BURTINSHAW, Robert James Glover
On the 28th March 1942 during the commando raid at St Nazaire, Lieut. Burtinshaw commanded a demolition party whose task it was to carry out the destruction of the Dry Dock Installation.
When HMS Campbeltown rammed the Dry Dock Gate, this officer led his party through the burning bows of the destroyer on to the dock gates. The enemy fire was intense and it was necessary to pass through heavily defended posts to get to his task.
Armed with only a Colt automatic, and carrying a rucksack full of his prepared explosive charges, Lieut. Burtinshaw led his men against the heavy oppostion, and largely due to his leadership, courage and devotion to duty the party overcame the enemy and continued on to the task.
Lieut. Burtinshaw gave his life in the fighting but his example had an untold morale effect on his men who carried out their demolition task with complete success.
London Gazette 37162, page 3494 and 37629 page 3273 (errata).
Award Recommendations / National Archives file WO373/46/289.
St. Nazaire Society website.
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