An Italian soldier inspecting a pair of Churchill Mk III tanks of C Squadron North Irish Horse that got lost in the dark at Sedjenane in Tunisia in March 1943
Report of the action by Temporary Major Paul Welch:
At 1900 hours, 1st March, three Troops C Squadron was ordered to support the 138th Brigade at Sedjenane. They arrived at Tamara at 0400 hours Tuesday morning. I had made a reconnaissance with the officer commanding Lincolnshires the night before, being under his command. His orders were to hold Sedjenane as a firm base. The enemy had infiltrated through the positions of the Forresters, 1st Commandos and the Durham Light Infantry and had driven them from their positions during Monday's fighting. The Colonel of the Lincolns asked me to dominate Sedjenane at first light and to support his infantry. I moved two Troops to the village and one Troop on to the Mansour Ridge to watch the left flank. All were in position by 0900 hours. The Troop dominating on the right of the road was in a bad position due to difficult ground and the Germans managed to infiltrate right up to this Troop. On the whole, however, the day was quiet and the Germans were held. At dusk the Squadron was ordered to withdraw to harbour. The right-hand Troop when retiring got caught by the dark owing to pulling out a carrier. As a result two tanks, after taking a wrong turning, went over a small cliff by a mine pit shaft.
At first light at SEDJENANE, C Sqn took up position on high ground SW of SEDJENANE to give covering fire to infantry and succeeded in extricating some of our infantry from an awkward position. When retiring at dusk Lt JE Williams lost two tanks of his troop over a cliff. One member of a crew missing believed POW.
Three recipients of the Victoria Cross, October 1945, Left to right: Naik Bhabbhagta Gurung of the 2nd Gurkha Rifles, Naik Gian Singh of the 15th Punjab Regiment and Havildar Umrao Singh of the Indian Artillery
Two time Victoria Cross recipient Charles Upham (NZ) entangled in barbed wire during a failed escape attempt from a German POW camp. The photo was taken by the camp commandment, who declined to shoot him due to his military record and persuasion from other POWs
Charles Upham was the most highly decorated soldier in the Commonwealth forces of WWII, and could arguably be called the bravest soldier of the war. An unassuming stock worker/ valuer at the beginning of the war, he stormed through Crete and the Western Desert amazing and confounding his comrades with his exploits. He won two Victoria Crosses (the only combat soldier ever to do so) and in the opinion of his superiors deserved many more. Captured, he became an escape artist and ended his war in the infamous Colditz POW camp. Shy and reluctant to take credit for his actions, he deflected all praise onto his soldiers and was described as distraught that he had been honoured. He then farmed in North Canterbury until his death in 1994, avoiding the limelight wherever possible
Dutch civilians inspect the knocked out Sherman Firefly in which gunner Fred Butterworth was the first Canadian casualty of the Battle of Groningen on April 13th 1945
Butterworth was less than a fortnight short of his 23rd birthday when the was killed in action. Tank commander Sgt Walter Chaulk was severely burned by the same impact and was awarded the Military Medal
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