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9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers – Award Citations for the Italian Campaign

These are the award citations for decorations awarded to 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers during operations in Italy from September 1943 to March 1944 and July 1944 to May 1945.


4204355 Corporal David Ashcroft
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action20/21 January 1944
London Gazette 04 May 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/92
On the night 20/21 January 1944 B Company were holding Point 247 among the hills west of the Garigliano. The enemy attacked and overran the position on the right of No. 12 platoon. Corporal Ashcroft was sent with two men on a recce to find out what the situation was. Hearing him approach, the enemy sent an attack in his direction. With his TSMG, aided by the two Fusiliers, Corporal Ashcroft stood firm and broke up the attack, driving the enemy back to their positions. This enabled him to discover the exact place where the enemy positions were. He then returned to our company lines, and with this information the company was enabled to counter-attack successfully, driving the enemy off the positions. By his presence of mind and courage this NCO caused considerable casualties to be inflicted on the enemy and was of great assistance to his company in restoring a difficult and dangerous situation.

6466576 Corporal Douglas Ernest Cunningham Brooks
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action6 December 1943
London Gazette 23 March 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/286
On 6 December 1943 when the battalion was holding Point 819, a key position on Monte Camino, the battalion area came under almost continuous enemy artillery and mortar concentrations. Owing to the appalling weather, wireless sets had become water-logged and the only communications with forward companies was by line. These and other lines were constantly being broken by shelling and owing to the very exposed nature of the ground, casualties to the line repairing parties had been heavy. In the afternoon, it was reported that the line to B Company had been cut. Corporal Brooks, knowing that the surviving men of the line party were in an exhausted condition, went out himself to mend the line. This meant a journey of almost 1000 yards over ground almost wholly exposed to enemy observation and to shell and mortar fire. On his return he learned that the line to D Company had been cut and once again he set out on an equally long and dangerous journey which he accomplished successfully. Only a few minutes after his return the line to D Company was again out. Without hesitation Corporal Brooks again set out and mended the line. This NCO displayed the utmost courage and devotion to duty in keeping communications open in a very vital situation. His complete disregard for his own safety and his determination to keep the lines intact himself rather than risk other lives were beyond praise.

240419 Lieutenant Gerald Bryan Burnett
AwardMilitary Cross
Date of Action
London Gazette08 March 1945
TNA FileWO 373/10/69
On the morning of 5th September 1944, the battalion crossed the River Conca. B Company, who were leading, were slowed up by the necessity for clearing up some parties of enemy before further advance: and A Company of which Lieutenant Burnett's was the leading platoon, came into the lead. On the advance towards Croce, considerable opposition was met from enemy machine gun posts, and it was imperative to act quickly to avoid a large number of casualties. Without hesitation Lieutenant Burnett led his platoon forward into a charge and with them he destroyed at once three Spandau posts. Later, on the night 7th September 1944, Lieutenant Burnett was in command of fifteen men engaged in clearing some houses. He was supported by tanks: and the streets were swept persistently by snipers with machine guns and rifles. Eventually the tanks proved unable to silence the opposition and when some were struck by enemy bazookas, they withdrew. It was then that Lieutenant Burnett by his untiring leadership, and complete disregard for his own safety in leading his men from one enemy post to the next, cleaned up the position without further assistance and established himself firmly in the enemy's place. Lieutenant Burnett's personal example throughout the fighting has been an inspiration to his men and his prompt action has saved the company in many dangerous situations.

5547147 Corporal Harry Richardson Chamberlain
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action
London Gazette21 June 1945
TNA FileWO 373/12/614
On 24 December 1944 Corporal Chamberlain, of the Pioneer Platoon was sent out to help in clearing mines from a road leading up to the Canale Naviglio. One section of xx xx and an NCO had already been detailed to this job; the NCO had been killed and xx xx been wounded, by intense shell-fire. It was imperative that this job should be completed quickly to enable tanks to move up to xx xx and Company Headquarters of 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, who were pinned down by enemy fire further forward. Corporal Chamberlain went up to this xxx with two men to assist him. xxx xx forward of two tanks he xxxx steadily along the road prodding for mines. In spite of the heavy shell and mortar fire which the tanks attracted and the small arms fire coming down the road and from both flanks Corporal Chamberlain went xx the job with xxx coolness and disregard for the danger. He lifted two glass mines xxx xx Teller mines - all of the latter being booby-trapped - and xx enabled the tanks to come up to the rescue of the platoon. Throughout the operation, his fearless example and coolness under fire were an inspiration to the men working under him, who were thus inspired to complete this important task in the face of all attempts by the enemy to prevent them.

63575 Lieutenant-Colonel John Rutherford Cleghorn
AwardDistinguished Service Order
Date of Action5 September 1944
London Gazette26 April 1945
TNA FileWO 373/11/6
During the last nine months Lieutenant-Colonel Cleghorn has commanded his battalion, the 9th Royal Fusiliers, in many actions in the Battles of Garigliano, Anzio and the Gothic Line. Throughout his leadership and personal example have been outstanding. During the night of 5th September 1944 his battalion led the brigade in an advance into enemy territory. After some three miles the enemy were unexpectedly encountered in strength on the Croce feature. He immediately seized the greater part of the feature capturing and killing a large number of the enemy. For the next five days he held onto the feature and fought his battalion with outstanding skill and determination against repeated strong counter attacks and extremely heavy shell fire. His frequent visits to forward companies regardless of enemy fire cheered and steadied his men and was a considerable factor in the success of the operation. Eventually he was largely responsible for finally clearing and holding the whole of this vital feature. All this time he had a completely open left flank from which the enemy had a dominating and clear view of his positions and rear and made full use of it. Lieutenant-Colonel Cleghorn's determined leadership, cheerfulness and personal courage were outstanding and a great inspiration to his battalion and all attached troops under his command.

41314V A/Major Arthur Charles Collier
AwardBar to Military Cross
Date of Action1 April 1945
London Gazette23 August 1945
TNA FileWO 373/13/240
On 8th April 1945 after the crossing of the River Reno, Major Collier was instructed to take X Company back over the river and to work up the west bank clearing the enemy from his prepared positions, also to support a sister battalion which was moving up the east bank. The leading platoon was making slow progress owing to the many enemy positions encountered. Major Collier, seeing that the London Irish were being seriously worried by an enemy strong point some 1500 yards further on, immediately by-passed his platoon which was engaged and leading the remainder of his company round under cover, assaulted the strong point killing, wounding of capturing forty enemy. One of the platoons then came under heavy small arms fire from the east bank. Major Collier with a small party of volunteers crossed back over the river and destroyed the enemy post. On 23rd April X Company was a reserve company engaged in flank protection. The enemy who had been infiltrating into the village of Tamarra brought heavy small arms, mortar and SP fire to bear on the rear of one of the leading companies. Immediately Major Collier organised an attack onto the village, engaged the SP with mortar and small arms fire and forced it to withdraw. At this time Spandau and Schmeisser fire was coming from the church. Having surrounded the building, Major Collier proceeded to led the assault personally. Battering his way into the church, accounted for eighteen Germans. On arrival at the River Po, X Company was ordered to cross. Only four Mark II assault boats were available, nevertheless Major Collier led the first twelve Fusiliers over, taking twenty minutes to paddle their way over in full view of the far bank, on which snipers had been located a short while previously. On arrival one enemy officer and about twenty soldiers were seen forming up to counter attack. Major Collier and his little band charged the enemy who fled into a house, whereupon the Fusiliers proceeded to destroy them with sub-machine gun fire and grenades through the windows. None came out. Throughout the operations from the crossing of the Reno to the crossing of the Po, Major Collier's skill, leadership, gallantry and initiative has been outstanding.

