2718765 Maurice Terrence O’BRIEN, MM, 1 Irish Guards

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    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
    LG - Viewing Page 2853 of Issue 36563

    24th Guards Brigade, 1st British Division, 6 American Corps
    2718765 Guardsman, Lance-Corporal Maurice O'BRIEN, 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS

    On the night attack of the 29th / 30th [January], Lance-Corporal O'BRIEN was N.C.O. in command of the 2" Mortar of the left-hand forward platoon of No. 2 Company. The company came up against strenuous enemy resistance, which included 8 Machine Gun posts between the main ANZIO - ALBANO Road and the railway which was the company's axis of advance. The platoon suffered heavy casualties from these Machine Guns and from enemy mortar fire.

    The platoon was in danger of being pinned by the Machine Gun and destroyed by mortars, when Corporal O'BRIEN advanced towards the nearest stream of tracer and brought his mortar into action, totally ignoring his own great personal danger. He effectively silenced the left-hand Machine Gun post, thus enabling the remainder of his platoon to get round the flank.

    This most courageous and inspiring example and the quick rallying of his Platoon through the gap he had made, undoubtedly played a major part in enabling his company to reach its objective and saved a great many lives.

    The following day, 30th January, when owing to the presence of enemy tanks in the Company position, the company was ordered to withdraw to another position, Corporal O'BRIEN assumed command of a party of men whom he had found had been cut off, and by his initiative, gallantry, and example fought his way back with this party. The party was under heavy Machine Gun fire from both flanks and all the way Lance-Corporal O'BRIEN provided, with a Bren Gun, the covering fire for the bounds by which the party made its way back, himself running the gauntlet each time to catch up with them and cover them over the next stretch of open country.

    For his continued gallantry and leadership in action I strongly recommend this N.C.O. be awarded the Military Medal.

    Signed C.A. Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS

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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
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    Army Number: 2718765
    Rank: Lance Serjeant
    Name: M O’BRIEN
    Unit: 1 Irish Guards
    GSM & Clasp: GSM, Palestine Clasp 1936 - 1939
    TNA Reference: WO 100/503
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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    Last edited: Nov 15, 2019
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    Army Number: 2718765
    Rank: Lance-Corporal
    Name: Maurice Terence O'BRIEN
    Unit: 1 Irish Guards

    London Gazette : 15 June 1944
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the following awards in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy —
    The Military Medal
    No. 2718765 Lance-Corporal Maurice Terence O'Brien, Irish Guards (Dublin)

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