“24th Guards Brigade, 1st British Division, 6 American Corps

2721887 Guardsman James BRANTHWAITE, 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS

In the ANZIO Beach head.

On the night February 21 / February 22, No. 2 Company was ordered to take over positions from a Company of the II/6th U.S. Regiment.

The Company had to move across open rough ground in the pitch dark to unknown positions, under fixed line enemy Machine Gun fire and were also heavily shelled.

Guardsman BRANTHWAITE, together with four other Guardsmen was wounded by this shelling. The four other Guardsmen were evacuated to the Regimental Aid Post, which was only a short distance away. But this Guardsman realising the importance of the ammunition load he was carrying and the necessity for the severely depleted company to have every man who could fire a riffle, concealed the fact that he was wounded and, ignoring the pain, continued with his section. He brought up his heavy burden to the company location and took up position with his section. He remained with this company for another 24 hours, manning a section post and fighting with great skill and determination until the stiffening of his wound made him incapable of moving and he was evacuated just before dawn on February 23rd.

The conduct of this Guardsman throughout an extremely difficult period when he was in continual pain and under constant fire from an enemy at close quarters was a model of courage, devotion to duty and complete disregard for himself and was an inspiration to his comrades.

I strongly recommend he be awarded an Immediate Military Medal.

Signed C.A. Montagu-Douglas-Scott, Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS”

Guardsman James Branthwaite, MM, later served with the 3rd Battalion in NW Europe, quite likely with No. 4 Company, which was composed in the main of 1Bn veterans.

Click here to view 1Bn group photo, Chelsea Barracks, 1944

Quis Separabit

Sources: The Times