| form of speech he expertly reviewed what the enemy hoped to achieve by their Ardennes offensive and how the Supreme Allied Commander had asked him to take charge of the area and to deal with the break-through. I remember him adding that when you go back to your units tell all your men "that I, Monty, am in charge and all is well." I believed that if I were to tell the Jocks that, they would just be wryly amused; but I was wrong, the information impressed and reassured them. Later, when adjutant, I met Monty when he came to inspect the Battalion; I also received his C-in-C Certificate for meritorious service.
|Wounded in Germany
|In January 1945 we experienced very severe wintry weather which delayed our next operation: to clear the last German salient which extended from the Seigfried Line into Holland and to capture Heinsberg, which would be the largest German town to be taken by the British Army up to that moment in the campaign. We knew the salient would be strongly defended because the longer they could delay us the more chance they had of strengthening their defence of the Rhine . So it proved, as some twenty-fours hours before we captured Heinsberg, the C.O. and I, along with his 'protection section' equipped with one Bren machine-gun, shared an unforgettable experience of being sniped at by an 88mm dual anti-tank/aircraft gun (4.3 ins) as we manoeuvred across a large stretch of open ground. We had encoutered an enemy force dressed in their snow smocks with at least one Tiger tank supporting them. We got across the stretch of open area by 'fire and movement': as the C.O. moved with the rifle group I stayed with the machine-gun giving fire, then the rifle group opened fire and we then crossed the open area to join him. We were trying to link up with the 4th KOSB on our right and when we came into contact with their rifle company nearest us, we discovered a lone signaller in a slit-trench and he was all that was left of an almost completely destroyed Company HQ. He had been severely wounded with both legs almost severed, but not only was he conscious but valiantly directing artillery fire by wireless to help his comrades in the platoons in front of him. We crawled forward and asked if we could help him but he waved us on and I thought he would surely succumb to his wounds. He somehow survived and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal; many, including myself, having witnessed his bravery thought he should have received the Victoria Cross. I was honoured years later to meet him when he was one of our guests at a 7th/9th RS Battalion Re-union.
|I went into my last battle, a night attack: to capture the German town of Heinsberg. It necessitated an approach-march of some 13 miles, carrying all our equipment, and after a brief halt for a quick meal we divided into two columns and then proceeded to encircle and complete the capture of Heinsberg. As we
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