Lt. Alec Horwood, in the C.B.I. Theatre

Lt. Alec George Horwood, Victoria Cross; Queen's Royal West Surrey Reg., British Army

Lt. Alec George Horwood, Victoria Cross; Queen’s Royal West Surrey Reg., British Army

As the Japanese prepared for a major assault through north Burma into India, the British were attempting a more aggressive approach into occupied Burma. The fighting was conducted in dense jungle where the Japanese strong points were well concealed – and they fought to the death.

As a Sergeant in the 6th Battalion The Queen’s Royal Regiment Alec Horwood had been captured at Dunkirk but had escaped as they were being escorted through Antwerp, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. After being Commissioned he was attached to the 1st Battalion The Northamptonshire Regiment and he now found himself in the jungle fighting of Burma:

Queen's Royal West Surrey Regimental badge.

Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regimental badge.

At Kyauchaw on 18th January 1944, Lieutenant Horwood accompanied the forward company of The Northamptonshire Regiment into action against a Japanese defended locality with his forward mortar observation post.

Throughout that day he lay in an exposed position which had been completely bared of cover by concentrated air bombing and effectively shot his own mortars and those of a half troop of another unit while the company was maneuvering to locate the exact position of the enemy bunkers and machine-gun nests. During the whole of this time Lieutenant Horwood was under intense sniper, machine-gun, and mortar fire, and at night he came back with most valuable information about the enemy.

On 19th January, he moved forward with another company and established an observation post on a precipitous ridge. From here, while under continual fire from the enemy, he directed accurate mortar fire in support of two attacks which were put in during the day. He also carried out a personal reconnaissance along and about the bare ridge, deliberately drawing the enemy fire so that the fresh company which he had led to the position, and which was to carry out an attack, might see the enemy positions.

Lieutenant Horwood remained on the ridge during the night 19th-20th January and on the morning of 20th January shot the mortars again to support a fresh attack by another company put in from the rear of the enemy. He was convinced that the enemy would crack and volunteered to lead the attack planned for that afternoon.

He led this attack with such calm resolute bravery, that the enemy were reached and while standing up in the wire, directing and leading the men with complete disregard to the enemy fire which was then at point blank range, he was mortally wounded.

on patrol in Burma, 1944

on patrol in Burma, 1944

By his fine example of leadership on the 18th, 19th and 20th January when continually under fire, by his personal example to others of reconnoitering, guiding and bringing up ammunition in addition to his duties at the mortar observation post, all of which were carried out under great physical difficulties and in exposed positions, this officer set the highest example of bravery and devotion to duty which all ranks responded to magnificently.

The cool, calculated actions of this officer, coupled with his magnificent bearing and bravery which culminated in his death on the enemy wire, very largely contributed to the ultimate success of the operation which resulted in the capture of the position on the 24th January.

London Gazette
30th March 1944

Information from WWII Today.

Click on images to enlarge.

#####################################################################################

Military Humor –

aaa5

 

 

morale

#####################################################################################

Farewell Salutes –

Stuart Boze – Genesee, MI; US Army Air Corps, WWII, PTO, 11th Airborne Division

Vincent Chatfield – Plimmerton, NZ; RNZ Army # 537217, WWII

They all stand together.

They all stand together.

Andrew Clement – Quincy, MA; US Navy, Djibouti (Op. Enduring Freedom), Petty Officer

Donald Morris – Moore, OK; US Army, WWII/ US Air Force, Korea

Francis John Pound – Winnipeg, CAN; Royal Canadian Navy, WWII, KIA

John Quinn – Indianapolis, IN; US Army, WWII, Purple Heart

Harmon Smith – Chester, SC; US Army Air Corps, WWII, Korea

Calvin Tackett – Longview, TX; US Army, WWII

Paul VanLuvender – Scranton, PA; US Navy, WWII, USS Melvin

Raymond Walters – Trenton, NJ; US Navy, WWII

###################################################################################

Advertisements

About GP Cox

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GPCox is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on June 23, 2016, in Uncategorized, WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 71 Comments.

