MC [Palestine, 1936-39]

Bar to MC [Norway]


From medal recommendation:

“On 21 February [1945] at HOMMERSUM Major EUGSTER, in temporary command of 3rd Battalion Irish Guards, during the absence of his commanding officer on sick leave was ordered to carry out an attack on VRIJ.  The attack was intended to mop up some know enemy localities and to secure a bridge site over a water obstacle which would open up a good road for the maintenance of the battalion on its objective.  The attack involved an advance of some 3000x over waterlogged country impassable to wheels and only passable with great difficulty along certain routes by tracks.

Opposition was very much greater than expected and though by 1700 hours the battalion was practically up to its objective they had suffered heavy casualties including two company commanders killed and all the officers of one company casualties.  Control was extremely difficult as several of the wireless vehicles were bogged in the atrocious going, and could not keep up with the company commanders.

As a result the situation became confused and it became clear that it would be impossible for the battalion to consolidate successfully where it was or even to maintain it as the bridge site was not sufficiently securely held.  Major EUGSTER was therefore ordered to withdraw behind his start line.  This difficult and hazardous operation he carried out most successfully.  He was forced to move about for long distances on foot under heavy shell and mortar fire owing to the bogging of some of his wireless sets, in order to organise the withdrawal.  In spite of this and the very confused situation Major EUGSTER remained completely calm and collected and organised a most careful and well thought out plan for his withdrawal, including a comprehensive artillery programme. 

As a result he got practically all his wounded away and was even able to extricate all his vehicles except those which had actually been hit by enemy fire.  His coolness, quick brain and personal disregard of danger were an inspiration to all, extricated his battalion from an extremely unpleasant situation and saved a very large number of casualties.”

NB There were 2 Companies involved in this action, the commanders of whom were both killed in action - Major FISHER-ROWE and Major D.M. KENNEDY. They lie buried in MILSBEEK WAR CEMETERY, HOLLAND alongside 29 other Irish Guardsmen who died that same day.



Quis Separabit

Sources: TNA

Photo: IG Journal, 1952, 1970 & 1973