231225 Paul Richard FREYBERG, OBE, MC, 5 Grenadier Guards

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  1. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details

    Freyberg, Paul Richard
    Rank: Lieutenant
    Service No: 231225
    Regiment: 5 Battalion Grenadier Guards
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Italy
    Award: Military Cross
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 19 April 1945
    Date 1945
    Catalogue reference WO 373/11

    24th Guards Brigade, 6th S.A. Armoured Division, 4 U.S. Corps
    231225 War Substantive Lieutenant Paul Richard FREYBERG, 5th Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS

    This Officer joined the Battalion in the middle of the battle of DJEBEL BOU AOUKAZ in the North African campaign. Though he was then only 19 he had already served in the ranks and, later, as an Officer in the New Zealand Division in GREECE, CRETE and the WESTERN DESERT.

    He at once displayed quite outstanding courage and powers of leadership during the patrol activities towards the end of the battle of TUNIS, when he commanded a rifle platoon.

    At ANZIO he had to take command of two different Companies owing to Officer casualties, at a time when all ranks were extremely tired, had suffered very heavy casualties and had been fighting almost continuously for a fortnight.

    His great personal courage and unfailing cheerfulness were an inspiring tonic to the men of those Companies during far the most trying time which this Battalion has ever experienced.

    On 9th February Lieutenant FREYBERG was again commanding a Platoon (his Company Commander having returned to duty) when the Germans put in a very heavy attack on the Battalion position by CARROCETO village. With his Company partially overrun and completely surrounded, this young Officer, who had already been captured for a few minutes during the ?ight and had escaped, personally led an entirely successful counter-attack with a handful of men against some far buildings which the enemy had captured and which were vital to the defines of the Company's position.

    This outstanding act of gallantry was carried out in moonlight, under considerable enemy fire of all kinds, and across a completely open 200 yards of country.

    Shortly afterwards this Company was overwhelmed and Lieutenant FREYBERG was made a prisoner. He escaped twice within the first two days of capture but was retaken. Finally, on 9th February, he was being led away with a number of other Prisoners of War under a large guard when he jumped into a culvert and managed to escape detection. After numerous adventures he reached and entered the Vatican on 21st February hidden under a pile of old rugs and carpets in the bottom of a cart.

    On the capture of ROME he at once reported back to duty with the Battalion just outside the City and, after a month's leave, returned to command his old Platoon which he had led with conspicuous dash and gallantry during the last five weeks of the advance to FLORENCE.

    Signed G.C. GORDON-LENNOX, D.S.O., Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding 5th Battalion GRENADIER GUARDS

    Granted M.C.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
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  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    The National Archives | DocumentsOnline | Image Details
    Name Freyberg, The Right Honourable Paul Richard, Baron
    Rank: Temporary Lieutenant Colonel
    Service No: 231225
    Regiment: Grenadier Guards
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Birthday Honours
    Award: Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
    Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 12 June 1965
  3. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    WO 373/11/260

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