176810 A/Capt. Leslie Maurice Dale
AwardMilitary Cross
Date of Action10 September 1943
London Gazette13 January 1944
TNA FileWO 373/4/65
On the evening of September 10, Lieutenant Dale's platoon was holding a position at the bridge at Battipaglia. An attack was put in by the enemy with infantry and tanks, and the position came under intense fire. One tank came down onto the bridge and fired down into his platoon's trenches with its 75mm gun. Despite the devastating effect which this was having, Lieutenant Dale encouraged his men to shoot back at the tank, and he himself shot the commander of the tank when he appeared through the turret. The effect of the fire returned onto the tank was to make it withdraw, and enabled the platoon to inflict severe casualties on the enemy infantry. His determination to hold the position in the face of superior numbers, and his own personal example of courage and utter disregard for his own safety, prevented the enemy from crossing the bridge at a very critical moment, where it seemed that a breakthrough after the capture of Battipaglia was inevitable.

176810 A/Major Leslie Maurice Dale
AwardDistinguished Service Order
Date of Action2 March 1944
London Gazette15 June 1944
TNA FileWO 373/6/74
On the Anzio beachead ay 0330hrs on 2 March 1944, C Company was attacked from the front and right flank. Before long the enemy were on three sides of the company. It was forty-eight hours before the situation was cleared up, during which period the company was being constantly attacked. Despite heavy small arms fire and incessant sniping Major Dale led counter-attack after counter-attack throwing the enemy out from his actual company position completely regardless of his own personal safety. Before this engagement, C Company which was composed entirely of drafts from the United Kingdom, had never been under fire. It can be attributed to Major Dale's personal bravery and coolness that the enemy were so soundly defeated and that morale and fighting spirit of C Company remained so high. Once the main attack had died down, Major Dale immediately organised parties for mopping up the enemy who were dug-in in strong positions to his rear. His company headquarters itself came under fire continually and his resources were no time large but by his own determination, his insistence on killing or capturing all Germans still remaining in the area and his own personal example of coolness and bravery at all times, he obtained a total of twenty-three prisoners and at least twenty-five killed. These casualties to the enemy which, with losses in the original attack and wounded who managed to escape, must have accounted for an entire company, seriously affected his movements in the other immediate sectors and thereby the general course of the battle.

14589855 P/ Lance Corporal Arthur James Davey
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action14 April 1945
London Gazette23 August 1945
TNA FileWO 373/13/446
On 15th April 1945 16 Platoon, Z Company were advancing to the railway embankment at 323573. The position was well defended by the enemy and the platoon was experiencing considerable difficulty. The company commander was about to send a further platoon to extricate 16 Platoon from its difficulties when Lance Corporal Davey, who was second-in-command of one of 16 Platoon's sections, finding that his section commander was not to hand took over the section. In the face of heavy small arms and mortar fire Lance Corporal Davey on his own initiative led his section round to the flank and behind the enemy position. Lance Corporal Davey rallied his section and charged the enemy. Lance Corporal Davey personally killed on enemy rifleman and wounded three others whilst his section took four prisoners. As a result of his courageous action and complete disregard for his own personal safety the whole platoon was able to advance to its objective and considerable casualties were inflicted on the enemy.

5682529 Fusilier James Henry Davies
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action15 April 1945
London Gazette23 August 1945
TNA FileWO 373/13/448
On 15th April 1945 16 Platoon of Z Company were advancing to the railway embankment at 323573. The position was strongly defended by the enemy and the platoon was experiencing considerable difficulty. No. 2 section of which Fusilier Davies was a rifleman managed to out flank the enemy - advancing as they did through considerable small arms as well as shell fire. As the section approached the objective a sniper opened up on the remainder of the platoon. Fusilier Davies with complete disregard for his own safety rushed the sniper and killed him. He occupied the position, took three prisoners which he had wounded, before the remainder of the section arrived. Fusilier Davies' action, his dash and offensive spirit had a great influence on the remainder of the platoon who were able to advance and take a heavy toll of the enemy.

67612 A/Major. Cedric George Delforce
AwardDistinguished Service Order
Date of Action15 September 1943
London Gazette13 January 1944
TNA FileWO 373/4/14
On 15 September 1943, Major Delforce was in command of a mixed force, consisting of the remnants of 9 Royal Fusiliers, 220 Field Company, 102 Army Field Company, 302 Anti-tank Battery and 167 Brigade Defence Platoon. His task was to hold he St. Lucia area, 8121. This was one of the keypoints of the bridgehead, and its loss would have had very serious results. At first light on 15 September, the Germans attacked in force with tanks and infantry and succeeded in penetrating not only portions of the St. Lucia position but also of the position held by the unit to the west. Major Delforce immediately organised counter attacks, which were successful. By 1400 hrs he had restored the situation along the front, both of his own force and that of the unit to the west. It was mainly due to Major Delforce's courage, coolness, leadership and tactical ability that the St. Lucia position was retained and throughout the battle he was an inspiration and example to all ranks.

Lieutenant Ronald Philip Duthaler
AwardMilitary Cross
Date of Action6 September 1944
London Gazette08 February 1945
TNA FileWO 373/9/305
At 2000 hrs on 6th September 1944, D Company, 9th Royal Fusiliers started to attack a strongly held enemy position at Croce. Lieutenant Duthaler's platoon was leading when they came under fire from the first enemy machine gun posts. The enemy fired and threw grenades, one of which wounded Lieutenant Duthaler in the left thigh. In spite of this, he shouted encouragement to his platoon, rushed forward and killed the enemy crew with a grenade. by this time four or five more machine guns had opened up and it was clear that the position was a very strong one. Still shouting and cheering, Lieutenant Duthaler led his platoon on up the hill from one post to another and while his platoon covered him, he personally killed or wounded the crews of three more machine gun posts with grenades. Croce itself was taken, largely because of the tremendous courage and magnificent example set by Lieutenant Duthaler. His inspiration filled all men behind him with a daredevil courage and was responsible for the death of many Germans. Not until the position was taken would he consent to be assisted to the RAP and evacuated.

6480410 Fusilier Peter Reginald Gingell
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action27/28 December 1944
London Gazette21 June 1945
TNA FileWO 373/12/615
On the night 27/28th December 1944, 18 Platoon Z Company was attacking Point 29 near Naviglio. Under intense shelling and MMG fire, Fusilier Gingell's section alone reached its objective, isolated and completely outnumbered by the enemy. As the Bren gunner was wounded and the section without an MG, Fusilier Gingell volunteered to return to Company HQ to bring one back and covered 800 yards of bullet swept ground which was dominated by the enemy. Returning he came under direct fire from an enemy post which he engaged single-handed. Attacked by the enemy, he killed one and drove off the others with Bren gun fire. In spite of this he remained undaunted, rejoined his section and maintained his Bren in action for some hours until it became apparent the enemy was closing in on them. Fusilier Gingell alone knew the location of the Company HQ, so once again he made the hazardous journey to obtain instructions from the Company Commander. Again he was attacked on the return journey but he drove off the enemy with rifle fire, inflicting casualties and fighting his way through single-handed. Throughout the battle Fusilier Gingell's conduct was of the highest standard of courage, coolness and devotion to duty. Throughout the battle Fusilier Gingell's conduct was of the highest standard of courage, coolness and devotion to duty.

174983 T/Captain. John Frederick Gordon
AwardMilitary Cross
Date of ActionPeriodic
London Gazette28 June 1945
TNA FileWO 373/12/171
During the period of the breach of the Gothic Line, Captain Gordon was commanding a company. At Croce Captain Gordon was involved in an attack to seize the village. The attack went in against a vastly superior force of enemy. In spite of this, the company, at the inspiration of its commander, fought its way forward until it reached the village and beyond. The success of the attack contributed very largely to the final consolidation of the Croce feature. At Mulazzano, when daylight came the main attack had come to a standstill. Captain Gordon was ordered to attack supported by tanks round the left flank. This he did with complete success: on reaching his objective he saw that the remainder of the battalion, and also a sister battalion, were coming under very heavy Spandau fire. He immediately made a plan, and leading his company up an almost unscaleable escarpment, surprised the enemy and indeed captured the brigade objective. It was owing to the the resourcefulness of this officer that the capture of Mulazzano was so successful when at one time it looked as if the task was to be most difficult.

6471247 A/Corporal Albert Goward Hampton
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action3 March 1944
London Gazette15 June 1944
TNA FileWO 373/6/236
On 3 March 1944 in the Anzio beachhead, the Battle Patrol was ordered to deal with some of the enemy who had infiltrated behind D Company lines. Corporal Hampton, with Corporal Finnegan, was on the left flank and crawled forward about a hundred yards and fifty yards in spite of a very heavy concentration of mortar fire. On reaching the first trench Corporal Hampton threw two grenades and Corporal Finnegan one, killing two Germans in it. They went still further forward, now under small arms fire as well as from another German, and Corporal Finnegan was killed. Corporal Hampton, however, went on alone, wounded the German and brought him in as prisoner. Corporal Hampton's courage and determination on this and many other occasions, was an inspiration to the other members of the Battle Patrol.

6461284 A/Corporal Harry Herbert
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action17 February 1944
London Gazette15 June 1944
TNA FileWO 373/6/238
In the Anzio bridgehead on 17 February 1944 B Company's positions south of the Moletta wadi were heavily attacked. Early in the action Corporal Herbert, who is a very young NCO, was called upon to act as platoon serjeant. He was wounded during the fighting, but refused to go back for treatment and during the whole attack he showed outstanding courage, moving about among his men although under fire and hard pressed by the enemy, encouraging them and inspiring them by his confidence and aggressive spirit. Many efforts were made to break through his platoon positions: but all were beaten off with heavy casualties, largely because of the firm spirit of determined resistance infused into his men by Corporal Herbert himself.

6448439 Regimental Serjeant Major George Hollings
AwardDistinguished Conduct Medal
Date of Action10 September 1943
London Gazette13 January 1944
TNA FileWO 373/4/86
On 10th September when the battalion was surrounded in Battipaglia, this Warrant Officer showed a high degree of courage and devotion to duty. At a critical time when casualties were heavy and it seemed that the battalion would be over-run, with complete disregard for his safety under heavy fire he moved continually among the neighbouring infantry and anti-tank gunners encouraging them. This action was in a large way responsible for maintaining the confidence and offensive spirits of all troops round Battalion HQ. The same day after the town had fallen he continued to show the same courage and energy and inspiration to all troops with whom he came in contact, his gallant conduct materially helping finally to stem and stop the enemy.

5780874 Lance Corporal Leonard George Holmes
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action19 January 1944
London Gazette 04 May 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/94
On the evening of 19 January on the Savatito feature, No. 8 Platoon, A Company was ordered to improve its position on the hill. The position to be gained was covered by enemy machine-gun fire. Lance Corporal Holmes doubled forward to a wall about twenty yards away from the nearest enemy post and threw a 36 grenade into it. He then crawled forward under fire from another enemy post on his right and threw another grenade. He reached the enemy post and found that he had killed both the enemy in that position. He saw two more of the enemy firing at the platoon on the lower slope of the hill. He immediately stood up and gave two bursts from his TSMG, killing one German and wounding the other, who crawled away. Lance Corporal Holmes then crawled forward, still under enemy fire and recovered the two enemy machine guns which he brought back to the platoon area. The courage of this NCO and fine example of offensive action made it possible for the nine men left in the platoon to take the position and beat off persistent counter-attacks. He acted throughout with complete determination and disregard for his own safety.

3976638 P/Lance Corporal John Holton
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of ActionPeriodic
London Gazette13 December 1945
TNA FileWO 373/14/690
Lance Corporal has been conspicuous in his conduct in action during the period of the battles of the month of April. On one occasion, when a Fusilier, Lance Corporal Holton was moving in a section when it came under fire from a strong enemy position on the north bank of the Canale Bianca. Although the enemy fire from the north bank was intense and without waiting for orders Lance Corporal Holton ran forward with his Bren gun and, despite snipers and Spandau fire, brought such effective fire to bear on the enemy dug-in positions on the bank that his section were able to storm across and capture intact a vulnerable bridge prepared for demolition and also take the enemy position from the rear. During the whole of this engagement Lance Corporal Holton lay in an exposed position on the floodbank and continued firing his Bren gun until all his ammunition was exhausted. This is only one of the many instances in which Lance Corporal Holton has shown great gallantry and courage under heavy fire. since he joined the battalion in January 1944 he has by his devotion to duty been an example and inspiration to his comrades.

6105619 A/Corporal Walter William House
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action6 September 1944
London Gazette08 February 1945
TNA FileWO 373/9/443
When the battalion crossed the River Conca, Corporal House was in charge of the stretcher bearers attached to D Company. On the morning of 6th September 1944 both A and B Companies had unsuccessfully attacked the enemy strongpoint at Croce and had suffered a number of casualties from machine gun fire. These casualties were lying in the open after their companies were forced to withdraw, on ground swept by enemy machine gun fire and in full view of the enemy. Corporal House realised the situation; and without hesitation he went straight across in broad daylight to these casualties, with the three other D Company stretcher bearers, and gave first aid. One stretcher bearer, Fusilier Hosier, was killed by a sniper whilst carrying back a wounded man, the other two succeeded in evacuating a casualty. This left Corporal House on his own. In spite of enemy machine-gunning and sniping Corporal House continued to work incessantly, with entire disregard for his own safety, dragging casualties under cover of a hedgerow and then evacuating them by lifting them onto tanks. By his courage and coolness under fire Corporal House succeeded in evacuating eight casualties who otherwise would have had to remain there until at least nightfall.

5348543 Lance Serjeant Clifford Jackson
AwardDistinguished Conduct Medal
Date of Action23 January 1944
London Gazette 04 May 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/63
On the night of 21/22 January 1944 this NCO was acting as platoon commander holding a defensive locality over the River Garigliano. On the morning of 23 January a shell landed near his sangar and partially blinded him with the blast. A quarter of an hour later his platoon was heavily counter-attacked, and his men started withdrawing. He immediately rejoined his men and led them back under heavy automatic and mortar fire to their original positions. He kept them there by his personal example and control, and inflicted heavy casualties on the attacking enemy. This man's personal example and fine leadership at a critical time restored a situation which might have become completely out of control: and his tenacity and courage in refusing to leave until the danger was over, when he eventually had to be led back to the RAP still partially blinded, were beyond praise.

