Statement over prisoners taken from 7 Platoon, E Company 2 LIR.
At Calvario on the 19th January at 0830hrs, a platoon O Group was assembled to receive orders in the Platoon HQ tent when a shell hit the tree about 1 yard from the door of the tent wounding Sgt Sale, Cpl Ramsey, L/Cpl Veere and dazing the others inside.
I immediately ordered the platoon into their trenches and assisted Cpl Ramsey into a trench with me. He said that he had been hit in the chest and took no further part in the battle. In the next trench, Sgt Sale, himself wounded in the wrist, was trying to bandage L/Cpl Moore, who was bleeding from the side of the head and the arm. As soon as we were in the trenches, MG fire opened up on us from the left covering the whole platoon position. I shouted to the left hand bren position to open fire but on receiving no reply and no fire being given, I crawled out of my trench to get up to the position myself. Then several grenades landed in the platoon positions keeping the heads down of those in the trenches and again dazing me as I was in the open.
Before any further orders could be given, the enemy had charged over the hill to the left front and had overrun the position. I was picked up by two Germans, who took my pistol from me and was herded with many other of the platoon, who had been taken prisoner. I estimated the number of Germans who had overrun the position as between twenty five to thirty.
The strength of 7 Platoon was 21 men with 2 men on guard at each of the 3 bren gun positions. The prisoners, amongst whom I noted Sgt Sale, Cpl Ramsey, L/Cpl Moore, L/Cpl Ewer, Rfn Tipping, Rfn Graham and Rfn Dalton, were driven over the front on our left front, escorted by 10-15 Germans, covered from the rear by the rest of the attacking force.
When the escorting party came under fire from the sections of 8 Platoon, Rfn Bevan, Rfn Dickson, and Rfn Berryman were able to make their escape. The Germans then altered their course further to the left but were soon under fire again from a section of 8 Platoon led by Major Davies, under cover of which I was able to make my escape from the valley. By this time, other prisoners had been driven over the ridge and out of sight of 8 Platoon.
Of the German rearguard party, two were killed by Major Davies and Rfn Treanor, one of the prisoners, was wounded in the leg by a stray bullet. I rejoined the 8 Platoon section and we advanced to the ridge over which the enemy and the prisoners had withdrawn.
Major Davies then left to consolidate the position, while I sent back Rfn Treanor, who was suffering from only a flesh wound and searched the dead Germans for papers. I was not able to accurately assess the number of prisoners with me but it seems that the whole platoon was there except for:
Escaped under cover of 8 Platoon fire-
3910646 Rfn Bevan.
3909658 Rfn Berryman.
7021323 Rfn Dickson.
Wounded and escaped-
7022280 Rfn French.
14218827 Rfn Cowell.
1440842 Rfn Dixey.
Escaped after first encounter having shot his escort-
7019094 Rfn Anderson.
Wounded when prisoner-
14416253 Rfn D Treanor.
The remainder can be presumed PoW:
6457753 W/Sgt J Sale.
7017388 W/Cpl C Ramsey.
3249725 L/Cpl D Moore.
5948803 L/Cpl R Ewer.
14422427 Rfn W Dalton.
14429410 Rfn W Graham.
7020326 Rfn H Hornsby.
3860457 Rfn R Keefe.
7021580 Rfn A Naulls.
5886376 Rfn E Tipping.
39100205 Rfn H Gardner.
3460796 Rfn R Baddow.
6984406 Rfn J Treanor.
The map reference of the spot where the prisoners were last seen is 030483.
OC 7 Platoon, E Company, 2 LIR.
In the field 22.1.44.