Irish Brigade

The story of the 38th (Irish) Brigade in the Second World War

Honours and Awards – Tunisian Campaign

 


Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

MAJOR JW DUNNILL (2 LIR).                                                           APR 1943 – HEIDOUS.

“This officer has on several occasions since 1 Jan ’43 acted with distinction in the face of the enemy when commanding his Coy. In particular at Heidous on 23 Apr ’43, when his Coy was ordered to capture the village in a night attack, Major Dunnill’s leadership, determination and personal courage were outstanding.When his platoons were held up by enemy fire, Major Dunnill lead an assault with Coy HQ in which he was slightly wounded. The forward platoons then held the Germans by fire while Major Dunnill organised another assaulting party. Under heavy fire Major Dunnill led a fresh attack with a small party, a splinter hitting him on the temple. He thereupon seized a Bren Gun and silenced an enemy MG post that was holding up his advance.When this sortie failed, Major Dunnill and one man began to stalk enemy MG positions killing the occupants of several enemy positions. Major Dunnill then came under mortar fire and was wounded in the foot  and the Rifleman with him was knocked senseless. However, he gained high ground where he was attacked by some Germans. Waiting until they came near, Major Dunnill then threw his last 36 Grenade into their midst. In the resultant confusion he withdrew and was later ordered to the RAP by the Commanding Officer.The gallant action of his Coy was undoubtedly due to Major Dunnill’s splendid example which has always inspired his men in action.”                                            


LT-COL TPD SCOTT  (2 LIR).                                         NOV 1942 to MAY 1943 – TUNISIA. “Lt-Col Scott has carried out consistent good work during the Tunisian campaign which includes:a) Making the 1st Bttn Royal Irish Fusiliers into a first class fighting machine.b) Taking over a unit (2nd Bttn London Irish Rifles) which has been severely handled and pulling it together again.c) Temporarily taking over the Brigade for 3-4 weeks.In the latter case which included a delicate period Feb 26/28 ’43 at Bou Arada – Col Scott handled his Brigade with skill and determination and restored a situation which at one time looked threatening.Although I can quote no specific act of gallantry on the part of this officer, his devotion to duty has been of a high order and the good work done has been entirely due to this officer’s very considerable personaility and powers of leadership. I recommend that he should be awarded a periodical DSO for his valuable services.”                   



Military Cross (MC).

MAJOR SJ BUNCH (6 Innisks).                           JAN 1943 – TWO TREE HILL/POINT 286.

“On 13 Jan 43, A/Major SJ Bunch led his Company forward onto TWO TREE HILL 679090 with stolid perseverance, having lost two platoon commanders and being continually under MG fire and reached his objective. Later when the withdrawal was ordered this officer took charge of another Coy, which had lost all its officers, as well as his own. He brought both Coys back and organised the evacuation of wounded in both cases .It was due to him that so many men were evacuated.

On 19 Jan 43, this same officer led his Coy (A Coy) attack onto Pt 286, 663069, supported by 12 RHA. The attack was carefully planned and led with dogged perseverance to the farthest extremity of the objective. The enemy were completely driven off and the company withdrawn according to plan under perfect control. The action was an example of sound leadership, good organisation and steadiness by the Company commander.”


LIEUTENANT WJ CHAPMAN (1 RIrF).                                   APR 1943 – JEBEL EL MAHDI.

“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 C CLARKE (6 Innisks).                                 APR 1943 – JEBEL EL MAHDI.

“On 6 Apr 43, Lieut C. Clarke entered an enemy minefield in day light within easy range of the enemy and with the assistance of a Sgt helped to carry a wounded man a distance of 3 miles to comparative safety. The following day on DJ MAHDI, under very heavy fire he walked around attending to wounded men regardless of the great personal risk to himself.

Later on he went forward by himself with a Bren Gun to tackle a MG post which was holding up the advance, and effectively silenced it.

On the night 22 April during the attack on DJ EL TANNGOUCHA, Lieut Clarke’s Coy succeeded in reaching the outcrop of rock which was the enemy’s main position, but was pinned down by fire at point blank range. Lieut Clarke succeeded in crawling forward with a bren gun to a position from where he could fire into the caves and fissures occupied by the enemy. His position here, only a few yards from the enemy, enabled the remains of another platoon to advance up the rocks and wipe out the enemy.

Lieut Clarke’s personal courage and disregard for danger throughout the campaign has been a continued source of inspiration to his company.”


CAPTAIN J LILLIE-COSTELLO (2 LIR).                           JAN 1943 – HILL 286, BOU ARADA.

“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.” 


