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A Second War 1944 ‘Gothic Line’ operations M.M. 1st batt 2nd Punjab Regiment


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A Second War 1944 ‘Gothic Line’ operations M.M. awarded Havildar Sher Mohd, 1st Battalion, 2nd Punjab Regiment, for his gallantry in leading a storming party against a fortified house, and for effecting the eventual capture of the remaining eight defenders.

Military Medal, G.VI.R. 12111 Hav. Sher Mohd 2 Punjab. R.; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; Defence medal; 1939-45 war medal.

M.M. London Gazette 8 March 1945, the original recommendation (for an I.D.S.M.) states:

‘On the night of 3/4 Oct. during the S. Donato action, 0490, a very strongly fortified enemy post in a house resisted many attempts to capture it for over an hour. This very gallant N.C.O. volunteered to lead another close quarter attack on the house despite the fact that seven casualties had already been taken and that PIAT bombs and grenades had failed to discourage the defenders. Hav. Sher Mohd organised and led the final attack, forced an entry and received the surrender of the remaining eight defenders. There is no doubt that the splendid inspiring leadership and personal gallantry of this N.C.O. was responsible for the surrender of this stout hearted garrison.’

Movements of the 1st/2nd Punjab Regiment after leaving India:

War Office Control – 6 May 1940 to May 1940. The battalion embarked from India on May 6th, 1940 and arrived in Aden later in May 1940.

Aden – May 1940 to 30 June 1940. On arrival in Aden, it reconnoitered the border of the colony and constructed the landward defences. It embarked for Berbera, British Somaliland on June 30th.

OC Somaliland Camel Corps – 1 July 1940 to 18 August 1940. The battalion landed at Berbera, British Somaliland on July 1st. When operations began on August 5th, the battalion was despatched to Tug Argan, where ‘D’ Company was engaged. It evacuated British Somaliland on August 18th and returned to Aden on the next day.

Aden – 19 August 1940 to 14 March 1941, It then garrisoned Aden until March 14th, 1941, when it embarked again for service in the colony. It left ‘B’ Company behind and landed at Berbera on March 16th.

Aden Force – 15 March 1941 to 30 June 1941, It landed at Berbera, British Somaliland on March 16th. After recapture of the colony, it returned to Aden on June 30th.

Aden – 30 June 1941 to July 1941, The battalion left Aden in July for Egypt.

Egypt (BTE) – July 1941 to February 1942. The battalion was then sent to Alexandria, Egypt in July 1941. It spent the rest of the year on garrison duties and training in Egypt. In February 1942, it moved to Qatatba to become part of the 161st Indian Motor Brigade.

161st Indian Motor Brigade – February 1942 to 23 August 1942. The battalion joined the brigade at Qatatba in February 1942. In the summer of 1942 when Rommel was approaching Egypt, the brigade moved to the Tanta area of the Delta to dig defences. It returned to Qatatba after this but returned at once to the front to reinforce the 5th Indian Infantry Division. It arrived at the 5th Divisional HQ on Ruweisat Ridge on July 21st and put in an attack on Ruweisat Ridge on July 21st-22nd. The battalion was detached to the 9th Indian Infantry Brigade on July 24th for an attack at Dier-el-Shein. A brief rest followed this action and then the battalion relieved the 1/1st Punjab Regiment in forward positions. Then after a week to ten days, it returned to its original formation to rest and refit. It left the brigade on August 23rd, 1942 in Egypt.

British Troops in Egypt (BTE) – 23 August 1942 to July 1943. The battalion remained as a garrison unit in Egypt from August 23rd, 1942 until July 1943. One company was detached in Palestine on February 14th, 1943. It then moved to Palestine in July 1943.

Landed in Italy in October 1944 after serving in North Africa and Iraq. It joined the 20th Brigade of 10th Indian Division on the Adriatic front as the Allies inched their way up the Italian mainland. They ended the war on the Yugoslav border.

Condition – contact mark in obverse field, otherwise good very fine