the Flyover Bridge in the Anzio bridgehead on 22 Feb ’44, Captain Mace was ordered to take over command of the remainder of the Rifle Coys, as all the other officers had become casualties. Capt Mace had previously been Intelligence Officer of the Battalion.
Almost immediately after he assumed command, the enemy counter attacked strongly but Captain Mace took charge with such dash and showed such complete disregard for his personal safety when encouraging the men, that the attacks were beaten off with heavy loss to the enemy. Later he was ordered to attack a party of the enemy, which had surrounded Bttn HQ of the Ox & Bucks. Under heavy shell, mortar and small arms fire he again lead his men magnificently and although severely wounded in the back he continued to exercise command until he was ordered back by the MO. His courage and complete disregard of danger encouraged the troops under his command so well that the Bttn was relieved.”
LIEUTENANT HG MONTGOMERIE (TWICE), 2 LIR
Lieut Montgomerie’s first citation said:
“In the attack on Sanfatucchio on 21st June ’44 the two leading Coys were held up by enemy MG fire from a strong enemy position on a group of farm buildings outside the town. With tank support the buildings were assaulted from both side by 2/Lt Montgomorie’s and one of the right hand platoons. The assault was made in the face of very heavy MG fire which caused numerous casualties. 2/Lt Montgomorie led his Pl with such dash and determination that they were able to burst into the farms. He played a prominent part in the clearing of the buildings showing complete indifference to danger. Later in the day during the advance beyond the village his Pl was under constant MG and mortar fire from the flank. He led one section off to a fire position to support his platoon and then returned under heavy fire to lead the remainder of his platoon to capture his objective. In this attack five enemy were killed and nine taken prisoner.
This officer’s gallant conduct and skilful leadership was instrumental in achieving the success of his platoon in capturing their objectives over difficult terrain, stubbornly defended by a numerous enemy.”
Lt Montgomorie’s second citation said:
“During Dec ’44 the farm of Casa Tamagnin was a strong enemy outpost and patrol base about 800 yards in front of our positions. The enemy’s presence in it formed a definite threat to our positions and an attempt by a company to raid it by night was repulsed in mid Dec. In the last week of Dec a series of recce patrols by night and by day was led by Lt Montgomorie to discover the enemy’s dispositions and habits around Casa Tamagnin. During the course of these patrols Lt Montgomorie and two men lay up one night for one hour within 15 yards of the farm and on another disconnected three enemy booby traps. As a result of the information gained on these patrols, Lt Montgomorie and six men covered by various covering parties, entered the farm which consisted of two buildings at 0830 hrs on a bright sunny morning. Both buildings were set on fire by incendiary grenades and approximately 25 enemy of 1 Para. Division were driven out of the houses, four of whom were seen to be killed or badly wounded. Although the farm was overlooked by a strongly occupied enemy ridge about 250 yards away. Lt Montgomorie succeeded in withdrawing his party and all covering parties without a single casualty back up the hill to our own positions. It is worthy of mention that the operation had been planned for the previous morning but was postponed after four casualties had been sustained over one of our own booby traps during the approach to the farm. The bold and resolute leadership of this officer coupled with the skill and perseverance he showed in all his work leading up to the raid on the farm was almost entirely responsible for the success of this venture and is worthy of the highest praise.”
LIEUTENANT N MOSLEY, 2 LIR
“During the attack on Casa Spinello near Monte Spaduro (Spadura) on the evening of 23 October ’44, Lt Mosley commanded the assault platoon which was first into the farm buildings. After bitter fighting amongst the buildings, they were cleared of the enemy except for two who maintained resistance from beneath the floor of a building. Lt Mosley personally disposed of these two with his tommy-gun and a grenade. His company commander becoming a casualty, Lt Mosley took over temporary command of the Coy (Company) and rapidly prepared for counter attack under very heavy shelling and mortaring. Another officer arrived and took over command of the Coy, but Lt Mosley, throughout three counter attacks which followed in the early part of the night, behaved with the greatest gallantry, exposing himself frequently to enemy fire with complete disregard for his own safety, in order to direct fire and to keep alert his men, who were very tired. This officer’s leadership, gallantry and tirelessness was in large part responsible for the capture and still more in the holding of this important position.”
CAPTAIN GRH MULLINS, 1 LIR
“On 8 Feb ’44 A Coy of which Lt Mullins was in command was ordered to counter attack and restore the situation of B Coy near the “Factory” area of Caraceto. Lt Mullins organised the attack with skill and resource and in spite of heavy enemy opposition, it was completely successful resulting in many enemy casualties and the capture of 33 POWs.