CAPTAIN HC GRAYDON (RA ChD) (2 LIR).                      JAN 1943 – HILL 279, BOU ARADA.

“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 D HAYWOOD (1 RIrF).                                               APR 1943 – PT 622.

“On the afternoon of 26 Apr 43, north of Chaouach, Lieut Haywood took part in an attack on Pt 622, a strongly defended MG post, the capture of which was essential to the Brigade plan. Lieut Haywood was in command of the Assault Group which consisted of ten men. About 300 yards from the objective, the Assault Group was in danger of being pinned by MG fire and accurate sniping. By good leadership and splendid personal example Lieut Hayward got his group on using rocks as cover. About 20 yards from the objective, with only six men remaining, the party was finally pinned. Calling for a volunteer Lieut Haywood, who realised, that if he failed the attack would be unsuccessful crawled around the right flank under heavy fire from almost point blank range and assaulted the hill with grenades. This action caused the surrender of the position which allowed Lieut Haywood to get his group on the objective. Throughout the action this Officer showed complete disregard for personal danger and by his inspiring example, and fearless dash, was instrumental in the capture of this important objective.”


MAJOR J COLDWELL-HORSFALL (1 RIrF).                            FEB 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“Near BOU ARADA on the night 28 Feb/1 Mar 43, Major Horsfall was in command of a strong patrol, consisting of D Coy, less one platoon, the object of which was to move out Northwards from our own positions and harass the supply lines of an enemy force known to be operating in the West, Shortly after starting, the patrol bumped into an enemy MG post and received four casualties. Reorganising his patrol, Major Horsfall then led his men on some two miles to a farm found to be occupied by the enemy and succeeded in ambushing a large lorry full of Germans. The patrol was engaged from the farm but withdrew out of range and by skilful manoeuvring succeeded in capturing two Germans from a party sent out to deal with it.

On the afternoon 2 Mar 43 near BOU ARADA, Major Horsfall  again led a patrol of fifteen other ranks through  difficult mountain country reaching a point in enemy territory five miles in advance of our position. On darkness coming down, Major Horsfall carried out a search of the area including several farms. On the route back, the patrol entered a farm used by the enemy as an HQ narrowly missing capturing some enemy. The information gained by Major Horsfall’s patrol proved to be of the greatest value. The success of both patrols in accomplishing their object was entirely due to the leadership, determination and courage of Major Horsfall.”


CAPTAIN DN JEFFERIES (1 RIrF).       DEC 1942/JAN 1943 – GOUBELLAT/BOU ARADA.

“When as a Pl Commander, this officer carried out most daring and effective patrolling on many occasions.

In particular on 27 Dec 1942 in the PLAINE DU GOUBELLAT, this officer took a night recce patrol some 4 miles in front of our positions. Here he discovered a German force of about one Coy with a smaller covering party making towards our positions. Joining in rear of this force, he seized a favourable moment to capture a member of this Coy and bring him quickly back. The cool action and accurate information thus furnished, enabled a very successful action to be fought against the enemy on the next day.

On night 14/15 Jan 1943, north of BOU ARADA, after sustaining a slight wound during this day, this officer took a night patrol of 7 men to the much contested area of TWO TREE HILL, He destroyed an enemy MG post, all except one of his party becoming casualties, and with complete disregard for personal danger stayed in the area for some time, trying to find the missing members of his patrol

This officer’s courage and resourcefulness in danger has been an inspiration to his men on many occasions.”


CAPTAIN DK McCALDIN (6 Innisks).                                              FEB 1943 – HILL 286.

“On 24 Feb 43, Capt DK McCaldin led a platoon attack from Pt 279 onto Pt 286. Arty fire had put out of action three MC posts but a fourth remained. This officer advanced on this himself, silencing it with a Tommy Gun at short range. There were two members of the crew, who were both killed.

He then led the platoon on, obtaining eight prisoners and killing between 20 to 30 of the enemy.”


LIEUTENANT J McCLINTON (6 Innisks).                              APR 1943 – TANNGOUCHA.

“On 22 Apr 43, 2/Lieut McClinton was commanding a platoon of D Coy which was detailed to attack the strongly defended rock of TANNGOUCHA. The Coy reached the objective under very heavy MG fire but was then pinned to the rocks by enemy automatic weapons firing a point blank range from caves and crevices. Wireless communication had broken and ammunition was becoming short, but 2/Lieut McClelland at great personal danger came back by himself, reported the situation, and took up a supply of ammunition to his platoon.  He then organised and led his platoon into the rocks and succeeded in occupying the enemy position, taking 30 prisoners and 3 machine guns which he destroyed. Later when it became obvious that the main attack had failed and after his position had been heavily and accurately mortared, he was ordered to withdraw his platoon. This he did with great skill and coolness under heavy enemy machine gun fire, bringing back his prisoners with him.

