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Giles, John

Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
Warrant Officer 1st Class
The Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales's)
Awarded on:
December 21st, 1944
"At Calabritto on 11th November 1943 A Company was holding a position on the right of the village. From first light onwards the Company positions were subjected to heavy mortar and shell fire which became very intense at 1000 hours when the enemy counter attacked and swept the positions with machine gun fire. Company Sergeant Major Giles in the absence of the Company Commander visited each platoon position during the worst period of the attack and by his coolness he steadied those around him. On his return to Company Headquarters a wall was hit by a shell and collapsed burying a Sergeant of 8 Platoon. The Platoon Commander shouted for assistance and CSM Giles came up immediately and helped to extricate the wounded Sergeant. The Platoon Commander by this time had also been wounded and CSM Giles took command of the Platoon temporarily thus ensuring the successful defence of the Platoon area. Throughout this action the Company area was subjected to the most intense enemy barrage but CSM Giles showed complete disregard for his own safety.

On the Garigliano on 13th January 1944 CSM Giles volunteere to go out and look for his Company Commander who was missing from an attack on the previous night somewhere in the area of some cross tracks known as Aspen. He recced the area in spite of continuous enemy mortar fire for about an hour without success. Finally he saw what he through was a body lying in a track which he knew to be heavily mined. Without thought of his personal safety, he went up towards the body but was wounded by an S mine before he could reach the body. He had been CSM of A Company from the beginning of operations in Sicily until wounded on the Garigliano. He has always acted with the greatest gallantry and determination in the face of the enemy. His bearing in action has contributed greatly to the high morale of his Company which has some very fine achievements to its credit."
Military Medal (MM)