3780611 Serjeant William Thomas Jarvis
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action6-7 April 1944
London Gazette23 August 1945
TNA FileWO 373/13/442
On 6th April 1945 W Company was leading company to 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers in a night advance from the bridgehead over the river Reno. 7 Platoon commanded by Sergeant Jarvis was the leading platoon. Heavy opposition came from Casa Federico, a strong point house on the bank of a canal and the advance was held up. In spite of many flares put up by the enemy Sergeant Jarvis personally led four men forward up to the enemy dug-out close by the house. Sergeant Jarvis and his men killed two enemy but were pinned down by very heavy small arms fire from the house itself and by fire from a house on the far bank of the canal. Sergeant Jarvis withdrew the remainder of his platoon and at first light with supporting fire and smoke he launched an attack on the position. with complete disregard for his own safety he led his men forward in the face of heavy small arms fire. The attack was successful and over forty prisoners were taken. By the skilful handling of his platoon, his great personal bravery and example to his men, Sergeant Jarvis' successful attack enabled the advance to continue.

160913 T/Captain Edward Anthony Jones
AwardMilitary Cross
Date of Action17 February 1944
London Gazette15 June 1944
TNA FileWO 373/6/123
In the Anzio bridgehead on the early evening of 17 February 1944 a sudden attack come in on B Company's positions south of the Moletta wadi. the forward section position was overrun and occupied by about twenty Germans; but Captain Jones, company 2 i/c, immediately realised the gravity of the situation, organised a small counter attack force and led it against the enemy. His courage and determination swept his men with fixed bayonets right into the enemy position in the face of considerable small arms fire: one German was taken prisoner and a large proportion killed and wounded, saving what might have developed into a most awkward situation. Later on the same evening B Company sent out a fighting patrol of fifteen men to deal with enemy infiltration on their left. This patrol was badly shot up and suffered many casualties, the officer in charge being killed. With the same promptitude Captain Jones again organised a party and went out to assist the patrol, spiritedly engaging the Germans until they withdrew, allowing our patrol to return with the wounded men.

14599664 Fusilier Sidney Judd
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of ActionFebruary-March 1944
London Gazette15 June 1944
TNA FileWO 373/6/242
On the Anzio beachead, B Company, 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers was in a position which was under continual shell and mortar fire and observed small arms fire by day. During the whole of the period in the line, from 15 February to the night 2/3 March telephone wires were being continually cut and in more than one occasion wireless communication broke down. Throughout this time Fusilier Judd, a company runner, showed remarkable devotion to duty and courage in the face of all kinds of enemy fire. He took messages to forward platoons and back to 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers Tac HQ and led parties at night to the neighbouring company under the most trying and difficult conditions. On one occasion when Defensive Fire was urgently needed, Fusilier Judd carried the message to the 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers Tac HQ under heavy mortar and small arms fire from the German attack which was in progress. A further instance occurred, again during a German attack, when it was very necessary to have close Defensive Fire observed by a forward platoon. Although the route to this platoon was under German MG fire from at least three different points, Fusilier Judd, disregarding entirely his own safety, took the message through. The Defensive Fire was successfully fired and observed, causing casualties to the enemy and breaking up the attack.

6467328 Serjeant Frank Kitchen
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of ActionPeriodic
London Gazette13 December 1945
TNA FileWO 373/14/688
Serjeant Kitchen has been with 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers since 17 January 1940. Up to the crossing of the Garigliano he was in a rifle company and since then has been the mainstay of the Battle Patrol. As the Patrol's tasks have been carried out mostly at night, Serjeant Kitchen has been subjected to great strain in most trying conditions but his cheerfulness and constant desire to set a high example to his men has always overcome this. He has on several occasions commanded the patrol as platoon commander, and on all occasions his spirited leadership, dauntless courage, and complete disregard for his own safety has been an inspiration to the men under him and contributed to a great extent to the patrols successes. At Granalo on 24th December 1944 when on a night fighting patrol Serjeant Kitchen's section surrounded a house occupied by the enemy. The section was observed by the enemy, who threw grenades, wounding one of Sergeant Kitchen's men; Serjeant Kitchen without hesitation led his men in and rushed the haystacks and the house, personally killing two Germans manning a Spandau, wounding two others and taking five prisoners. On 3rd January 1945 whilst commanding the patrol he captured the small village of Collegio and held it for 24 hours with 14 men. This he did against considerable enemy opposition. During the night a strong enemy counter-attack was beatn off due to Serjeant Kitchen's inspiring leadership and example. He directed a 3mortar shoot, which he brought so close to his own position that the house his men were defending was hit in several occasions. Serjeant Kitchen's disregard for danger inspired his men to repel the German attack and to inflict heavy casualties. The village was held until the battalion attacked 24 hours later, completing the destruction of the enemy bridgehead over the Senio. Serjeant Kitchen and his men, in the holding of this position against heavy odds, helped in no small way towards the success of the brigade operation. During the final offensive from the Senio to the Po Sergeant Kitchen took part in all of the many tasks which Battle Patrol performed. He was always a volunteer for any dangerous duties and throughout this period he was responsible with his section for the killing and capture of many enemy. Whatever position the enemy were holding Serjeant Kitchen would insist on leading his men into the attack, invariably with outstanding results. His courage and devotion to duty and cheerful disregard of all personal danger have been a shining example to all those who have served under him.

3907687 Serjeant Cyrus Harper Kitto
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action21 December 1944
London Gazette21 June 1945
TNA FileWO 373/12/612
On Thursday 21st December 1944 in the area of the Naviglio Canal, Z Company put in an attack. The company was under very heavy shelling and MMG fire. almost from the start the company was pinned down. Sergeant Kitto, who was commanding 18 Platoon, with complete disregard for his personal safety remained in the open, moved along his platoon and rallied his men for an attack on the whole company objective. Although heavily outnumbered, and in the face of heavy small arms fire Sergeant Kitto then personally led the assault and captured the objective. During the counter-attack which followed Sergeant Kitto himself manned a Bren gun forward of the newly won position and directed such a volume of accurate fire that the enemy was beaten off and the position held until the remainder of the company arrived. The outstanding leadership, determined offensiveness and magnificent disregard for personal safety of Sergeant Kitto alone enabled the men to rally and resulted in the activities of the battalion being entirely successful.

14646315 Fusilier John Langdon
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action27 February 1944
London Gazette20 July 1944
TNA FileWO 373/6/574
On February 27 1944 at the Anzio bridgehead, the enemy launched an attack on 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers front on the right of B Company. Fusilier Langdon's section came under heavy small arms and mortar fire but gave what support was possible to 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. During this time every member of the section including the NCO, became casualties and Fusilier Langdon was wounded himself. In spite of this Fusilier Langdon, who was the Bren gunner, carried his Bren to a position from which he could fire on a German MG positions on 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers front: despite the fact he had very little cover, he continued to fire throughout the attack. He refused to go to the RAP until the attack was beaten off when he was ordered to do so by his platoon Sergeant. This Fusilier's determination and disregard for his own personal safety in his efforts to assist a neighbouring unit showed courage of a very high order and was of material assistance in beating off the German attack with many casualties and prisoners.