2/Lieut McClinton has previously shown a high degree of leadership and courage in close contact with the enemy.”


LIEUTENANT J NORMAN (6 Innisks).                                                   1943 – TUNISIA.

“Capt J Norman has carried out the duties of Adjutant 6th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers since the battalion was formed. Throughout the whole of the Tunisian campaign he has been in every action in which the battalion has taken part. He has invariably shown a conspicuous devotion to duty and has frequently been called upon to carry out those duties under the most arduous, difficult and dangerous circumstances. In spite of this, he has shown an unfailing spirit of cheerfulness, initiative and determination which has proved an inspiring example to the battalion.”   


LIEUTENANT RG PAGE (6 Innisks).                                   JAN 1943 – GOUBELLAT PLAIN.

“Lt Page led a patrol of 20 ORs. Advancing into No Man’s Land at dark, he encountered the enemy, a MG post, about 2300hrs 3 Jan 43. He successfully engaged the enemy, silenced the MG and having evacuated a wounded Cpl, he proceeded to a farm in the vicinity toile up during daylight. About 0830hrs he was attacked by a force of 30/40 Germans and beat them off with heavy casualties. About 1000hrs he organised the withdrawal of his patrol and sent off the majority (one Sgt and 9 ORs) in front, remaining behind himself with 5 men to assist his wounded.

During the withdrawal the rear party was attacked by enemy Armoured Cars and Lt Page was wounded and his rear party surrounded and either killed or captured. Throughout the 24 hours, Lt Page showed the greatest gallantry, real leadership, initiative and enterprise. The small patrol accounted for at least 25/30 of the enemy and he conducted a difficult withdrawal when faced with superior forces, with such skill that over 50% of his patrol got out of a very awkward situation. He could have got himself away, but was determined not to leave his wounded men behind, and made it his job to get them out himself.

The opinion I have formed of this gallant officer’s work is borne out by every surviving member of his patrol and this I think the real test of good work and good leadership.”


LIEUTENANT J RAY (1 RIrF).                                                  FEB 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“Near BOU ARADA on the 26th February 1943 this officer’s Coy was employed on the immediate counter attack role on a portion of the Brigade front. At dawn the enemy attacked and infiltrated through the forward positions, setting up four MGs, shooting down the reverse slopes. Lieut Ray’s and another platoon were ordered to counter attack with two troops of tanks. This officer led his platoon forward with great skill using concealed entrances, and quickly dealt with the enemy MG posts, killing the crews, and capturing the guns. Pursuing the enemy into thick tree clad country Lt Ray brought devastating fire to bear on a retreating platoon of Germans, himself firing a German MG 34 which they had abandoned.

Lieut Ray by his skilful and daring leadership restored what was a dangerous threat to the Brigade position.”



 Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM).

A/SGT MCALEER (6 Innisks).                                                 FEB 1943 – HILL 286/279.

“On 24 Feb 43 No 6976983, A/Sgt F McAleer, at about 0800hrs, proceeded from MINEFIELD Fm 657058 to Pt 286, a hill known to be occupied by enemy with strength about one Platoon. His military mission was information, but his own object was to obtain revenge for the loss of a patrol on night 23/24 Feb 43. He spotted an MG post, went to the flank of it, surprised the crew of two, collected the MG and disabled the two prisoners a matter of 1000 yards back to MINEFIELD Fm. This was in broad daylight. The daring act resulted in obtaining information, which when later used, caused about 30 casualties to the enemy.” 


CSM J GLOVER (6 Innisks).                            DEC 1942/JAN 1943 – GOUBBELAT PLAIN.

“Between 20 and 25 Dec 42 at GOUBELLAT when a Platoon Sergeant in a forward position, this WO led patrols each night, both to reconnaissance and to fight. At that time, this battalion was in its infancy in fighting and this WO showed himself a leader at the early stages.

Later, between 26 Dec 42 and 10 Jan 43 in the MAHMOUD GAP, this WO, still a Sergeant at that time, led patrols which covered distances of ten to twelve miles, always getting some result, keeping control and bringing his men back to the battalion position intact.

On 27 Jan 43 when CSM of B Coy, he went out with his Coy to Rd Junction 687126 with the object of attacking high ground ARGOUB HAMIRI. When ordered by his Company commander to proceed to the Southern flank of the objective with Bren guns he carried out these orders and when doing so succeeded without noise or firing to hold up three enemy signallers from 90 Arty Regiment whom he made prisoner.

