Apart from L/Sgt Jack Southworth and Captain Malcolm Davidson, at least three other members of No 1
Commando received gallantry awards for their actions during the Sedjenane fighting of early March 1943. Here are their citations:

Baker, L/Cpl Albert 2614133, DCM

(1) Recommendation for MM: On 23rd February 1943 in the area of CEMETERY HILL the Germans carried out an assault in force on the left flank Troop of No. 1 Commando. The attack was put in with great determination from the rear left. L/Cpl. BAKER was the No. 1 of a MMG supporting B Sub-Section of Morgan's Troop on the left. When the attack opened up this NCO immediately brought fire to bear on the enemy. However, as the Germans were advancing from behind they were outside the arc of fire of the MMG. Seeing this, L/Cpl BAKER with complete disregard for his own safety and with help of his No. 2 moved the gun into position from which he could bring fire to bear on the enemy. In order to do this L/Cpl BAKER had to change his position in the gun pit and by doing so left himself exposed to the enemy. As a result of the fire, however, he was instrumental in beating off the attack. The gun position was under heavy fire throughout the engagement and the attack was so determined that some enemy were found dead within 20 yds of the gun. The great courage, coolness, and devotion to duty of L/Cpl. BAKER was instrumental in preventing the position from being over run.

Recommended that this be considered with a subsequent recommendation for a DCM.
Signed Brigadier, Commanding 139 Infantry Brigade.

(2) Recommendation for DCM: Throughout the period 26th February 1943 to 4th March 1943 during which time his Troop were constantly engaged with the enemy, the above NCO has at all times shown the highest powers of leadership, courage and devotion to duty.

During the attack on Hill Pt 231 on 2nd March 1943 he was acting as No. 2 on the Bren gun. Altogether, with his No 1 (Pte. Williams 83) he was instrumental in destroying a large number of the enemy and enemy MG positions. When his Troop position was being over-run by the enemy, his Bren gun was responsible for covering the withdrawal of his Sub-Section. This he carried out to such effect that the Section withdrew without loss. After the Section had withdrawn successfully this NCO together with his No 1 advanced under heavy fire and captured two enemy MG positions killing their crews. During this acton L/Cpl. BAKER sustained an injury but he carried on and with his Troop succeeded in getting back to the MINE near SEDJENANE.

Before the battle of SEDJENANE started L/Cpl. BAKER was sent down to the ADS for treatment. On arrival at the ADS he found the battle of SEDJENANE had started. He thereupon refused treatment and joined with the 6 Lincolns and was put in charge of a MMG. During the battle of SEDJENANE he directed the fire of his team to such good effect that a great many casualties were inflicted on the enemy. Throughout the whole period of operations L/Cpl BAKER has at all times shown the highest standard of leadership, courage and devotion to duty.

Williams, Pte J A, 4032283, MM

(1) Recommendation for MM. This soldier is a No 1 on the Bren gun. During the battle on Hill Point 231 on 2nd March 1943, the enemy attacked his troop in large numbers. Displaying great coolness and courage Pte Williams succeeded in silencing two of the enemy's machine gun positions. When the order to withdraw was given Pte Williams stayed behind his Bren gun to cover the withdrawal of his sub-section. Having successfully covered his withdrawal, he then advanced under heavy fire to silence two more machine gun positions which were harassing our withdrawing troops.

(2) Recommendation for DCM. On the 4th March 1943, during the battle of Mine near Sedjenane, his troop was overrun by superior numbers of the enemy and once again Pte Williams covered the withdrawal of his troop. After the troop had withdrawn he remained in position until all of his ammunition was exhausted, when he withdrew taking with him his Bren gun and magazines. At all times this man's courage and devotion to duty has been an example to all.

Beattie, Cpl J S, 14241854, MM

On 4th March 1943, at the battle of the Mine near Sedjenane, the above mentioned NCO was instrumental in saving the lives of a great number of his colleagues. At about 1500 hrs he observed a German patrol equipped with an MG 34 moving to a position from where they could bring fire to bear on his troop. His troop were unaware of the danger. Seeing this Cpl Beattie took up a fire position with his rifle and accounted for six of the Germans including the Machine Gun team. During the whole time Cpl Beattie was under heavy mortar fire. By this action Cpl Beattie undoubtedly saved the lives of a great number of his comrades. During the remainder of this battle this NCO constantly showed great powers of leadership, and throughout his determination and devotion to duty was an example to all who saw him.

NEXT PAGE: A North Irish Horse Sedjenane MM Citation.


No 1 Commando at Sedjenane, DCM & MM Citations