KING, Leonard Sydney

Marine (Acting Temporary Corporal)
Royal Marines
Royal Navy
EX/ 3058
Honours & Awards: 
Corporal Leonard King, Special Service Group Signals RM, was awarded the Military Medal for courage and enterprise in reconnaissance operations.
"This NCO was a member of a military force which landed in the vicinity of Ault, on the North East coast of France, on the night of 17/18 May 1944, to make a reconnaissance on beach obstacles and mines the nature and potentialities of which were not known.
On the completion of a preliminary reconnaissance, Cpl King was ordered to remain at the landing point with a SNCO, by his officers who went in search of further information.
Shortly afterwards these officers were surprised, fired on, and either killed or captured by an enemy patrol moving down the beach. It also became apparent that a second patrol was searching the beach and when Cpl king's companion would have engaged the patrol with fire, he exercised a restraining influence and coolly suggested that they both should move forward to the line of beach obstacles and hide amongst them.
This course of action was adopted and allowed the NCOs to remain on the beach for more than one hour awaiting the possible return of the officers.
At the end of this time, Cpl King and his companion were seen and fired upon by a third enemy patrol but by taking avoiding action and wading breast high in the sea both were able to regain the dory. 
By his great courage and devotion to duty, Cpl King prevented a situation from developing which might well have resulted in the death or capture of both himself and his companion. His decisive action at a crucial moment was instrumental in ensuring the safe return of vital information." [Recommended by Capt. B. Hilton-Jones, OC Hiltforce.]
[1] London Gazette 36697, page 4218.
[2] National Archives file WO 373/95/799.

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