Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Honored Allies Wednesday: Richard Wakeford (United Kingdom)

"On 13th May, 1944, Captain Wakeford commanded the leading Company on the right flank of an attack on two hills near Cassino, and accompanied by his orderly and armed only with a revolver, he killed a number of the enemy and handed over 20 prisoners when the Company came forward.  On the final objective a German officer and 5 other ranks were holding a house.  After being twice driven back by grenades.  Captain Wakeford, with a final dash, reached the window and hurled- in his grenades.  Those of the enemy who were not killed or wounded, surrendered.  Attacking another feature on the following day, a tank became bogged on the start line, surprise was lost and the leading infantry were caught in the enemy's fire, so that there sulting casualties endangered the whole operation.  Captain Wakeford, keeping his Company under perfect control, crossed the start line and although wounded in the face and in both arms, led his men up the hill.  Half way up the hill his Company came under heavy spandau fire; in spite of his wounds, he organized and led a force to deal with this opposition so that his Company could get on.  By now the Company was being heavily mortared and Captain Wakeford was again wounded, in both legs, but he still went on and reaching his objective, he organized and consolidated the remainder of his Company and reported to his Commanding Officer before submitting to any personal attention.  During the seven hour interval before stretcher-bearers could reach him his unwavering high spirits encouraged the wounded men around him. His selfless devotion to duty, leadership, determination, courage and disregard for his own serious injuries were beyond all praise.  

From Capt. Wakeford's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on July 11, 1944.

May you be at peace,

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