14545093 Fusilier Ronald Lawson
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action3 December 1943
London Gazette 23 March 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/293
On the 4th December 1943 during the battle for Monte Camino, the area occupied by Fusilier Lawson's company was subjected to constant and very heavy shell and mortar fire and, owing to the lack of suitable cover due to the extremely rocky ground, casualties were becoming numerous. All the company stretcher bearers had become casualties and the wounded were in grave danger of succumbing through lack of attention. Fusilier Lawson, although himself wounded and unable to bear arms, refused to be evacuated while this state of affairs existed and set about the task of attending to casualties without the least regard for his own safety. He went constantly across the most difficult and exposed ground which was under heavy enemy shell fire and applied dressings to the wounded and got them under cover. This he continued to do until relief stretcher bearers arrived. His gallant conduct was undoubtedly responsible for the saving of several lives. His great courage and devotion to duty was an inspiration to the whole of his company.

6470077 Serjeant Sydney Leech
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action3 December 1943
London Gazette 23 March 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/282
On the morning of 3 December during the Battle for the Monte Camino feature, this NCO who was commanding his platoon, attacked three German Spandau posts at the foot of the Point 819 feature. He led his platoon into the attack under point blank fire and was himself into the kill at each post. His personal example and total disregard for his own personal safety under heavy fire was responsible for the liquidation of these three posts, which otherwise would have held up the advance of the leading company. *Initially recommended for DCM.

14543663 Lance Corporal John Maddocks Lewis
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action16 September 1944
London Gazette08 March 1945
TNA FileWO 373/10/219
On the night 16 September 1944 Lance Corporal Lewis was a section commander in the forward company when the battalion crossed the River Marano. It was very dark and at one stage the platoon came under heavy artillery and machine gun fire. The platoon commander became separated from his platoon and there was no longer a platoon serjeant. Lance Corporal Lewis made an immediate appreciation and with complete disregard for the enemy fire he took command, collected the platoon, which was very scattered, and led them round the flank to attack. He personally led the assault on the enemy post, killing or wounding the Germans in it and re-organised the platoon there. His quick decision and immediate action, besides making an effective force again of his platoon, enabled the rest of the company to advance.

6470141 Serjeant Thomas Wright Marsh
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action5 September 1944
London Gazette08 March 1945
TNA FileWO 373/10/217
On the night of 5 September 1944, Sergeant Marsh was platoon sergeant of the Battle Patrol. D Company was ordered to do a night attack on Croce, and the Battle Patrol was ordered to assist them. During the attack, Sergeant Marsh was pit in command of half of the patrol. The first close opposition met was when the enemy opened up from a house with rifles and a Spandau. Without hesitation Segreant Marsh rushed up to the door, with his men following, threw a grenade inside, and followed it: he brought out seven prisoners. after this he led his men into two other occupied houses, and by his inspiring and skilful leadership killed or wounded the Germans in both of them without the loss of a single man. A Spandau then opened up some distance away. Sergeant Marsh started going straight for it, but was fired at by several more from the rear. By this time, his party was in danger of being surrounded and he was ordered to rejoin D Company, under whose command he was. He began to fight his way back, he received a nasty wound in the jaw, but he continued to lead his men and ,by rushing the Germans, he brought his whole party out safely and with them two of the German prisoners. Throughout the action, Sergeant Marsh showed an utter disregard for any kind of any fire. He was continuously telling his men what to do, encouraging them, and inspiring then by his swift orders and actions and it was his complete control and good leadership that brought all his men out of a difficult situation, causing many casualties to be inflicted on the Germans.

3770437 Serjeant George William Mason
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action15 April 1945
London Gazette23 August 1945
TNA FileWO 373/13/443
On 15th April 1945 Z Company were advancing to the railway embankment north of Bastia. 16 Platoon commanded by Sergeant Mason were given the task of occupying the railway embankment at 317754. In the face of considerable enemy opposition the platoon reached the objective. Arrived at the objective the platoon were being harrassed by snipers from the opposite bank who were supported by an SP gun. Sergeant Mason, finding his platoon endangered, walked under the bridge to behind the opposite bank ignoring the fire of the SP gun and personally killed four of the enemy and took ten prisoners. The bold action on the part of Sergeant Mason took the enemy completely by surprise. Throughout the action Sergeant Mason completely ignored his own personal safety and his example to his men considerably stimulated their offensive spirit.

6466902 Lance Serjeant Edward Middleditch
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action3 December 1943
London Gazette 23 March 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/283
On the 3rd December 1943 Lance Sergeant Middleditch was commanding a section in the leading company in the assault on Point 819, the battalion's objective on Monte Camino. The climb to the final assembly position had been most exhausting and the objective still required a further climb over appallingly broken ground. Soon after the assault began, several enemy MG posts opened fire from above and progress was checked. However, Lance Sergeant Middleditch singling out the most damaging post led his section forward without a moment's hesitation, and scrambled over the rocks to destroy the enemy gun crew. His initiative and leadership undoubtedly inspired the rest of the company, at the time when the men were greatly fatigued, and the company went forward to destroy all the remaining posts and to gain the objective.

6473298 A/Corporal Arthur Albert Mullholland
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action2/3 December 1943
London Gazette 23 March 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/288
On the night 2/3 December 1943 Lance Corporal Mulholland was a member of one of the leading sections of the Brigade Patrol Company preceding the advance of 167 Brigade to Point 727 (952067). On reaching the first enemy Spandau post Lance Corporal Mulholland attacked it with grenades, killing two Germans. He then turned and attacked two more Germans, in a slit trench, killing them with his TSMG. When the 8 Royal Fusiliers attacked Point 819 (955075), Lance Corporal Mulholland accompanied one of their sections in an attack on an enemy post. He went forward alone to the wood below Point 819 to clear it and captured three Germans. He was told to take them to the rear, but asked to stay forward and continue the fight. By his courage and determination to close with the enemy, Lance Corporal Mulholland set an example to the rest of his comrades and undoubtedly inspired them throughout the whole operation.

129892 Captain Roland George Porter
AwardMilitary Cross
Date of ActionPeriodic
London Gazette28 June 1945
TNA FileWO 373/12/174
Major RG Porter has commanded a company in 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers since the fighting at Anzio. In every action this company has been a forward company each time, the bravery and coolheadedness of this officer has been exemplary. At Croce, Major Porter's company took part in no less than four attacks in forty-eight hours. When the enemy put in a strong counter attack against the battalion, the company on his right gave ground but owing to his very high standard of leadership and bravery Major Porter's company stood firm, inflicting heavy casualties upon the enemy. At the attack upon Mullanzano Major Porter's company was reduced to 25, but quite undaunted, he led the company on to its objective and held it firm. On the Fumincino Y Company was subjected to intense mortar and shell fire for four days. Major Porter was determined not to lose the initiative, and personally led patrol after patrol, carrying a snipers rifle himself with which he inflicted a number of casualties on the enemy. Throughout the whole of this period, no matter how tired or how dangerous the circumstances, the conduct of this officer has been of the highest standard.

