- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Jack Hopper
- Location of story:
- North Africa January 1943
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 18 February 2004
North Africa January 1943
2/4TH Battalion KOYLI
No 9 Platoon
Received U.S.A troops. Told very quiet. 8 hours in forward positions and then the Germans attacked. They were repulsed, a few prisoners were taken and two fatatalities to them.
February 24th 1943 took on forward positions on Banana Ridge, came under heavy mortar and shell fire and survived.
Two days later handed over to 7 platoon 24 hours later Germans attacked again driving 7 platoon off the ridge, the officer of 7 platoon and NCO'S retired leaving 7 private soldiers with 3 Bren guns (not so good)
Next night orders 9 Platoon stand by fighting patrol to contact 7 private soldiers off we went into the darkness led by our officer LT. Brown he was from Sheffield. Patrol altered platoon runner came asking for me Corporal Hopper "you are wanted up front" LT. Brown said "Do you know where these men are?" " Yes so do you and the rest of the patrol" I answered. LT. Brown said "It is too risky for a full patrol take a volunteer and see if you can contact them". My reply "This is a fighting patrol not a recce or listening patrol I'm scared we were all scared" my volunteer would not go all the way so off I went on my own, eventually after crawling on my stomach for 50 yards or so stopping to whistle a few notes of 'Reveille' I finally got an answer, got the seven lads out and back safely. They had been surrounded by Germans, but I got them back safely.
Next morning I was told to reprt for Commanding Officer's orders the CO told one private soldier and myself seperately that we had been recommended for the 'Distinguished Conduct Medal' the private soldiers medal was granted. The CO addressed me "Corporal Hopper as an NCO it was your duty to set an example to the men" nothing said about the two officers and other NCO'S who sadly failed in their responsibility and duty.
When the war had and ended I was reluctant to send for my medals because of the blatant lack of duty from my Commanding Officers.
© Copyright of content contributed to this Archive rests with the author. Find out how you can use this.