Almost immediately the enemy counter attacked fiercely and in great strength following a very sharp artillery and mortar bombardment. During this period, Lt Mullins moved about his Coy arranging the defence of the position with complete disregard for personal safety, and by his personal example steadying his men, many of whom had become casualties and lacked Section and Platoon leaderships. He was badly wounded in the arm and leg, but continued to organise and direct the defence to such good effect that all enemy attacks at this stage were beaten off. Throughout, his gallantry, initiative and display of leadership were of the very highest order and enabled his Coy to maintain its position in spite of all that the enemy could do.”
LIEUTENANT J PROSSER, 1 LIR
“On the 7 Sep ’44, C Coy 1/LIR was in the Battalion area under extremely heavy mortar and shell fire. Officers commanding A and C Coy and the CO were all wounded in an OP and Lieut Prosser was ordered to take over command of C Coy. As a result of these casualties and the very heavy shelling the morale of the Coy was somewhat shaken. Lieut Prosser was given orders to attack the feature Pt 168. With complete disregard for his personal safety, Lieut Prosser carried out his recce for the attack and personally led his Coy into the attack through very heavy enemy fire showing great coolness and the highest qualities of leadership. The attack was carried out with great dash and the enemy on the objective completely over run, the only other officer in the Coy being wounded in the attack. After the attack he reorganised the Coy on the objective and continued in command for 12 hrs without the assistance of any other officers. I consider that the success achieved by this Coy was largely due to the example of courage and determination set to his men by Lt Prosser.”
LIEUTENANT L RUE, 1 LIR
“On 2 Mar ’44, in the area NW of the Flyover bridge in the Anzio bridgehead, this officer was commanding D Coy, which was ordered to clear the enemy out of a wadi at 823303. The Company had to cross a very wide open piece of ground in front of the wadi, and although suffering casualties from the shell fire reached the wadi quickly. Once in the wadi, the mortar and shell fire increased and the Company also came under machine gun fire. However, Lt Rue did not hesitate to lead his men into the attack and although the scrub was very thick. Lt Rue knocked out one machine gun post himself, but was hit by bullets in the face and under the arm. But he carried on with the task until it was too dark to advance any further in the thick scrub. Several prisoners were taken and then Lt Rue set about organising what was left of the Company. It was not until another Officer had arrived to take over, and he was satisfied that the situation was well in hand, that he would allow his wound to be dressed. Although he had only just taken over Command of the Company, he showed magnificent leadership and his courage and devotion to duty were beyond praise.”
LIEUTENANT EM SALTER, 2 LIR
“On the 22nd March ’45 on the Senio river near Cotignola, Lt Salter was in charge of a raiding party to wipe out an enemy post whose snipers had been causing much trouble. He personally led the assaulting group up the flood bank and stood on top giving covering fire while the raiding party doubled over. He was immediately wounded in the shoulder by a bullet. He remained with the covering party and directed very effective fire on the German positions on the opposite bank of the river thus enabling the raiding party to kill one German, severely wounding another and capturing five others, one of whom was wounded. He remained commanding the Platoon and refused to leave until receiving a direct order from his Company Commander.
His covering fire was so effective that not a single man of the six who went over the bank was wounded by small arms fire, although four were slightly wounded by rifle grenades from the enemy side.
The success of this raid was largely due to the gallant example and leadership and careful planning of Lt Salter.”
CAPTAIN LJ SAMUELS (RAMC), attached to 2 LIR
“This officer has been employed as RMO throughout this and the previous campaign. His first consideration has been the wounded and his succour has on many occasions been rendered with complete disregard to personal danger.
During the attack across the River Trigno on 27/28 Oct ’43 he tended the wounded under very heavy fire for five hours and there is no doubt he saved many lives. During this time he supervised evacuation across the river under continual enemy shelling.
His cheerfulness and courage under the worst conditions have been an inspiration and example to all. I strongly recommend the award of an MC.”
LIEUTENANT RW SATCHEL, 1 LIR
“On the night of 5/6 Apr ’45 B Coy 1/LIR took part in the initial crossing of the River Reno. 10 Platoon, the reserve Platoon, was commanded by Lt Satchel. Owing to 11 Platoon on the right being held up with heavy casualties, 10 Platoon was ordered to take their place on the bridgehead objective. Lt Satchel led his Platoon onto this objective and then continued to advance. An enemy strongpoint at the Rice Factory was silently surrounded by his Platoon, and under his leadership one section attacked and drove the enemy out. 18 prisoners were taken and 4 mortars captured. Whilst consolidating on the final objective, 10 Platoon were subjected to very heavy mortaring, shelling and SP gun fire. Throughout the whole of this, Lt Satchel walked round the sections encouraging his men and assisting in the evacuation of wounded from 12 Platoon. On the 13 Apr ’45 Lt Satchel led his platoon in an advance against enemy resistance of over 6000 yards. In this he was supported by a troop of tanks and his platoon accounted for approximately 130 prisoners and a number of dead. Owing to his very skilful leadership his platoon incurred no casualties. The leadership and complete disregard for personal safety displayed by this officer was an inspiration to all who came in touch with him.”
