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Auction: 24001 - Orders, Decorations and Medals
Lot: 297

An Immediate Battle of Bocholt 1945 M.M. group of six awarded to Lance-Corporal K. E. Botwood, 6th (Caernarvon and Anglesey) Battalion, Royal Welch Fusiliers, South Wales Borderers and Special Air Service Regiment

Military Medal, G.VI.R. (14635611 L.Cpl. K. E. Botwood. R.W.F.); 1939-45 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; General Service 1918-62, 2 clasps, Palestine 1945-48, Malaya (14635611 Pte. K. E. Botwood. S.W.B.), rivets sewn with cotton, as issued, mounted court-style as worn, contact marks, very fine (6)

M.M. London Gazette 12 July 1945. The original recommendation for an Immediate award - signed off by Field Marshal Montgomery - states:

'On 29 March 1945, the Battalion has been ordered to try to force a crossing of the river which runs through the town of Bocholt in Westphalia.

The enemy were entrenched on the far bank some fifty yards away and fired at any movement on our side; the railway bridge was still passable to men on foot and the road bridge further was was only partly destroyed.

L/Cpl. Botwood commanded a section of 'D' Company, which was ordered to try to rush the railway bridge in the face of the enemy.

Under heavy fire he led his section over the bridge with the greatest dash and bravery, reached the far side and cleared the trenches there, then entered a house, took five prisoners, and established his section until his Platoon was able to join him a little later.

His inspired leadership in this most hazardous operation stupefied the enemy and enabled us to establish a foothold on the Northern bank.'

Kenneth Edward Botwood was born on 16 May 1925 at Rhayader, Powys and was a labourer by trade upon his joining the Royal Welch Fusiliers in July 1943. He served with the 6th Battalion in North-West Europe, qualifying on the PIAT in October 1943. Having won his stunning M.M., he was wounded in action on 16 April 1945.

Transferred to the South Wales Borderers, with whom he served in Palestine, Botwood thence went on a Parachute Course in March-April 1953, then joining the ranks of 22 Special Air Service Regiment, with whom it appears he served with in Malaya. Botwood was released in April 1955 but returned to the SAS, having re-enlisted as Trooper in July 1961. Completing the five-year engagement, he was finally released in July 1966 and was a member of the Normandy Veterans & Special Air Service Regimental Associations. Botwood found work as a Care Assistant and died on 24 February 1988, by that time living at Kington, Herefordshire.

Sold together with an original archive including his three Soldier's Service & Pay Books, together with Certificate of Service (SAS 1961-66), the two aforementioned Association Cards, various newspaper cuttings and letters.

For his beret and relevant cloth badges, please see Lot 298.

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