On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Povall, John

Service number:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)


Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Second World War (1939-1945)
Temporary Corporal
11th Battalion Royal Marines, Combined Operations Headquarters, War Office, British Government
Awarded on:
August 3rd, 1943
Awarded for:
Operation Agreement
"Corporal Povall was among the first in a party to land, under heavy fire from the enemy, at Tobruk. On getting ashore, he rallied his platoon, proceeded to attack at the head of his men, and was largely responsible for establishing a bridgehead among the enemy. Hand to hand fighting followed in which Corporal Povall's skillful use of his bayonet and rifle were an example which instilled in his men the dash and offensive spirit which enabled them to sweep aside several machine-gun nests and a considerable number of the enemy. His gallantry and outstanding leadership were worthy of the high tradition of the Royal Marines."


"This N.C.O. landed in the first flight from H.M.S. Sikh at Tobruk on the night of 13/14 September 1942. On approaching the shore the tows came under heavy shell fire and mortar fire from shore positions resulting in many casualties and unforeseen difficulties in landing due to swell on a rocky foreshore.

On getting ashore Sergeant Povall rallied his platoon under heavy fire and was in no small degree responsible for forming a bridgehead. Although realising that the chances of reinforcements from the 2nd flight were negligible, he proceeded to the attack at the head of his men. By his example in the skilful use of his bayonet and rifle in close fighting, he instilled in his troops the dash and offensive spirit which enabled them to sweep aside several machine gun nests and considerable numbers of the enemy, some entrenched in fire positions.

Sergeant Povall by his gallantry, cheerfulness and outstanding leadership set an example in accordance with the highest traditions of the naval service."
Conspicuous Gallantry Medal (CGM)
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
February 28th, 1951