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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


ROWLINSON, William Josiah, Sergeant (2/400239),
3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

On the morning of 5 October 1951, D Company, 3 RAR, attacked the ridge leading to Hill 317. The action comprised four separate attacks, three of which involved D Company's 12 Platoon. In the early stages of the first attack the company commander was wounded and was replaced by the officer commanding 12 Platoon. Sergeant Rowlinson then assumed command of 12 Platoon. Immediately 12 Platoon was committed to the attack to bolster the assault and Sergeant Rowlinson's quick, cool and inspiring leadership contributed largely to its success. During the attack on the second feature in the face of heavy small arms, machine-gun and 3.5 bazooka fire, he personally led his platoon in the assault, displaying initiative and directing fire with firm control. Early in this action he was wounded in the left leg, but without seeking medical aid he continued to follow the plan of attack and lead his platoon in a further assault on the third feature in the face of continued heavy enemy small arms and machine-gun fire. At this stage he quickly reorganised on the third objective and contacted his company commander by wireless, informing him of enemy dispositions on the fourth ridge. His quick thinking and appreciation enabled the company to successfully conclude the operation on the fourth objective. Sergeant Rowlinson's platoon accounted for thirty-two enemy dead and took fourteen prisoners. Throughout the operation Sergeant Rowlinson showed complete disregard for his own personal safety and inspired his platoon by his own example. Sergeant Rowlinson was previously recommended for a DCM by this unit in April 1951, and again has proved himself an outstanding, brave and intelligent soldier.


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