5512445 A/Serjeant William Arthur Powell
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action27 February 1944
London Gazette15 June 1944
TNA FileWO 373/6/237
On the afternoon of 27 February, in the Anzio beachead, Sergeant Powell was a member of a small fighting patrol sent out to locate and deal with an enemy post in front of C Company's position. The officer in charge was wounded shortly after he started out; but Sergeant Powell continued to lead the patrol forward, right into the enemy position. He then personally shot and killed one German and sent another back as prisoner and went on again to search the area, covered by his patrol with an LMG. He found two more Germans in a trench and rushed them before they could oppose him, taking them prisoners and he searched the rest of the area for more before returning with his patrol. Sergeant Powell's initiative and quick action in a difficult daylight patrol was a fine example to his men and resulted in obtaining valuable information, apart from clearing up a troublesome German position.

6476856 Fusilier Leonard Pullenger
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of ActionFebruary - March 1944
London Gazette20 July 1944
TNA FileWO 373/6/691
Citation illegible.

5345538 Serjeant Harry Frederick Reed
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action25 December 1944
London Gazette21 June 1945
TNA FileWO 373/12/613
On 25th December 1944 Serjeant Reed who was commanding a weak platoon of Y Company 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, was ordered to attack an enemy position of unknown strength south east of Granarolo. The attack started and by the time Serjeant Reed's platoon had advanced to within 150 yards of the objective they came under heavy and accurate small arms fire from Spandaus on their front and from further heavy machine gun and rifle fire from their right flank. The platoon giving covering fire was subjected to such heavy shelling and mortar fire that they were forced to cease firing. Serjeant Reed at once realised that attack from this direction was impossible, and the immediate necessity of extricating his platoon in good order to push forward elsewhere. In a very forward exposed position he shouted orders and encouragement to his men, placed his Bren gunner to give covering fire, thickened by that from his own TSMG, his platoon thinned out and started to withdraw under perfect control. When the whole platoon was cleared, Serjeant Reed ordered the Bren gunner back, and remained alone to give covering fire. This drew all the enemy small arms fire on himself, but he remained undaunted, and having personally silenced two enemy MG posts, and rallied his men for a further attack which was successful. By his own personal bravery, example and coolheadedness in a most difficult position Serjeant Reed never lost control of a single man in his platoon and at the same time maintaining their high standard of morale.

5344360 Corporal George Alexander Ryan
AwardDistinguished Conduct Medal
Date of Action25 April 1945
London Gazette18 October 1945
TNA FileWO 373/14/89
On 25th April 1845 Corporal Ryan was leading a section of X Company 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. This company was engaged in hard fighting to clear the enemy who were holding the south bank of the river Po, in order to enable the remainder of their forces to ferry across the river. The enemy were determined and well entrenched and the slightest movement brought down an immediate hail of MG and rifle fire. Corporal Ryan, seeing some fifty of the enemy attempting to ferry the river and acting entirely on his own initiative, decided to assault the positions from the rear. In order to do so he had to expose himself to intense and accurate fire but with complete disregard for personal safety, he rallied his section together and covering the movement across with his TSMG, led them round the left flank. From this position he led the assault on the enemy HQ, a house which had been made into a strongpoint. In the face of heavy fire he captured the house and personally accounted for three of the defenders. This done he organised his section on the top floor of the building and opened fire at the enemy from the flank. This action completely demoralised the enemy and forty of them surrendered. Next Corporal Ryan fought his way down to the river bank itself and ignoring enemy fire, coolly established his section there. From this position he engaged targets on the opposite bank with Bren and rifle fire and by so doing so enabled the company to put a platoon across the river and force a bridgehead. Throughout the whole action Corporal Ryan's courage, coolness and aggressive spirit was an inspiration to his men, whilst the initiative and skilful leadership which he continuously displayed were of considerable advanatge to the company. *Initially recommended for MM but upgraded to DCM.

6465388 Corporal Reginald Percival Walter Shave
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action6 September 1944
London Gazette08 February 1945
TNA FileWO 373/9/442
On the morning of 6th September 1944, B Company put in an attack on the enemy strong-point of Croce. Corporal Shave was a leading section commander of the platoon attacking the left of Croce. As the platoon went up the hill they were met by heavy machine gun fire from enemy machine gun posts higher up the slope, and from enemy mortars. Corporal Shave promptly put his section into a fire position and went forward himself to investigate. Although he came under direct fire from an enemy machine gun position, Corporal Shave rushed in and wounded the three Germans in it. Corporal Shave's gallantry and disregard for his own safety undoubtedly saved the rest of his platoon many casualties and his prompt action ensured that there was no loss of the momentum of the attack.

6459115 Serjeant Louis Skipper
AwardDistinguished Conduct Medal
Date of Action10 September 1943
London Gazette13 January 1944
TNA FileWO 373/4/87
On the 10th of September 1943 at Battipaglia this NCO assumed command when his officer was captured. By about 1500 hrs Serjeant Skipper found that his platoon was completely surrounded. with determination, inflicting casualties on the enemy infantry, he extricated his platoon and joined D Company who were still holding the bridge. His courage and skill in leading his platoon through the enemy was of a very high order and enabled the platoon to resume the action a few hours later with renewed determination.

6468176 Corporal Anthony Partington Smith
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action7-8 September 1944
London Gazette08 March 1945
TNA FileWO 373/10/212
On 7th September in the battle of Croce, it was urgent that ammunition and food should be sent up to C Company who were occupying the village. Corporal Smith, Anti-Tank Platoon MT Corporal, at once volunteered to go forward in a carrier. While entering the company area, which was swept by machine gun, snipers and mortar fire, the carrier was caught in a heavy bombardment, thrown to one side of the road and put out of action: the driver was killed. Corporal Smith, undeterred, returned to Battalion Headquarters, loaded another carrier, and took it forward to the company, arriving at a time when it was urgently needed. On 8th September 1944, at about 1400 hrs Corporal Smith at Battalion Headquarters, saw three men across to one side of the river from which there had already been trouble from snipers. Entirely on his own initiative, he decided to investigate. Taking Craftsman Oliphant, he proceeded to stalk these men: which entailed crossing over ground swept by Psnadu and SP gun fire, and under observation from Monte Gemmano. after about 200 yards, Oliphant was hit in both legs by Spandau fire. Corporal Smith assisted him to a house, gave first aid, and stopped the bleeding. After about two hours, Oliphant's wounds became very painful and Corporal Smith returned, again under fire, to ask for assistance from the RAP. He then went back to the house with morphia and bandages with which he was able to ease Oliphant's discomfort. He arranged for Oilphant to be collected after dark by jeep. at about 1900 hrs two Germans crept into the house and were surprised, held up and disarmed by Corporal Smith who brought them back at 2200 hrs to Battalion Headquarters. He subsequently returned with a jeep and brought in Craftsman Oliphant. This NCO's initiative and courage throughout the action, quite apart from his normal work as an MT Corporal, was of the greatest value to the battalion at many difficult moments.

