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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


MURRAY T. M., Sergeant (NX 135 80 ),
3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment,1950

On the night of 25/26 October 1950, Sergeant Murray, a stretcher-bearer, crossed the river running through Pakchon with the two forward companies in order to arrange evacuation of casualties. He assisted with treatment of the wounded in forward positions-under fire in the early stages-and then returned to the river to arrange their evacuation to the Regimental Aid Post. One span of the bridge had been knocked down, leaving a twenty-foot drop to water level, with about ten yards of river still to cross. The position was further complicated by a rapidly rising tide, so that this route had become impassable to stretcher cases. Initially, Sergeant Murray organised a boat to cross from the safe side of the river, only to have it sink. Further attempts were successful and patients were safely evacuated. At about 1.00 a.m., however, as further casualties were ready to be evacuated, the bridge came under sporadic sniper fire. Sergeant Murray again organised the evacuation with complete disregard for his personal safety. Standing on the bridge he proceeded to draw a damaged boat, carrying a serious stretcher case and a stretcher-bearer by means of rope. Unfortunately the tide was too strong; the boat grazed a pylon of the bridge and sank in about seven feet of water. Sergeant Murray raced to one end of the bridge, removed some of his outer clothing and supported the patient through a distance of ten to fifteen yards of deep water, when bystanders finally came to his aid. Sergeant Murray received treatment at the Regimental Aid Post for cold and exposure, and returned to duty. Sergeant Murray's work would have earned him a commendation if only for his initiative and resourcefulness which was beyond expectation; his leadership in organising boat transport across the river when all chance of evacuating casualties seemed to fade as the tide rose is deserving also of special note. He showed no regard for his personal safety by repeatedly exposing himself to fire on the open bridge and further by his gallant rescue, in deep, icy cold water, of a fully clothed and seriously wounded patient-which unquestionably saved the patient's life.


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