LIEUTENANT HND SEYMOUR, 2 LIR
“Lieut Seymour led his Pl with great dash and gallantry in the attack on the Sperina feature in the early hours of 12 Aug ’43. He personally accounted for two enemy MG posts with his revolver and grenades, reached his objective with 12 men and quickly occupied it.
He then collected the remainder of his Pl under heavy fire and proceeded to become offensive again in spite of the fact that the Coy on the right had failed to reach their objective, his flank was “in the air” and he was under extremely heavy fire. He showed himself continuously to draw fire and locate enemy posts and was able to locate and silence many snipers.
Later in the day, the right Coy tried to capture their original objective. 15 men succeeded in reaching Lt Seymour. He immediately took charge and led the party augmented by one of his own sections to capture and clear all the other Coy’s objectives. This he did.
Throughout a hard night’s fighting Lt Seymour’s aggressiveness, cheerfulness and outstanding leadership was an inspiration to all under his command. He was completely fearless. He personally accounted for 4 MG posts and his command silenced many snipers and neutralised other MGs. In addition he captured 27 prisoners. This officer’s outstanding behaviour is deserving of high recognition and I strongly recommend an immediate award of a DSO.” – this was later amended to an MC.
CAPTAIN RHS SINCLAIR, 1 LIR
“On the night 5/6 Apr ’45 C Coy 1/LIR was one of the assaulting Coys to cross the River Reno. 14 Platoon under the command of Captain Sinclair carried out successfully a coordinated attack with 13 Platoon to secure an initial bridgehead across the river. In the advance from this bridgehead 15 Platoon, who were covering 13 Platoon moving along the river bank, sustained heavy casualties, including the Platoon Commander and Sergeant, from enemy spandau fire. As a result the Platoon became disorganised and it was evident that only leadership of the highest order could reorganise them and ensure that they carried on with their vital task. Capt Sinclair was ordered to take command of 15 Platoon. Within a short space of time, he had the Platoon reorganised and covering the advance of 13 Platoon. After a time, the enemy had some knowledge of our line of advance and by using flares he spotted 15 Platoon in the open and covered them with two spandaus. Capt Sinclair positioned his sections in waterlogged ditches and settled down to replying to the enemy with maximum fire. It was impossible for him to move forward and rather than yield ground he decided to make the best of his position for daylight. When daylight came, it was discovered that the Platoon lying in ditches were in an enemy minefield covered by spandau fire from the river bank. It was not until the arrival of tanks in the afternoon that the Platoon was able to move on.
Despite his being wet and tired, Capt Sinclair refused to take rest and immediately asked to lead his own Platoon (14) in a further advance with tank support. This he did, advancing some 1500 yards and taking over 50 prisoners, Whilst consolidating their gains, the Platoon was subjected to heavy mortar fire resulting in ten casualties. Owing to this and to spandau fire Capt Sinclair decided to withdraw temporarily. The Platoon was made up to reasonable strength and ordered to retake the position before dusk. The attack had just commenced when once again the Platoon ran into heavy mortar, shell and small arms fire resulting in further casualties. The tank in sp was also put out of action and the commander wounded. As darkness was approaching, Capt Sinclair was ordered to hold the ground he had occupied which he did through a night of normal harassing fire.
The success of the initial crossing and the deepening of the first bridgehead to a depth of 2000 yards was due in the main to the determination and leadership of Capt Sinclair. His courage, clear thinking and cheerfulness under the worst conditions was an inspiration not only to the men he commanded but to the whole Coy.”
MAJOR JD STEWART MBE, 2 LIR
“On 16 Dec ’44, Major Stewart took over command of the 6 Royal West Kents in the difficult position on the slopes of Monte Grande. Although in one of the worst shelled areas, Major Stewart was hardly ever indoors during the day. He walked fearlessly amongst his men looking for any small thing that might improve their positions or decrease their danger. This cheerfulness, courage and efficiency did much to maintain the morale of his men during a period of heavy shelling and extremely cold and bad weather.
Major Stewart took over command of 2/LIR on 12 Jan ’45. Here again he showed an enthusiasm and aptitude for work that was a source of great inspiration; he daily visited troops in the most forward positions, on two occasions coming under the fire of snipers. Nothing, however, seemed to interfere with this officer’s desire and enthusiasm to inspire and lead the troops under his command.
