Cawton John Cheeseman Pte 4460983

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Personnel Entry

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Name Cawton John Cheeseman
Army number 4460983
Rank Pte
Decorations M.M. (see below), M.i.D.
Date of birth 2/8/1915 at Winlaton.
Age 63 at the time of his death.
Unit Joined The Durham Light Infantry, no enlistment date as yet but probably Spring/Summer 1939. Posted to the ? Battalion. Transferred to the Black Watch 16/7/1940. Posted to the 1st Tyneside Scottish. Posted to the ? Bn Black Watch, Class W Army Reserve 2/1/46, "B" Release. Demobilised.
Platoon or other sub-unit
Task or role
Joined Brigade
Prisoner of War
Died/Killed in action Date of death 26/3/1979.
Home address Married 9/3/1946 in Winlaton to Miss Linda Brooks. Lived at 11, Old Well Lane, Winlaton.
Source table 1TS

As can be seen above, Private Cawton was awarded the Military Medal for gallantry while serving with the Black Watch - probably the 5th Battalion. Thanks to his great-nephew, Gavin Harper, we can now add family information and his medal citation as follows:-

“On the night of 24/25th March, 1943, Pte Cawton was Platoon Runner in 8 Platoon of "A" Company, This Coy had carried out an attack against an enemy position, and in the process had suffered such very heavy casualties from shell-fire, that the Coy was split up into isolated groups round the object. Pte Cawton located and collected the remnants of his Platoon and then made his way to Coy. HQ which necessitated crossing some 200 yards of ground that was swept with MG fire and on which many shells were falling. He then reported the situation and disposition of the Platoon. Subsequently he was the greatest possible assistance to Lieut. Nickson, the sole remaining officer, in re-organising the Coy against counter-attack, and in the smoke and confusion it is doubtful if this could have been done without him. Throughout the entire action he was cool and collected and carried out his orders with great energy. He seemed oblivious of the shells and bullets falling around him. His devotion to duty was an inspiration to all who saw him, and he showed courage of the highest order.“

The Citation for his Mention in Despatches has not been traced.

It is hoped to add more information on Pte Cawton's service.