From medal recommendation:

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

2722392 Corporal, Lance-Sergeant Robert Henry MURPHY, 1st Battalion IRISH GUARDS

In the ANZIO Beach head

This N.C.O. was Platoon Sergeant of No. 15 Platoon, No. 3 Company, which on the night 21st / 22nd February took over positions from and American Company.

On the way up the Company suffered considerable casualties from aerial Anti-Personnel bombs. The collection of the wounded attracted the attention of enemy Machine Gun posts, who opened fired on the platoon. While the Platoon Commander rallied and led forward the platoon, Lance-Sergeant MURPHY engaged the enemy posts with an L.M.G. and saw all his platoon over the open ground before himself following on.

The next morning, 22nd February, the Platoon Commander, Lieutenant M. EARLS-DAVIES, was severely concussed and unconscious for many hours. Lance-Sergeant MURPHY took over command of the Platoon, and throughout the rest of that day and the following night displayed the highest qualities of leadership and tactical skill and set a constant example of personal gallantry.

His aggressive tactics against the enemy, who had infiltrated, gave them no chance to establish themselves in positions which would have threatened the whole Battalion.

For 24 hours he was ceaselessly active, organising and leading assaults against enemy snipers and Machine Gun posts, and by the evening of the 22nd had cleared the area of the enemy who had infiltrated the previous night.

On the night of 22nd / 23rd the enemy, as usual, made further efforts to infiltrate, and in spite of heavy casualties suffered when his patrols clashed with ours, succeeded in establishing two Machine Gun posts behind our forward positions.

At first light both of these posts were promptly and completely destroyed by Lance-Sergeant MURPHY. Having organised the covering fire, he led forward a small assault party. He himself crept forward and grenaded the post till the Germans tried to escape, when they were killed by the remainder of the assault party. During the attack on the second post, he was wounded, but continued to throw his grenades and so forced the Germans to leave their pits and expose themselves. He then brought his party back and handed over the platoon position to an Officer who had come up to take command before allowing himself to be evacuated.

I strongly recommend this N.C.O. for the immediate award of the Military Medal.

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

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

Quis Separabit

Sources: TNA; The Times