Major Stewart commanded a rifle company throughout the Sicilian campaign and for nearly six months in Italy. He was Brigade Major for a year and now has commanded in action for periods of a month, two infantry battalions. On 10 May ’45 he became GSO L Division in the absence on leave on leave of the GSO.
He has, by his cheerful bearing, tact, personal leadership and courage been a source of great inspiration in whatever capacity he has been employed. Although he has had no respite since Sicily his energy has never flagged and his personal bearing under fire has set the highest standard.”
LIEUTENANT JHC TAYLOR, 2 LIR
“In the night attack which developed on the night 18-19 Apr ’45 over the Fossa Sabiosola, north of Argenta. Lt Taylor was commanding one of the leading platoons of his Company. With little opportunity for reconnaissance he led his platoon with great dash on to the objective given to him. Hearing from prisoners that there were many of the enemy in the next farm about 500 yds farther on he asked for permission to attack and such was the speed of this action that he captured four officers and seventy men and a bridgehead over the next canal in the neighbourhood of Coltra.
Next evening in the vicinity of Portomaggiore he held an important sector of a bridgehead against repeated fighting patrols of the enemy and heavy shellfire until dangerously wounded by sniper fire in the early morning.
The dash, leadership, and praiseworthy initiative of this officer was a very fine example to his men and was largely instrumental in the rapid advance of the Battalion with relatively light casualties. Through his type of action the enemy was given no rest and pinned finally against the River Po.”
LIEUTENANT JD WHITE, 2 LIR
“Subsequent to the action which secured Termoli on 6 Oct ’43, touch had been lost with the enemy. It was vital to regain contact and Lieut White was sent forward on 9 Oct with his Pl to gain contact and bring in information of the enemy’s position. Handling his Pl boldly, Lieut White went forward about 7,000 yards, staying out throughout the hours of daylight. He and his Pl were continually under heavy mortar fire. Despite this, he made a valuable reconnaissance of the ground in addition to discovering several enemy MG positions by showing himself in order to draw their fire. His high powers of leadership and disregard for personal safety were responsible for the success of the patrol and the gaining of the required information. I strongly recommend the immediate award of the MC.”
LIEUTENANT TWH WILSON, 2 LIR
“During the attack on Fossacesia on 30 Nov ’43, this officer was responsible for dealing with a particularly heavily defended part of the village. Due to Lt Wilson’s leadership, the task was rapidly executed despite the fact that he was badly shaken when the first house he entered received a direct hit by a shell. Two days later on the Treglio ridge, Lt Wilson and his platoon beat off two counter attacks and this played an important part in holding the ground already won.
This officer later took over command of another Coy, when all its officers had been wounded, and for three tiring days led it with great skill and determination. He has been tireless and set a high example to all. I strongly recommend the award of the MC.”
MAJOR AD WOODS, 2 LIR
“On 16 May ’44, this officer commanding H Coy, led the attack on the centre of the Pytchley Line at Sinagoga. Of all three forward Coys in this attack, he encountered the fiercest resistance. However, by skilful handling of his Company and by his personal example, in spite of severe losses, the enemy strong points were overcome. In the attack on the village itself, which was strongly held, he took part of his company in ahead of the tanks and this alone largely neutralised the enemy A.Tk weapons which then could not be served. During the whole battle, Major Woods Company was under very heavy fire and their capture of the village was very largely responsible for the success of the operation.”
MAJOR IP YATES, 2 LIR
“This officer is the Bttn (battalion) MTO (motor transport officer). On the night of 29 May ’44, the battalion had the task of capturing Hill 255 north-west of Ceprano. This hill was strongly defended and approaches to it by vehicle were very bad. The assault went in at midnight and a very large amount of ammunition was expended by the leading companies which had to be replenished immediately. Lieut Yates took it upon himself to bring forward the company carriers. He got them forward up a very bad track under heavy mortar fire and also the fire of at least three German MGs (machine guns) at a range or about 500 yards, who could not fail to see and hear the carriers on the top of the ridge in the bright moonlight. The leading carrier being hit, caught fire and ammunition started exploding. This blocked the track. Lieut Yates worked ceaselessly, and personally dug the vehicle clear and towed it out at very great personal risk not only from the burning carrier but from the fact that he was a target for all available German weapons within range. Having achieved this, he delivered the remaining carriers to the forward companies which were still under fire. It was very remarkable that Lieut Yates survived this action and he has throughout gone completely outside his duty to render best possible service to the Bn. He has set an example which has been an inspiration to all throughout this offensive and this is but one of many incidents of personal self-sacrifice on his part. Throughout none have worked harder or exposed themselves to greater danger than Lieut Yates. His devotion to duty has been such that the Bn Colour Sergeants sent a deputation to the C.O. drawing attention to his conduct.”