7046536 William James Newman, MM, 1 Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by dbf, May 19, 2009.

  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Fusilier William James Newman, the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was awarded the Military Medal.
    At Donbaik, Mayu Peninsula, Burma, on January 19th, 1943, the carrier driven by Fusilier Newman was damaged by enemy anti-tank gunfire on the open beach, but was unable to return to its harbour. Fusilier Newman immediately volunteered to drive another carrier out on to the beach to tow in a carrier which was damaged by enemy fire and was burning. This latter carrier was in full view of the enemy and under intense fire. Fusilier Newman manoeuvred his carrier into position while the tow chains were adjusted by a corporal who accompanied him; this he did on two later occasions when the tow chains parted, with the result that the carrier was saved from falling into enemy hands.

    Fusilier Newman comes from Dublin.

    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
    Name Newman, W
    Rank: Fusilier
    Service No: 7046536
    Regiment: 1 Battlion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Burma
    Award: Miltiary Medal
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 08 April 1943
    Date 1942-1943
    Catalogue reference WO 373/30

    London Gazette:
    6 April 1943

    See this thread for ref:
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    From The Times, Wednesday, Mar 17, 1943

    G.H.Q., INDIA, MARCH 16

    By a happy coincidence The Lancashire Fusiliers and the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who are fighting in the present campaign in Burma, were in the same brigade, forming part of the famous 29th Division, at the Helles landing in Gallipoli during the last war - The Lancashire Fusiliers won six V.C.s before breakfast on the same day, and they still talk about it down on the Mayu river. These two battalions have borne themselves with outstanding though sometimes reckless courage in Arakan, where the sniper and the artfully concealed machine-gun nest take their toll on any frontal move, and their casualties have not bee light.

    The Inniskillings, who have been in the East since 1934 - they arrived in India four years later - had already been engaged in last year's Burma campaign, in which they suffered heavily. They were flown in as storm troops towards the end, and took part in a series of rearguard actions that covered the British withdrawal. Not counting many who were evacuated sick, they came out of Burma extremely depleted, and were brough up to strength mainly by drafts from other regiments. The little knew that they would have the opportunity to pay off old scores so soon on the Mayu Peninsula, where they have led some of the fiercest attacks on the Nullah, near Donbaik, in which the enemy's stubbornest defences are concentrated.

    Many Inniskillings have returned to their lines after having been taken prisoners. One non-commissioned officer did so after lying low for seven days with Japanese all round him; for three days they were so close that he dared not move. The regiment's Bren carriers, too, have been conspicuous in several assaults, and altogether you hear many a brave tale of the Inniskillings when you go down to Donbaik.

    Some of the deeds for which men of The Lancashire Fusiliers and The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers have been decorated are related to-day in official citations. Lance-Sergeant J. Byrne, of The Lancashire Fusiliers, who receives the D.C.M., led his platoon with courage and coolness during an action in the Rathedaung area. It was caught in the open by a heavy crossfire, but Bryne reorganized his men and held on to some captured ground until ordered to withdraw four hours later. He withdrew from a difficult position skillfully, and although severely wounded, continued to command his platoon until moved to the rear.

    Corporal J. Scott, of the Inniskillings, who is also awarded the D.C.M., volunteered to go out in a carrier to tow in another which was out of action and on fire in full view of the enemy. Under intense fire he reached he blazing carrier, dismounted and adjusted the tow chain. It took a long time and twice the chain came off, but Scott succeeded in bring the damaged machine in.

    Fusilier W. Newman, the driver of Scott's carrier is awarded the M.M. as are two of The Lancashire Fusiliers for their gallantry as stretcher bearers.

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    Last edited: Aug 30, 2020
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