He is brave and sure, and therefore inspires confidence in junior and newly joined officers as well as in the men of his company.” 


CORPORAL T SWAIN (1 RIrF).                                             APR 1943 – KEF EL TIOUR.

“On the KEF EL TIOUR position on the night 24/25 April 1943, Cpl Swain took part with his Coy in an attack on an enemy strong point, Pt 622. Throughout the attack Cpl Swain was always in the lead urging on his men. He was the first to reach the objective and with another man destroyed two enemy MG posts.

On the 26th April 1943, Cpl Swain again took part in a daylight attack on Pt 622. Throughout the attack Cpl Swain was up with the Assault Group and displayed great gallantry and resolution in pushing forward in the face of MG fire and sniping. When the Group were held up within 100 yards of the objective, he voluntarily crept forward with his Platoon commander and in spite of accurate sniping, which killed four men directly behind him, reached the rocks concealing an MG nest , climbed on top in the face of stick grenades and took prisoner the enemy gun crew. Cpl Swain has shown the highest qualities of leadership and courage throughout the campaign.”


L/CPL EH TEARE (6 Innisks).                                          APR 1943 – JEBEL EL MAHDI.

“On 7 Apr 43, during the battalion attack on DJ MAHDI, L/Cpl Teare was bren gunner in a forward platoon, which was held up by a German machine gun. L/Cpl Teare went forward alone with his LMG and some grenades and silenced the machine gun, taking the survivors prisoner and occupying the position himself.

Throughout the day, he displayed great personal initiative and his individual efforts were largely responsible for the gaining of the Coy objectives.

On 27 Apr 43 during the Bn attack on KEF EL SENRACH L/Cpl Teare was ordered to move to the left flank of the Coy to a German MG post which was holding up the forward platoons. He succeeded in silencing this post with his bren gun from an exposed position. Suddenly he was rushed at from a concealed position by 4 Germans led by an officer. With great coolness L/Cpl Teare opened fire, killing the officer and an NCO, after which the remainder gave themselves up. The handling of his Bren Group continued to be of the greatest assistance to his coy throughout the battle.”



 Military Medal (MM).

FUSILIER R BARNES (1 RIrF).                                                   FEB 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“Near BOU ARADA on the night 20/21 Feb Fusilier Barnes was a member of a patrol which penetrated into enemy territory. Whilst moving near a track one of the patrol set off a “jumping mine” which killed two and wounded three, including the patrol commander. Although the members of the patrol believed themselves to be in a minefield, Fusilier Barnes at once went back into the apparent danger area and rescued the wounded. With the help of another man he carried one wounded man back a distance of two miles and then led out a rescue party with stretchers to bring back the others. Throughout the night this Fusilier displayed coolness, resources and disregard of danger of a high order.” 


L/SERGEANT BRANDON (TWICE) (1 RIrF).           

                                              DEC 1942/JAN 1943 – GOUBELLAT PLAIN / BOU ARADA.

“This NCO took part in a number of night patrols, some of which he personally led, during the period between 28 Dec 42 and 4 Feb 43. His conduct has been noteworthy throughout, for coolness and daring. During a daylight action with the enemy East of Goubellat on 28 Dec 42 his skilful and daring handling of his section resulted in several enemy casualties.

Cpl (now L/Sgt) Brandon accompanied Lt Jefferies on a night patrol near BOU ARADA on the night 14/15 Jan 43 during which the whole patrol with the exception of himself and Lt Jefferies became casualties  Notwithstanding this serve setback, Cpl Brandon and Lt Jefferies continued their patrol, bombing out a German post before returning to their base.”

                                                                                            FEB 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“Near BOU ARADA on 24 Feb 43 this NCO was acting as Platoon Sergeant of a patrol operating in the mountains on the lookout for enemy parties. Whilst crossing a ridge covered with undergrowth, the rear section spotted an OP party of 3 HGJR. Sgt Brandon, on hearing a shout ran up and opened fire on them with a Bren at 300 yards range as they were attempting to make off, wounding two and causing the third to surrender. All three were captured but one died. The success of this action was entirely due to Sgt Brandon‘s initiative and rapid action.

Near BOU ARADA on night 28 Feb/1 Mar 43, Sgt Brandon was in charge of the leading section of a fighting patrol. The patrol was ambushed by a German party firing an MG at very close range, hitting four members of the section including Sgt Brandon. Sgt Brandon immediately threw a bomb at the Germans hitting one man which enabled the party to crawl away with their wounded.

Although badly wounded in one arm, Sgt Brandon continued to command his section until sent back with the other wounded by the patrol commander.

