Friday, November 17, 2006

Winning the MM at Djerba, Tunisia

The photograph of Lance Corporal T.B. Malkinson MM on display in Egremont British Legion, Cumbria

There were many wartime stories that I came across whilst I was a volunteer for the "People's War" project that I never got round to posting on the website. The main reason for this was because of insufficient time to write them all up before the closure of the project at the end of January 2006. One of these concerned Lance Corporal T.B. Malkinson MM from Egremont Cumbria who was awarded the Military Medal for an unselfish and courageous action during the assault at Djerba, Tunisia in May 1943. I would like to record my thanks to Mr Ian Cavaghan, Branch Secretary at Egremont British Legion for allowing me to take the above photograph.

Lance Corporal Malkinson's Service Number was 4131019, and the MM citation reads as follows:

"On 8th May 1943 "C Company" The Cheshire Regiment took part in the attack on Djerba near Tunis in North Africa. Part of "C Company" was blown up on its way to reorganise when Lieutenant Kerr's Platoon had some vehicles blown up on a mined track. Lance Corporal Malkinson was thrown clear in the explosion. He immediately went to the aid of men who were badly wounded, pulling them clear before they were injured further. He then gave them First Aid until the Medics arrived. This action took place under heavy German Machine Gun Fire. Lance Corporal Malkinson saved the lives of six of his comrades at great risk to himself".

Although Mr Malkinson has passed away his courage is still remembered by the British Legion in his hometown. He was obviously a brave man of unselfish courage.
The framed photograph of Lance Corporal Malkinson was made by Mr Mike King of Whitehaven who has also framed the photographs of other Egremont 'local heroes' in the town's British Legion Club.


Blogger Tomcann said...

The Cheshire Regiment were a wholly Machine Gun regiment and their battalions were invariably attached to a Brigade for a particular Battle.
This appears to be the case of this MM winner at Djerba as the 1/5th battalion were attached to the 168th brigade of the 56th Inf (London)- but loaned out to the 50th Northumbrian Division for this attack on Djerba, which took place after the 50th had finally made their way through the Mareth Line and were vastly understrength.
The 1/5 Cheshires rejoined the 56th for the Landing at Salerno and took part at Anzio and also the Gothic Line.

Friday, 17 November, 2006  
Blogger Peter G said...

Thank you Ritson for a fine contribution to our blog.

Friday, 17 November, 2006  
Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

It was intersting reading the additional detailed information about the Cheshire Regiment and their time in North Africa. I thought one of you might have more information.

Mr Malkinson seems to have been one of the many 'local heroes' I've come across who claimed they were nothing of the sort and just did what anyone would have done for their mates! One good thing about the British Legion club at Egremont is that they have made sure many of those with links to the area who were given bravery awards are remembered and their photograph and / or medals are displayed in the Function Room.

Saturday, 18 November, 2006  
Blogger Tomcann said...

The History of the Djerba Island is intriquing going back to the battles between the Muslims and Venetians in the 16th century and the Building of a synagogue which was destroyed in 2002 by allegedly members of the Al Queda killing some 25 people.
One of the main reasons that the 168th Bde was loaned out to the 50th Division was that they had taken a mauling at Medenine - Mareth Line and Wadi Akirit - but the 8th army had sent the 7th Armoured Div - 4th Indian Div - 201st Guards Bde. up to Medjez to join elements of 1st army in finishing off the war in North Africa - and STILL had Enfidville to look after sucessfully with 51st Highland, and 56th London Divs !
When we look back on those times and see what was accomplished by so few - one's belief is beggered to coin one of Peter's phrases !

Sunday, 19 November, 2006  

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