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 0
Unit Durham Light Infantry, no enlistment date, Trf Black Watch 16/7/1940, Posted 1 TS, Posted ? Bn Black Watch, Class W Army Reserve 2/1/46, "B" Release.
Platoon or other sub-unit
Task or role
Joined Brigade
Prisoner of War
Died/Killed in action 26/3/1979.
Home address Married 9/3/1946 in Winlaton to Miss Linda Brooks. 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 8PL of "A" Coy, This coy had carried out an attack against and 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 Pl 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 Pl. 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 order 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.“

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