The initiative, courage and devotion to duty displayed by this NCO on this and several previous occasions have been an example and an inspiration to his company.

This NCO has already been recommended for decoration for previous excellent conduct in action.”


CORPORAL E BROOKES (6 Innisks).                                          JAN 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“On 27 Jan 43 when part of a patrol sent out to destroy the enemy in FARM 654139, this Corporal when challenged by the enemy replied with fire. An enemy MG then opened on him from 30 yards range. He skirted the fire, ignoring the enemy, throwing two grenades at the MG, which was immediately silenced. Owing to a misunderstanding about signals, this NCO found himself alone in this action. He knew this, but remembered the tasks of the patrol, thus achieving success single handed by his own bravery and resolution.”


RIFLEMAN R BURTON (2 LIR).                                                   FEB 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“During the battle for the high ground north of Bou Arada on 26 Feb ’43 the platoon to which Rfn Burton belongs was surrounded by the enemy. Under very heavy enemy fire Rfn Burton broke through the enemy positions and made his way to Company HQ. During the course of the battle, on his own initiative, he prepared tea and food and carried it under fire to the forward Platoons. To do this it was necessary for him to make several journeys to and fro. His outstanding fearlessness was a great example to the remainder of his Company.”   


BANDSMAN E COOKE (1 RIrF).                                               JAN 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“Near BOU ARADA on 19 Jan 43, Bandsman Cooke, who was employed as a Stretcher Bearer with “A” Coy , 1st Bttn Royal Irish Fusiliers, displayed commendable devotion to duty and disregard of personal danger  in accompanying Fusilier Smith, another Stretcher Bearer, on their own initiative, into enemy country to collect casualties. After searching for several hours for “A” Coy Commander and his 2-in-command, who had been missing since the previous evening , during which time he was fired on by enemy posts, he located the Coy’s 2-i-c severely wounded and brought him back to our lines.”


CORPORAL W GLASS (1 RIrF).                                                FEB 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“On the night 14/15 Feb 43, near BOU ARADA, this NCO took park in an attack by a fighting patrol against a located enemy position. On a previous night he had accompanied Captain Black on a recce of these positions, during which his coolness and observance played no small part in the successful attack on Feb 14/15 Feb 43. During the attack, this NCO took part in the assault with Captain Black, and although seriously wounded, carried on until he collapsed. He had taken part in previous patrol activities and has always been conspicuous for his coolness and gallantry.” 


FUSILIER W HADDEN (6 Innisks).                                     JAN 1943 – TWO TREE HILL.

“On 18 Jan 43 No 6893533 Fusilier W Hadden, C Coy, in the leading Pl which reached within 20 yards of TWO TREE HILL 679090 distinguished himself in two ways. Firstly, with complete disregard for danger he moved over the hill, and threw hand grenades into the enemy trenches, although then only a few yards off the enemy IMG. The men who returned from the Coy after the withdrawal were high in praise of the dash shown by this fusilier. Secondly, he remained with No 7045063 L/Cpl Herbert M, a wounded SB who was attending No 6981943 Cpl Delaney W also wounded and twelve hours after the battle he supported both these NCOs back down the Western slopes of TWO TREE HILL 679090, getting them away under the noses of the enemy and back to safety.”


CSM J HAMILTON (2 LIR).                                    JAN 1943 – HILL 279/286, BOU ARADA. “As an Sergeant and a WO, this man has consistently shown a high standard of courage and leadership. In particular at Bou Arada on 21 Jan ’43 his disregard for personal danger in handling his command during an attack on Hill 286 was exceptional until he himself was wounded. Near Bou Arada on 27 Feb he led the carrier platoon in a successful counter attack which entirely restored the local situation.”      


FUSILIER H HEYWOOD (1 RIrF).                                           APR 1943 – KEL EL TIOUR.

“On the KEF EL TIOUR position on 26 April 1943, D Coy attacked Pt 622. Fusilier Heywood was a Bren Gunner with the Support Group. The Assault Group was held up by an MG nest in the rock on the crest and was unable to get forward with covering fire. The CSM ordered Bren Groups forward and while others wavered and searched for positions, Fusilier Heywood boldly rushed his gun to a position to cover the isolated assaulting party. Having fired some bursts which temporarily silenced the gun and enabled the forward assaulting party to cover difficult ground, he manoeuvred his gun to a better position. As he took up this second position the MG again opened up and Fusilier Heywood was seriously wounded by the burst. His bold action and quick execution of orders were exemplary and played a large part in enabling the Coy to reach its objective.”


