Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Honored Allies Wednesday: Willward A. Sandys-Clarke


 
"For most conspicuous gallantry in action at Guiriat El Atach on the 23rd April, 1943.  By dawn on that date, during the attack on the Guiriat El Atach feature, Lieutenant Clarke's Battalion had been fully committed.  " B " Company gained their objective but were counter-attacked and almost wiped out.  The sole remaining officer was Lieutenant Clarke, who, already wounded in the head, gathered a composite platoon together and volunteered to attack the position again.  As the platoon closed on to the objective, it was met by heavy fire from a machine-gun post.  Lieutenant Clarke maneuvered his platoon into position to give covering fire, and then tackled the post single-handed, killing or capturing the crew and knocking out the gun.  Almost at once the platoon came under heavy fire from two more machine-gun posts.  Lieutenant Clarke again maneuvered his platoon into position and went forward alone, killed the crews or compelled them to surrender, and put the guns out of action.  This officer then led his platoon on to the objective and ordered it to consolidate.  During consolidation, the platoon came under fire from two sniper posts.  Without hesitating, Lieutenant Clarke advanced single-handed to clear the opposition, but was killed outright within a few feet of the enemy.  This officer's quick grasp of the situation and his brilliant leadership undoubtedly restored the situation, whilst his outstanding personal bravery and tenacious devotion to duty were an inspiration to his Company and were beyond praise." 

From Lt. Sandys-Clarke's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on 25 June 1943.
 
May you be at peace,
Brian

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