A/Sgt Richard Terhorst, 1st Field Company, Military Medal

Background 

From the time that 1 Canadian Infantry Division began operations against the Gothic Line in August 1944 until the cessation of hostilities in Holland in May 1945 the work of Acting Sergeant Terhorst with 1 Canadian Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers has been outstanding. In the battles for the Rimini airport this Non-Commissioned Officer and his section removed prepared charges from the Marecchia bridge which had been captured intact. This bridge was vital to the success of the attack in progress, for now tanks could safely cross and give aid to the harassed infantry. On 13 December 1944 this Non-Commissioned Officer was Platoon Sergeant of a platoon engaged in building a Bailey bridge across the Fosso Vecchio Canal. The enemy, realizing the importance of this bridge,subjected it to continual and severe shell and mortar fire. Acting Sergeant Terhorst, showing utter contempt for the enemy fire, maintained the morale of the men by continual encouragement and his fine example. As a result the bridge was completed in time for tanks to get forward and help repel a determined enemy counter-attack. In Holland on the night of 11/12 April 1945 this Non-Commissioned Officer's platoon was engaged in constructing a raft on the Ijssel River in support of 2 Canadian Infantry Brigade. Work was being continually interrupted by heavy shell fire causing casualties. By refusing to take cover himself Acting Sergeant Terhorst so inspired his men to further efforts that the raft was completed three hours before first light. His outstanding personal courage has always been such an example to his men that difficult and extremely hazardous tasks have been performed by his platoon in record time, assisting and speeding the advance of 1 Canadian Infantry Division.