CORPORAL R HOGAN (2 LIR).                                                  FEB 1943 – BOU ARADA. “On the 26 Feb ’43 at about 1000 hours the enemy had captured Stuka Ridge and were in occupation. Tps of F Coy 2 LIR were prisoners or casualties or had retired. The 4.2in mortars and the artillery OP had been over run. Cpl Hogan commander of a 3″ Mortar Det, remained. He went to the 4.2in mortar Det OP and ordered fire down onto the position. This OP was in the middle of the position, thus he was bringing down fire which was likely to kill himself in order to restore the situation. He succeeded and survived. His gallantry and cool headedness prevented a break-in.” 


FUSILIER H HUTTON (6 Innisks).                                                         1943 – TUNISIA.

“Fusilier Hutton has been continuously with the battalion since the early stages of the campaign and has taken part in every action in which the battalion has fought.

He has throughout shown a conspicuous devotion to duty which has been an example to the remainder of his platoon.

In the first engagement in which his platoon took part, it was attacked by an enemy raiding force some 50 strong. His section, of which he was the Bren Gunner, although completely isolated, held out, and was largely instrumental in driving the enemy back. Later, during an attack on Pt 416, Fusilier Hutton advanced alone with his bren under heavy fire to a position from which he could dominate the enemy and was of great assistance to his platoon.

Throughout the campaign he has proved himself a thoroughly reliable and fearless soldier.”   


RIFLEMAN FE JANES (2 LIR).                                                   FEB 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“During the battle for the high ground north of Bou Arada on 26 Feb ’43, an enemy machine gun was inflicting casualties on F Company. Rfn Janes moved forward to an exposed position and stayed there under heavy fire in order to direct the fire of a LMG which was engaging the MG. He stayed in this position for about twenty minutes during which time his steel helmet was struck by an enemy bullet and Rfn Janes knocked unconscious. When he recovered, he continued to direct the fire until the MG had been put out of action.

Rfn Janes’ complete disregard of his own personal safety and his determination to destroy the enemy was a magnificent example to the remainer of his platoon.”               


FUSILIER WJ LUNN (6 Innisks).                                                JAN 1943 – GRANDSTAND.

“Fusilier Lunn has been continuously with the battalion since the early stages of the campaign and has taken part in every action in which the battalion has fought.

During the battalion attacks on GRANDSTAND in Jan 43, he did very excellent work as a temporary stretcher bearer, bring in wounded under heavy fire at great personal danger.

He has in very way proved himself to be a thoroughly reliable and fearless soldier in battle.”


FUSILIER W MALLON (1 RIrF).                                             APR 1943 – KEF EL TIOUR.

“On the KEF EL TIOUR on the night 24/25 Apr 1943, Fusilier Mallon took part with the Coy in an attack on Pt 622. Throughout the greater part of the night the Coy was under fire from small arms and bombs. Fusilier Mallon was continually in the lead urging on his comrades and was one of the first to reach the objective where he and Cpl Swain succeeded in silencing two enemy MG posts. When daylight dawned the enemy were still holding out in the main part of the rocky stronghold and a withdrawal had to be ordered. Fusilier Mallon was among the last to leave and gallantly assisted the wounded back.”


CORPORAL EC MAYO (2 LIR).                                      APR 1943, HEIDOUS, TUNISIA. “At Heidous on 23 April ’43 in a night attack, this NCO personally destroyed a German MG (machine-gun) post. Later, he rallied his Pl (Platoon) under heavy mortar fire and MG fire and in spite of being wounded in both legs, succeeded in leading a fresh sortie on the enemy. Cpl (Corporal) Mayo had previously distinguished himself at Bou Arada on 20 January in leading his section with great gallantry in an attack on Hill 286, where he was wounded. He had only been back from hospital 2 weeks before the attack on Heidous. The way his men followed him on this last occasion was a tribute to his previous courage.”                                                           


SERGEANT J MORRISSEY (1 RIrF).                                    APR 1943 – JEBEL EL MAHDI.

“On 7 April 1943 after the attack on the final objective on the JEBEL EL MAHDI, Sgt Morrissey was platoon Sgt of a platoon sent forward to exploit success after the capture of the hill.

The platoon encountered an enemy strong point having superior numbers. During the ensuing attack, Sgt Morrissey‘s platoon commander was severely wounded. In spite of this setback and the fact that the platoon was under shell and MG fire from another quarter, Sgt Morrissey led the platoon forward with bomb and bayonet and forced the enemy remaining alive to surrender.

After the action, Sgt Morrissey spent two hours under shell fire arranging the evacuation of the wounded of both sides.

Sgt Morrissey’s skilful and daring leadership after his platoon commander had been wounded set a fine example to his men and ensured the success of the whole action.”


