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Ainger, John Richard

Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


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Second World War (1939-1945)
Temporary Captain
4 Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment
Awarded on:
March 1st, 1945
"On 6 and 7 Oct 44 in OVERHEIDE Forest near POPPEL, The Bn was holding a fwd isolated posn which was considered vital to be retained. Infm was suddenly received that a sqn of the Recce Regt was in difficulties in an area 900 yds distant of the Bn's right front, and also that an observation screen was required on the fwd edge of the forest to the left of the party in distress. 'C' Coy, commanded by Capt Ainger, was ordered fwd some 900 yds in front of the main posn. As he was moving up Boche were infiltrating into the forest in increasing numbers on his right flank. Capt Ainger took up a firm posn on the fwd edge of the forest from where he sent a Pl ro assist the party of the Recce Regt to pull out from their posns. This was successfully achieved and under very difficult conditions Capt. Ainger kept close control of his sub-unit. The Boch-infiltration increased and before long this coy was completely surrounded by the enemy who engaged it at close range with Spandau fire. On regaining his outlying PL, Capt Ainger was ordered to withdraw his Coy to their posn in the Bn locality. Completely unperturbed, Capt Ainger planned to break through the Boche forces which were now in strenth in his rear. By careful co-ordination of fire and control against superior numbers this was very successfully achieved, and until his 18 Set was riddled with Spandau fire Capt Ainger kept his CO fully informed of the exact situation - as a result maximum fire support could be given from a higer level. Thanks to his skilful and cool leadership the Coy, with only a limited number of casualties, was successfully extricated and returned to its original posn. On the following day the fwd coy was in difficulties, two of its pls having been over-run. Capt Ainger was ordered to move his coy wfd one more and counter-attack and regain these lost localities. He quickly contacted the tank sqn leader ? sent to support him and under cover of their fire support led a most determined attack against the two localities concerned. Although these were held in strength and the Boche spandau teams within were well dug in, they were completely routed and the situation restored.

The bravery and imperturballity of this Officer under the most trying conditions enabled, firstly, relief to be effected and his coy to be extricated against what might have appeared overwhelming difficulties, and secondly, a very threatening situation to be completely and permanently restored. "

Date of the Citation - 10 Oct 44
NA Folio 376-378
Military Cross (MC)