Lonsdale, Richard Thomas Henry "Dickie"

Date of birth:
December 27th, 1913
Date of death:
November 23rd, 1988 (Bath, United Kingdom)
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
1st Battalion, The Leicestershire Regiment, British Army
Awarded on:
October 25th, 1940
"On 14 November 1939 near Razmak in Waziristan, at about 1600 hours the Company in which Lieutenant Lonsdale was serving as Platoon Commander was withdrawing its piquets when suddenly, at the end of a long, weary day, there came a burst of fire from close range as the last few men were doubling down from their position. Calling for volunteers, Lieutenant Lonsdale set out with them to bring to safety the wounded men who were lying in the open. His very brave action and leadership was an inspiration to those around him and successfully saved his men from what would probably have been death at the hands of the tribesmen."
Military Cross (MC)
For most conspicuous gallantry and leadership in action. On the night of the 13th of July 1943 this officer was in command of a Company of the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment, which was dropped on the CATANIA PLAIN in SICILY to secure the high ground South of the River SIMESO. On reaching the objective this officer took over command of the Battalion as the Commanding Officer was injured, and at dawn on the 14th of July 1943 German Parachute Troops launched a heavy counter attack on the Battalion positions. This officer by his example, leadership and complete contempt for danger when under very heavy enemy fire, so skillfully directed the defence of the objective gained and in spite of sustaining heavy casualties, that the position was held and heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy, including the taking and retention of 450 enemy prisoners, until relieved by our own troops.
At ARNHEM on the 20th September, this officer, although wounded in the hand and arm, was given command of the remnants of three Parachute Battalions who had withdrawn from the town. This detachment, about 400 strong, was allotted the task of holding part of the divisional perimeter.
Major Lonsdale so organised and inspired those under him that in spite of repeated attacks by enemy infantry, tanks and self-propelled guns, the positions taken up were subsequently held until the remains of the division withdrew over the River LEK. Throughout this period of six days the positions were continually mortared and shelled.
Major Lonsdale, although again wounded, organised several counter attacks to regain ground temporarily lost and his personal example and supreme contempt of danger was an inspiration to all those with whom he came in contact.
This award was obtained in the form of an BAR to be attached on the ribbon of the first award.