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Auction: 18002 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 502

A fine Second World War Normandy immediate M.C. group of eight awarded to Major J. M. Webb, Canadian Army, late Royal Welch Fusiliers and onetime attached Warwickshire Regiment

Military Cross, G.VI.R., the reverse officially dated '1944'; 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; United Nations Emergency Force Medal 1956-57; Canadian Peacekeeping Service Medal, E.II.R.; Canadian Forces Decoration, E.II.R. (Capt. J. M. Webb), mounted as worn, generally very fine (8)

M.C. London Gazette 21 December 1944. Then original recommendation for an immediate award states:

'Lieutenant Webb, Platoon Commander of 'C' Platoon, was attached to 'D' Company in the re-organisation phase after the attack on Le Quai and Cuillerville on 18-19 July 1944. During the morning and afternoon of the 19th, he was perpetually out with parties amongst the ruined houses in the Company area, clearing the buildings and shooting any snipers. This was each time a dangerous and risky business.

In the evening the Company was attacked by two enemy Tiger tanks, followed by infantry. The tanks started by blasting the ruined houses in which some of the Company had their positions. Lieutenant Webb, with complete disregard for risk, went to each house, withdrew the occupants and re-organised them against the counter-attack. The enemy tanks were followed by some 60 infantry. Lieutenant Webb took these on and the counter-attack was completely broken up, this officer himself accounting for six of the enemy. His example of leadership and devotion to duty were superb throughout the whole of this operation.'

John Martin Webb was granted an emergency commission in the 6th Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers in May 1943. He remained likewise employed in the U.K. until June 1944, when he was attached to the 2nd Battalion, Warwickshire Regiment and embarked for France. It was in the latter capacity that he won his M.C. for the above cited deeds at Cuillerville, near Caen, in the following month.

Webb emigrated to Canada after the war and attained the rank of Major in the Canadian Army. The Canadians made a significant contribution to the United Nations Emergency Force sent to police the border between Israel and Egypt after the Sinai campaign of 1956, a role described as being 'completely without glamour'. Webb died on 1 September 2001.

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