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B R I T I S H     I M P E R I A L    D E C O R A T I O N S

THOMSON, David Scott, Major (3/328),
1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1952

On the morning of 2 July 1952, Major Thomson displayed outstanding skill and gallantry in leading A Company, 1 RAR, on a raid against well-organised and entrenched enemy strong points on Hill 227. Displaying dash and determination of a very high order, Major Thomson quickly gained the top of Hill 227 and, with complete disregard for his own personal safety, directed his two forward platoons onto their objectives. He continued to direct operations despite heavy and accurate enemy small arms, mortar and artillery fire which scored two direct hits on his company headquarters killing his wireless operator and wounding the artillery forward observation officer attached to his headquarters as well as two other members. With amazing calm and tenacity, Major Thomson so inspired his men that they remained in possession of the enemy strong point for ninety minutes, blasting and wrecking the enemy defences with flame and specially prepared high explosive grenades. It was only when he was running out of ammunition and on receipt of orders to do so, that he finally withdrew. During the withdrawal he remained until the last, and only left the position when he was sure that all his wounded had been evacuated safely. By this stage he had been wounded in the right arm but refused to have his wound attended to until he had reorganised his company back in its base. Throughout the entire action, Major Thomson displayed qualities of leadership, courage and devotion to duty of the highest order and his conduct was an inspiration to all.

WATERTON, John Thomas Max Charles, Captain (2/37619),
3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, 1952

Captain Waterton was appointed second-in-command of B Company, 3 RAR, in May 1952. Throughout his time in Korea, he consistently proved himself a most gallant and capable officer, significantly contributing to the high morale and operational efficiency of his company. His imperturbable and courageous manner while discharging his duties in the company area under heavy shell and mortar fire and his initiative and determination as a patrol leader were an inspiration to all ranks. On the night of 28/29 September 1952, Captain Waterton particularly distinguished himself as the leader of an ambush patrol of one officer and fourteen men. The patrol had just adopted its ambush position when an enemy force subsequently estimated to be of company strength moved across its front and round its flank. Holding the fire of his men until about fifty of the enemy soldiers were in view at close range, he engaged them with heavy fire inflicting severe casualties and halting their advance completely. Anticipating that the enemy would regroup and make a direct assault on his position, Captain Waterton withdrew his ambush to an alternative position, thirty yards to the rear. From here he evacuated three members of the patrol who had been wounded in the action and then, when the enemy forces assaulted his previous position, he engaged them with small arms fire and grenades, once more inflicting heavy casualties.


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