FUSILIER J MURPHY (1 RIrF).                                          APR 1943 – JEBEL EL MAHDI.

“On 7 April 43 after the attack on the final objective at JEBEL EL MAHDI, Fusilier Murphy’s platoon was sent forward to exploit success. The platoon encountered opposition from a superior force of enemy dug into some native huts. Although under MG and shell fire Fusilier Murphy succeeded in crawling forward by himself to a position from which he was able to kill a number of enemy and materially help in inducing those remaining alive to surrender.

During the action Fusilier Murphy was wounded in the head by a MG bullet but resolutely refused to leave his platoon until the whole situation had cleared up and the remaining casualties evacuated. His behaviour was a source of inspiration to his platoon.”


SERGEANT T O’DONNELL (twice) (6 Innisks).                                                   

His first citation says:                                                            JAN 1943 – GRANDSTAND.

“On GRANDSTAND HILL on 18 Jan 43, A/Sgt O’Donnell was a fusilier in a 2 Pounder A/Tank Gun Detachment, of which the gun was blown up by enemy fire. He was unhurt and unperturbed. The Detachment Commander was killed. Fusilier O’Donnell immediately took charge, collected the men and whilst the shelling was still in progress moved the Detachment into adjoining slit trenches, made himself Section Commander and carried on as a rifle section within C Coy defences. On 19Jan, this ma n was then absorbed into C Coy in the same forward position and still the most shelled place of all on the ridge. Up to 23 Jan 43, local listening patrols had to be sent out from this Coy. Each evening after the severe shelling and mortar fire had ceased, this man immediately volunteered to go out. Lack of sleep and persistent noise during the day did not thwart him in his resolve to play more than his full part in the defences. His strong nerve and determination placed him above his fellows, thus he was an inspiration and a fine example of leadership to all who had to undergo similar experiences on the ridge.”

His second citation says:                                                          MAR 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“On the night of 6/7 March, Sgt O’Donnell was ordered to take out a fighting patrol to the farms in the neighbourhood of ARGOUB HAMRA. Whilst in this area, he found a German telephone cable leading in the direction of a Fm at 664130. Previous reports showed that this farm was occupied in some force by the enemy. Scrutiny of it showed this farm was a light was buzzing. Sgt O’Donnell decided to attach the farm. He cut the cable and then led his patrol in extended order to the farm.  He himself walked straight up into the farm covered by his men. When he was within 20 yards of the house door, he was challenged by a German sentry. He immediately shot down the sentry.  At this moment enemy MGs opened up from outside the farm and the patrol came under heavy fire. One of the MGs was within 20 yards of Sgt O’Donnell. He immediately rushed it by himself and throwing a hand grenade silenced it. The farm was now thoroughly roused and a number of Germans rushed out of the building. Sgt O’Donnell who had meanwhile regained the body of his patrol now directed LMG fire on the advancing Germans having stayed to the last moment and inflicted the utmost damage to the enemy. Sgt O’Donnell ordered his patrol to withdraw. The Germans followed them firing off flares, but by clever leadership and use of ground, Sgt O’Donnell eluded them and brought his patrol home having suffered one casualty only. This is only example of the gallantry and devotion to duty which this NCO has shown at all times.”


FUSILIER J PHILLIPS (1 RIrF).                                             APR 1943 – KEF EL TIOUR.

“On KEF EL TIOUR on 25th April 1943, Fusilier Phillips to the Coy Support Group for the attack on Pt 622. When the Assault Group was held up near the objective by the MG nest on the crest, a Bren Gun was called for to fire on the enemy position. In spite of sniping from the flank Fusilier Phillips crept forward through the wounded and killed right up to a position between the Cpl Swain and the Platoon Commander. He came alone and brought his own ammunition. His gun enabled the other two to get further forward again and into a better position for the assault. While changing his own position to one further forward he injured himself on a jagged rock and was unable to continue firing. When ordered back by Cpl Swain, he crawled back and tried to guide forward his No 2 and coolly collected magazines for him. His coolness and initiative under fire were an inspiration to his comrades at a critical moment.” 


L/SERGEANT L RAMSELL (6 Innisks).                                   APR 1943 – TANNGOUCHA. 

“On the night of 22 Apr 43, during the battalion attack on DJEBEL EL TANNGOUCHA, B Coy was ordered to capture a subsidiary feature to the flank of the main objective.

In the face of fierce machine gun fire from the front and both flanks L/Sgt Ramsell was the first man to reach the feature and proved an inspiring example to the remainder of his platoon.