6094692 Corporal Arthur Edward Smith
AwardDistinguished Conduct Medal
Date of Action25 April 1945
London Gazette18 October 1945
TNA FileWO 373/14/90
On 25th April 1945, following a rapid advance by the Brigade, 9 Royal Fusiliers reached the south bank of the River Po. at this stage the enemy was in some disorder and it was essential in order to achieve complete and rapid success that he be given no time in which to organise himself in his already well prepared positions on the north bank. With this view Y Company 9 Royal Fusiliers were ordered to cross the river and establish a bridgehead without delay. The crossing was to be made in stormboats, but owing to the speed of advance, only a very limited number were available. The attack was launched at 1700 hrs, the leading stormboat immediately coming under heavy MG fire, one Fusilier being killed outright and the navigator wounded. with its engine damaged by enemy fire, the boat grounded on a sandbank sufficiently near the far bank to enable the section to jump out and wade ashore though they suffered two further casualties in doing so. The wounded navigator was now in great difficulties; he had left the boat and was sheltering behind it as some protection from the intense fire still coming from the enemy who were obviously trying to deny us further use of the boat. Seeing this, Corporal Smith, whose company was giving covering fire from the near bank, without the slightest hesitation or regard for his personal safety, though knowing full well the risk he ran, stripped off his clothes, jumped into the river and swam towards the boat. From the moment he entered the water he came under accurate MG fire. The distance to the boat was about 300 yards, the current strong and the water icy cold. after battling with the current, Corporal Smith reached the far bank 150 yards below the grounded boat and was then subjected to a veritable hail of bullets as he ran along the completely open bank to the boat. With assistance of the wounded navigator he refloated the boat and, swimming behind it and pushing it, started for the near bank. Enemy fire was now so intense that the water around the boat was at times lashed white with spray from the bullets and it seemed a certainty that Corporal Smith must be hit but he carried on; and by sheer grit and determination reached the near bank. The swim back from the far bank with the boat had taken him forty minutes altogether; including his swim out and the refloating of the boat his action had lasted over an hour but, despite his state of now almost complete exhaustion, his first act on reaching the near bank was to help the wounded navigator to safe cover. then, only after a brief rest, he rejoined his platoon and quietly dressed ready for the next fight. Corporal Smith's brave action not only retrieved the much need boat but it inspired his comrades, who had watched the exploit with breathless admiration, to press home the crossing with vigour. The early establishment of 9 Royal Fusiliers on the far bank, to which Corporal Smith so notably contributed, was a major factor in accelerating the advance of the division. * This recommendation was initially for a Victoria Cross but was downgraded to a Distinguished Conduct Medal. The witness staements for the Victoria Cross recommendation are below: Statement by witness - Lieutenant-Colonel J.R. Cleghorn DSO (63575) At about 1700hrs on 25th April 1945 Y Company were in the process of crossing the River Po in stormboats. One of the stormboats suddenly came under intense Spandau fire. In spite of this opposition the occupants carried on towards their objective, leaving the pilot in the boat. The pilot was wounded, and jumped into the water, placing the boat between himself and the enemy, being unable to operate the boat by himself. Seeing this Corporal Smith, whose company was giving covering fire from the near bank, immediately stripped, jumped into the water, and swam out to the boat, some two to three hundred yards, all the time coming under fire. On arrival at the far bank, he ran along the sandbank to the boat, having himself been carried downstream by the current. He assisted the navigator to get the boat afloat, and by swimming behind the boat, pushed it back to the near bank, taking some forty minutes to do so. On reaching the near bank Corporal Smith assisted the wounded man under cover and rejoined his section in spite of being completely exhausted. Throughout the whole of the action, Corporal Smith was being fired at, some periods of which the water around him gave the appearance of boiling with bullet splashes. Only the highest sense of duty, bravery and complete disregard for his perosnal safety, impelled this NCO to carry out this gallant action. Statement by witness - W/Lieutenant W.D. Ross (265856) Y Company were about to cross the Po in stormboats. One boat had been launched and two sections of Y Company were in the process of crossing when Spandau fire of some intensity opened up on the boat and our bank. The boat however reached the far bank, and the sections made for cover. Some casualties were observed. The operator of the boat was next seen clinging to the side of the boat, wounded and with Spandau fire hitting the water around him. He unsuccessfully tried to swim the boat back keeping the boat between him and the enemy but the current kept him to the enemy bank. Next I saw Corporal Smith, nude, swimming furiously across the river. He had been observed, and little spouts of water indicated that he was under accurate and heavy machine gun fire. He reached the shore about 150 yards downstream of the boat and ran along the bank to the stormboat, still under heavy fire. He went in the water again, and with the operator helped to swim and push the stormboat to our bank, which took over forty minutes to do so, being subjected the whole while to machine gun fire. He then helped the injured operator to the shore and assisted him to cover. Statement by witness - W/Lieutenant R.P. Duthaler MC (314293) At 1700 hrs on 25th April 1945, Y Company of 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers were attempting to force the crossing of the River Po in stormboats. The first stormboat crossed the river, but two enemy Spandaus immediately opened fire on it. One man was killed outright in the boat and the man operating it was wounded. The boat grounded on a sandbank and two more men were hit whilst crossing there to the far bank of the river. The wounded operator was unable to start the engine and tried to gain some protection from the heavy fire by clinging to the front of the boat and keeping it interposed between himself and the enemy bank. Owing to the strength of the current he could make no headway and was forced to ground again on the bank. Corporal Smith, seeing this, without the slightest hesitation or regard for his personal safety, stripped himself and swam out across the river. The two enemy machine guns fired on him continuously but he reached the far bank. From there, still exposed to heavy fire, he ran along the sandbank to the grounded stormboat and immediately assisted the wounded man to bring it back. During the whole crossing, which took him three quarters of an hour, the river was swept by a hail of bullets. At times the water around the boat and around Corporal Smith's body was lashed white with Spandau bursts. But he carried on regardless, reached the other side again and helped the wounded man up the bank and into safety. The courage and tenacity of Corporal Smith, not only in the first swim across, but also in the exhausting and protracted struggle back in icy water and against a strong current was beyond all measure. Corporal Smith after a very brief rest rejoined his platoon. The above incident was witnessed throughout by myself and by Lieutenant W.D. Rees.

41221 A/Lieutenant-Colonel James Sykes-Wright
AwardDistinguished Service Order
Date of Action2/3 December 1943
London Gazette 23 March 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/192
On night 2/3 December 1943, Lieutenant-Colonel Sykes-Wright was commanding 9 Royal Fusiliers which took part in a Brigade attack on the mountainous features of Point 727 and Point 819 (950074). To reach the start line for the attack the battalion had a long and difficult climb up 1600 feet of steep, rocky spur. Throughout this approach march, at times under fire, Lieutenant-Colonel Sykes-Wright led and encouraged his men in their arduous climb. The plan for the attack on Point 819 consisted of a two battalion attack in darkness, but owing to the extremely poor going up the spur in single file, only one company of the second battalion arrived in time to take part in the assault. Lieutenant-Colonel Sykes-Wright immediately re-organised the plan for assault and launched it against strong enemy opposition. That the attack was successful was due in large measure to Lieutenant-Colonel Sykes-Wright's leadership and initiative. His courage and personal example both during the attack and during the holding of the position were outstanding. They contributed directly to the success of the operation and are deserving of the highest praise.

