DAVIES, Michael Alfred William

Acting Captain (later Major)
9 Commando
Northamptonshire Regiment
Captain Michael Davies, Adjutant of No. 9 Commando, was awarded the Military Cross for his outstanding leadership and personal gallantry during the fierce fighting that took place in the Wadis at the Anzio beachhead on the 19th March 1944 [1][2].
Ref Map-Italy 1/25,000 sheet 158 IV SE.
"This officer holds the appointment of Adjutant of this unit which took part in the attack on Wadi in Sq. 8230 on 19 Mar. 44. In this action the unit drove the Boche from his posns in this wadi, and held this posn during the day until the final withdrawal the following night. Whilst the posn was occupied by the Commando, the Boche delivered a succession of counter attacks, culminating in a strong attack at last light immediately prior to our withdrawal, which were all repulsed.
Owing to the nature of the ground and the necessity for sending out continual patrols to keep the Boche at a distance, a considerable part of the line of defence had to be held by Commando HQ personnel, who were under comd. of Capt Davies.
Later on in the day the only officer of another Tp. was killed, and comd. of this Tp. was also taken over by Capt Davies. Throughout the day he continuously organised the defences of the sector under his charge which were being steadily depleted by snipers, as well as carrying out in a most efficient manner his other duties as Adjutant.
At last light a very strong Boche counter attack was delivered into our position, the main force of the attack falling on the sector held by the men under Capt Davies's comd. Immediately the attack started, this officer rallied his men in a magnificent manner, and personally led them in an assault which drove the Boche well back from our own posns. into his original forming up area.
Capt Davies was seen and heard to be personally leading every charge which finally resulted in the Boche attack being completely broken after fierce hand-to-hand engagements.
Throughout these engagements Capt Davies was at all times involved where the fighting was fiercest, personally leading his men and taking part in hand-to-hand fighting. His presence, and the gallant and courageous manner in which he continually rallied his men, some of whom had never been in action before, was an inspiration to the whole Unit, and his gallant conduct and splendid leadership was entirely responsible for the defeat of the Boche counter-attack.
Throughout the whole action, Capt Davies showed utter disregard for his own safety, as he was always seen to be fighting in those positions where enemy penetration would have caused a critical situation. His personal courage and determined leadership was an inspiration to all ranks, and it is considered that had he not completely dominated the fighting in his sector so that the enemy attack was thoroughly beaten, the whole posn. might have been over-run by the enemy.
Capt Davies showed the highest possible standard of fearlessness and courage, and his conduct was of the highest order throughout the whole action" [2].
  • 1945 Mentioned in Despatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Italy [3].
  • 1959 (Major) (Northamptonshire Regiment) (Military Intelligence Officer engaged in ground intelligence in the state of Johore) appointed M.B.E (Military Division) in recognition of distinguished service in Malaya for the period August 1956 to 30th June 1959 [4][5].
[1] London Gazette 36615, page3375.
[2] National Archives file WO 373/6/500.
[3] London Gazette 36886, page 327.
[4] London Gazette 41884, page 7667.
[5] National Archives files WO373/135/155 and 135/375.

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