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Townsend, George M.C., D.C.M.,

Town : Cowes
Regiment : The Devonshire Regiment
Landed in Normandy : Arromanches, June 13 1944
George Townsend, who lived in Cowes, went ashore at Arromanches on D-Day plus six as a private soldier with the Durham Light Infantry. They launched the first real attack at the village of Rauray on June 27th, suffering very serious casualties. In George' s Platoon the platoon commander was killed, the platoon sergeant was wounded and two section commander were killed. As a result, George took command of the platoon and they continued to fight the battle. For his action that day he was awarded he Distinguished Conduct Medal and immediately promoted to sergeant. He was transferred to the 2nd Battalion The Devonshire Regiment, 50th Division, after the Falaise break through. By October 1944 they were in Holland and George accepted the offer of a field commission, becoming a second lieutenant with another company in the same battalion. The subsequent attack on Schilburg during the battle of the Roer Triangle resulted in George being awarded the Military Cross. According to the citation, he led his platoon with great determination. Later he went forward alone to deal with an enemy sniper and was shot in the arm. In spite of great pain and temporary paralysis of the arm he insisted on remaining with his platoon to fight the battle. 'Throughout the engagement he showed great gallantry and devotion to duty, and was a source of inspiration to all who saw him.
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