6458792 A/Cpl. Robert Reginald Tillett
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action13 September 1943
London Gazette13 January 1944
TNA FileWO 373/4/154
On the 13th of September, south of Battipaglia, this NCO went to an exposed position to rescue a badly wounded man. Despite heavy fire from enemy tanks and machine guns he succeeded in dragging the man to a covered position where his wounds could be attended to. His complete disregard for his own safety, when moving in full view of the enemy undoubtedly was the cause of saving the wounded man's life.

6459059 Serjeant John Edward Ward
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action9 September 1943
London Gazette13 January 1944
TNA FileWO 373/4/153
On the morning of September 9th Serjeant Ward was Assistant Unit Landing Officer during the assault landing of the battalion in Salerno Bay. The second wave of the assault craft landed on the wrong beach and complete confusion seemed inevitable. Serjeant Ward, by his tireless energy and initiative in setting up direction lights and controlling troops coming off the beach, despite heavy shelling and small arms fire for which he showed complete disregard was largely responsible for restoring control at a very critical time. His courage and devotion were exemplary.

90786 T/Captain Stanley Charles Warner
AwardMilitary Cross
Date of Action16 September 1943
London Gazette13 January 1944
TNA FileWO 373/4/64
At St. Lucia on the 16th September Captain Warner was commanding a forward company. At first light the company was heavily attacked by infantry supported by tanks. At about eleven o'clock a determined effort was made to penetrate our FDL's. Although under heavy machine gun fire Captain Warner with complete disregard for his own personal safety went across the open to our own anti-tank guns and tanks and directed their fire onto the enemy. As a result of this and of his visits under fire to his forward platoon, two enemy tanks were destroyed and a large number of casualties inflicted on the enemy infantry. The gallant conduct of this officer, his determination and fine leadership was a great inspiration to all and resulted in the enemy being successfully and decisively defeated in his efforts to penetrate to our position.

265729 Lieutenant David Weston
AwardMilitary Cross
Date of Action2 March 1944
London Gazette15 June 1944
TNA FileWO 373/6/143
Early in the morning of 2 March 1944 in the Anzio beachhead, C Company positions were attacked by the enemy. Lieutenant Weston was wounded in the arm by a Spandau at an early stage, but remained and continued to lead his platoon, who beat off the initial attack. Enemy pressure and infiltration continued throughout that day and the next and the enemy succeeded in establishing themselves in the rear of the platoon position. During all this time Lieutenant Weston, although in great pain, continued to lead his men and direct their fire; and his platoon succeeded in maintaining their positions and driving back the enemy from both front and rear, killing and wounding many of them. Only when the situation was restored to normal could he be persuaded to hand over command of his platoon and return to the RAP by which time he was unable to move his arm. His fine personal example, and his leadership of men who had mostly never been in action before, created a magnificent fighting spirit in his platoon and was largely responsible for saving a very difficult situation and causing many enemy casualties.

1834162 A/Corporal Reginald James Williams
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action
London Gazette23 August 1945
TNA FileWO 373/13/445
On night 8/9 April 1945 Corporal Williams of the Pioneer Platoon accompanied a small recce patrol across the Fosa Di Navigazione. After crossing the canal there was only one possible track for the patrol to move along owing to the floods. Moving ahead of the patrol and entirely single-handed Corporal Williams located and lifted more than twenty box mines and Teller mines on the track and a trip wire across it. Whilst he was working Germans were moving about in positions near a house less than 100 yards away. It was entirely due to the coolness and skill displayed by Corporal Williams in carrying out the hazardous task in the dark that the patrol was able to carry out its task without suffering casualties and that the route which was to become the axis of the Brigade was cleared of mines before the bridge over the canal was built enabling tanks and transport to pass through safely. Corporal Williams displayed great personal courage and coolheadedness throughout the whole operation.

1834162 A/Corporal Reginald Williams
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of ActionPeriodic
London Gazette20 September 1945
TNA FileWO 373/13/620
On 25th December 1944 Corporal Williams was commanding a section of the pioneer platoon 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. A troop of tanks were moving up to support a forward company of the battalion but were unable to proceed because of mines. Corporal Williams led his section forward in front of the tanks, lifting mines as they went, regardless of enemy shelling to which they were exposed. As they proceeded Corporal Williams came under direct fire from an enemy machine gun which covered the track, but regardless of personal safety he crawled forward alone and continued the hazardous task of lifting the mines thus enabling the tanks to carry on. Later on the night 12/13th February 1945, Corporal Williams led his section up to the Senio river, through a gap in the bank and laid shrapnel mines along the gap working under the nose of the enemy. During the whole of the fighting between River Lamone and Senio he has carried out invaluable pioneer work under conditions of great danger, setting a very fine example to all by his devotion to duty and fearlessness.

4193319 Fusilier Eric Pryce Williams
AwardMilitary Medal
Date of Action21/22 January 1944
London Gazette 04 May 1944
TNA FileWO 373/5/96
On the night of 21/22 January 1944 this Fusilier was fighting in his first action at the crossing of the Garigliano. Having showed great courage in the first part of the action, he was one of the few remaining members of his platoon when the company finally consolidated on the objective. When a heavy counter-attack was put in on his company positions causing temporary withdrawal, he showed exceptional determination and complete disregard for his own safety in maintaining his position to the last. He refused to withdraw, and although large numbers of the enemy overran the position in the dark, he remained with his Bren - the last one in action in the company - firing at the enemy until he ran out of ammunition having inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. He then withdrew, eluding the enemy, and rejoined his company, later reoccupying the original company positions with them. His determination and fine fighting spirit did much to prevent the Germans from taking full advantage of the situation.

201976 T/Major Thomas Watson Woollam
AwardMilitary Cross
Date of ActionPeriodic
London Gazette13 December 1945
TNA FileWO 373/14/456
On the 13th April, Major Woollam was commanding Y Company of 9th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. After a tiring offensive sweep his company was detached from the battalion and ordered alone to capture the junction of the Reno and Santerno rivers. Major Woollam personally led his company over the bend of the river and across the plain which was clearly commanded by the enemy. In spite of accurate small arms fire and mortar fire which inflicted many casualties on the company, his own cheerfulness, coolness under fire and indifference to personal safety inspired his company to a determined and aggressive attack. He placed himself at the head of the assault party and led an attack clearing five machine gun positions. At least twenty-six enemy were killed and forty made prisoner before the remnants of the enemy force broke and retreated over the Santero. Major Woollam immediately established his positions on the junction of the two rivers and commenced to dig in. After only two hours the company was subjected to a heavy and accurate mortar and artillery barrage followed by most determined November counter attacks from the river Reno on the right and also from the left flank. Major Woollam seeing that the company was isolated and the position critical switched almost all his automatic weapons to hold the left flank, and again placing himself at the head of an assault party, drove through the counter attacking force on the right and dispersed it with a loss of ten dead. Later receiving information that the German forces were falling back to form a line on the river junction, Major Woollam faced the task undismayed. For twenty hours, his own leadership, gallantry and aggressive desire to close with the enemy so rallied his men, that in spite of intense artillery fire falling on the positions no less than ten counter attacks were beaten off. Although assaulted from both flanks and at times completely surrounded Major Woollam did not yield an inch of ground and frustrated any German attempt to hold a line. As a result of this action the enemy was forced to prolong his retreat and retire well beyond the River Santerno, so that Major Woollam's determination and devotion beyond the normal call of duty played a great part in the success of the whole battalion's operation.

The National Archives (TNA) WO 373 series.