DOCKERILL, Arthur Henry

Lance Sergeant
Unit / Base: 
1 Commando
Royal Artillery
P.O.W. number: 
Saturday, April 19, 1919
Lance Sergeant Arthur Dockerill was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry during the raid at St Nazaire on 28 March 1942. He was part of a Lt. Chant's demolition team that embarked on board HMS Campbeltown. Reported missing after the raid, later found to be a prisoner of war.
On 28 March 1942 during the Commando raid at St Nazaire France.
L/Sgt. Dockerill, as a member of a demolition party under Lieut. Chant's command, assisted his officers and other members of his party who had been wounded, to climb from the wrecked bows of the destroyer HMS Campbeltown on to the dockside.
L/Sgt Dockerill, carrying Lieut. Chant's equipment, a sixty-pound rucksack, then assisted him to their objective, the Pumping Station of the Dry Dock. This was done under enemy fire.
L/Sgt Dockerill again assisted Lieut. Chant in descending to the pumping chamber forty feet below ground. His work in this pumping station was magnificent. 
He stayed with the officer while the latter fired the charges, and although the fuses were only set for a minute and a half, he waited to assist him to climb the stairs to the ground floor, a difficult feat as the officer could only move slowly, and it was completely dark. He got Lieut. Chant out with a few seconds to spare before the explosives blew up.
When the force attempted to fight out of the town and docks, heavy opposition was encountered. L/Sgt. Dockerill, as a forward scout, armed only with a colt automatic and grenades, assisted in leading the force through the streets in quick time.
When he ran out of ammunition and grenades he used his fighting knife and inflicted many casualties on the enemy.
L/Sgt. Dockerill was outstanding in his courage and devotion to duty. Throughout the entire action he showed a total disregard for his own safety.
London Gazette 37162, page 3493.
Award Recommendations / National Archives file WO373/46/270.
Prisoners of War 1715-1945 / National Archives file WO392/1.
Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/44.

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