253893 John Richard Brinsley NORTON, MC, 5 Grenadier Guards

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    Norton, Hon John Richard Brinsley
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Service No: 253893
    Regiment: 5 Battalion Grenadier Guards
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Italy
    Award: Military Cross
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 21 December 1944
    Date 1944-1945
    Catalogue reference WO 373/9

    24th Guards Brigade, 1st British Division, 6 U.S. Corps
    253893 War Substantive Lieutenant The Honourable John Richard Brinsley NORTON, 5th Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS


    This Officer has, throughout the period from 25th January to 10th February 1944 in operations on the ANZIO beach head, shown the highest qualities of leadership, courage and tenacity of purpose.

    On 25th January, No. 4 Company was detailed to attack the factory at CARROCETO. Lieutenant NORTON was commanding a Platoon of this Company. Almost immediately his 38 Set failed and he was out of communication with his Company Commander. Acting on his own initiative, he led his Platoon on to the objective, and then started to clear up the area in which several Germans still remained. He took these prisoner and consolidated his positions in this area, thereby making it possible for the rest of the Company to come up and hold the ground gained.

    On the night of 3rd February / 4th February he was sent on a patrol to secure an identification from the German lines. He took the dozen men with him forward, to get run a German post, assaulted it and brought back two German prisoners, who identification was of the utmost value.

    During the period, he has taken numerous other patrols, the results of which have been of great value.

    On the morning of 4th February, his Platoon position was attacked by an enemy force estimated at a company in strength. The attack was pressed home, but with admirable coolness, he held the fire of his Platoon until he was able to break it up completely. During this time, the example of his personal courage under fire acted as a source of great strength and encouragement to his men.

    On the afternoon of 10th February, Lieutenant NORTON was ordered, with a party of 30 men, to endeavour to re-occupy the Station at CARROCETO as it was suspected that the enemy had withdrawn. He had led his Platoon almost into the building when he was fired upon from different directions by three Machine Guns and by a tank. Lieutenant NORTON immediately disposed his party in fire positions, and returned the fire, while he himself with great calmness informed his Battalion Headquarters of the situation on the wireless, and asked for further orders. When ordered to withdraw, he collected his men with such skill from their positions that, although the way back was under enemy observation and fire, only three casualties were incurred.

    His coolness and bearing have throughout inspired the utmost confidence of the troops under his command, and he has set an extremely high standard of junior leadership.

    I recommend that his constant courage, determination and efficiency be recognised by the award of a Military Cross.

    Signed E.J.B. NELSON, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding 5th Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS

    Granted a Periodic M.C.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019

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