Four hours later, the enemy counter attacked the Coy position with two Coys supported by the fire of 15 automatic weapons from positions on either flank, which dominated the position.

Since the attack on these two features had failed the positions gained by B Coy was no longer tenable and after fierce resistance, during which three out of the four Coy Officers were killed, the Coy was ordered to withdraw.

Sgt Ramsell, who had taken over command of the platoon, was ordered to cover the withdrawal of the remainder of the Coy. He personally fired a Bren gun with great effect until all his magazines were empty. He then continued to fire with a captured German machine gun until all his ammunition was exhausted.

During the final phases of the German counter attack, Sgt Ramsell was wounded in the head, face and arms, but in spite of this he remained at his post and was the last to leave the position.

This NCO has constantly displayed a high standard of leadership throughout the campaign and has throughout been a great source of inspiration to the company.”


FUSILIER T REANEY (1 RIrF).                                            APR 1943 – JEBEL EL MAHDI.

“On 9 Apr 1943 during mopping up operations on JEBEL EL MAHDI by B Coy, Fusilier Reaney’s section came under very close range MG fire from a dug in position on the hill top. Although under fire and being subjected to bombing, Fusilier Reaney advanced up the hill firing his bren from the hip until wounded in the leg. His action enabled other men of his platoon to outflank the enemy position and bring about his surrender of the enemy.

Fusilier Reaney’s action showed great dash and disregard of personal danger.”


SERGEANT GL RICHARDS (6 Innisks).                                     APR 1943 – TANNGOUCHA.

“On 20 April 1943, Sgt Richards was a member of a Patrol sent out at night from DJEBEL ANG to reconnoitre a native village. The Patrol came under heavy MG fire in the open and another member of the patrol was wounded. Sgt Richards, although under heavy MG fire throughout went to the wounded man, dressed his wounds and brought him back unaided 600 yards uphill to the Coy positions on DJEBEL ANG.

Again on 23 Apr when the Coy was occupying a position in full view of the enemy on the lower slopes of TANNGOUCHA, Sgt Richards left his slit trench and crawled forward under heavy sniping, at great personal danger, to the assistance of his CSM who had been shot down and was lying in the open. Having reached him, he directed him back in to the comparative safety of his slit trench. This NCO has been with the battalion through the present campaign and has been conspicuous throughout for a high standard of leadership and initiative.”


SERGEANT JL RUSSELL (6 Innisks).                                         MAR 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“On night 10/11 Mar 43 Sgt Russell took out a recce patrol to investigate increased enemy activity on the Battalion sector. Half way up the slopes of Pt 286 feature, enemy voices were heard, Sgt Russell then went forward by himself to reconnoitre and found a position occupied by at least a Platoon of the enemy. He then returned to his patrol and lead it back to within 5 yards of an occupied enemy trench where it lay for over an hour listening to the enemy and pin pointing positions. The enemy was too alert to obtain a prisoner but just before first light Sgt Russell ordered every man on the patrol to prepare a 36 grenade. On his order these were thrown and Sgt Russell succeeded in withdrawing his patrol without heavy fire. The information which this patrol gained was of considerable value during the ensuing operations. Sgt Russell has been on a considerable number of patrols since December 1942 on all of which has displayed an outstanding degree of initiative, leadership and resource.”


FUSILIER J SMITH (1 RIrF).                                                   JAN 1943 – BOU ARADA.

“This Fusilier displayed devotion to duty in a high degree whilst employed as a Stretcher Bearer attached to “A” Coy 1st Bttn Royal Irish Fusiliers. During the evening of 18 Jan 43, near BOU ARADA, he accompanied “A” Coy in a forward move to clear the enemy from a village in proximity to our position.  During the action he became detached from his Coy and remained in the enemy locality long after it had withdrawn, busying himself succouring the wounded.

On the following day, Fusilier Smith with Bd Cooke, twice went forward entirely on their own initiative into no-man’s land, searching for A Coy commander and the Coy second in command, both of whom were missing . After a search lasting several hours during which they were fired on by enemy posts, they located the Coy 2-i-c, severely wounded and brought him in.”


RIFLEMAN T WHITESIDE (2 LIR).                                    APR 1943 – HEIDOUS, TUNISIA. “At Heidous on 23 Apr ’43, when his Coy had been held up after repeated assaults on the village at night, Rfn Whiteside accompanied his Coy Commander in a final attempt to dislodge the enemy from his positions by stalking the remaining posts. Rfn Whiteside preceded his Coy Commander.These two were successful in destroying several enemy posts, during which Whiteside showed complete disregard for personal safety and continued to act with great gallantry until he was knocked senseless by a grenade.”                                             



 

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