  1. The father of a friend of mine served with Horwood in the Northamptons. The stories he told about bad rations and rotten boots always made me think they deserved a decoration just for continuing to fight in those conditions.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy reading the citations of Victoria Cross recipients, their exploits and Deeds show great insight into the Soldier, Lt. Alec George Horwood’s is no exception.
    Cheers.

    Like

  3. What annoys and sickens me to some extent with this GP is the obvious “Class” distinction as shown by the British/English.
    On his escape after being captured at Dunkirk he was awarded the DCM, had he have then been an officer and a gentleman instead of merely a seargent he would have received the DSO, the Distinguished Service Order. The DCM is the highest award for what they like to call ”other ranks’ and is second to the VC,
    The VC does not distinguish between rank; and takes precedance over every other award.
    All ranks from Admirals, FieldMarshalls, Marshall of the RAF, and members of the Royal familywhen in uniform are required to come to attention and salute the holder of a Victoria Cross.

    Just a bit of useless ifo for your readers GP

    Like

  4. Wonderful writing! I have been watching ARCH and following the war following Pearl Harbor. Our troops endured a living hell in the fight with Japan but tenacity and bravery prevailed. Thank you Brad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My inadequate knowledge of this time come from a simple exercise a scout troop took on when we lived on Fort Ord. All of the streets in our housing area were named after the battles of this time.

    Like

  6. So many lives sacrificed on freedom’s altar… America needs to break the chains we put on ourselves; the gross negligence of what it took in establishing our country.
    How many remember all of our national anthem? It took several searches to find this on YouTube –
    https://partneringwitheagles.wordpress.com/2016/06/24/the-star-spangled-banner-as-written-by-francis-scott-key/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for including our anthem. So very true in your statements. Our boys die for countries where their own men refuse to step up and fight for their homes and families.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. An excellent post, we don’t chose to be heroes of this sort, fate and the situation at hand throws us into the thick of it, In the final analysis, it’s how we react in those last moments that determines how history views us. This is the legacy of a man who had the courage to weather the storm right up to the final moment!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. An extraordinarily brave gentleman!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. The cartoon reminded me of how important furloughs must have been to those in the military no matter what the war.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. My salute to a true hero.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. A great story of a man I would not have heard of without your blog. Your work informs all of us who research this field.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Glad to know of the heroism of Lt Horwood. Thanks GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. What a heroic soldier! Thanks for sharing this story of his bravery, GP.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. An incredible story of bravery. One of the war’s many.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is a very inspirational story. I think some men must have just felt so strongly about a mission, that they placed success way beyond their own life. It’s amazing to think of how much that contributed.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. What a interesting story and such courage while being under constant attack. Sorry to hear that he died. Smiling at the humor section and all those phone number..lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. A moving tribute to a brave soldier and officer. One of many stories of individual heroism from that bitter campaign.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Man, I wouldn’t miss reading your posts! I am in awe over this hero.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Good article, I’ve read very little about the Burma campaign, so learning a lot. I clicked on the picture of the patrol in a flooded area – – does the lead soldier have a grenade-launcher on his Enfield? (Or is it something else) Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. It was great, right up until he just had to spearhead that attack, instead of coordinating it from the ridge, and got himself killed. What… is it about “discretion” that couldn’t have told him “you’ve risked enough” ? All the things he’d done; yet he kept rolling the proverbial dice.
    Reminds me of the quote “Uncommon valor was a common virtue”

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Great CBI story about a true hero.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Quite a leader. Very sad to read that he died. But he died a hero for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. The British 14th Army fought a long and difficult war, but were justified in calling themselves “the Forgotten Army” …

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Really Amazing Story of Gallantry. Thanks for Sharing GP. This makes me want to jump ahead in my research and jump into the China/Burma/India Theater right now!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It took me a long time to get into it and I really can’t say that I have done it as intensely as it deserves. Somehow, I did end up in the acknowledgements for a book by Hilary Constance Green at ‘The Green Writing Room’. I felt that was quite an honor.

      Like

  25. Thank you, Andrew.

    Like

  1. Pingback: My Article Read (6-24-2016)–(7-1-2016) – Br Andrew's Muses

  2. Pingback: My Article Read (6-24-2016)–(7-1-2016) – My Daily Musing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: