Cpl Jean Donat Laloge, 10th Field Squadron, Military Medal


The Squadron was then moved back towards Naples to the city of Caserta. Again, bridging and mine training, rest and maintenance, as well as planning for the Liri Valley operation occupied their time until mid-May when the 5th Armoured Division started moving forward to the Hitler Line. The time was punctuated by movement, waiting, movement, and waiting. Crossings were built and mines were lifted. Sapper patrols went well behind enemy lines. Men were killed and many wounded. Two members of the 10th Field Squadron were decorated for bravery – Corporal J.D. Laloge, MM and Sapper H.E. Anstie, MM. 



On the morning of the 26th May 1944, Corporal Laloge was in command of a party of Engineers from his unit advancing west towards Ceprano when a crater was encountered in the road which the tanks of "A" Squadron, 5 Canadian Armoured Regiment (8th New Brunswick Hussars), who were immediately behind, were unable to negotiate. There was no way around due to the extensive mines and the difficult nature of the ground. Without thought of the risk involved from the heavy and well-aimed enemy mortar and shell fire which was landing within 50 yards of the crater, Corporal Laloge immediately went ahead and, with his two sappers, climbed out of the "Honey" tank which they were in and which had suffered several hits from shell splinters, and coolly laid charges against the steep banks of the obstacle and blew a diversion.

This Non-Commissioned Officer demonstrated a very high standard of courage and devotion to duty during the above act. He realized that no obstacle could be allowed to remain in the path of either the tanks or the Irish Regiment of Canada who the latter were supporting and, despite the danger from the shelling all around him, he deliberately exposed himself to lay his charges and clear the way for the leading troops. His initiative and prompt action was of material assistance to the forward drive of the Irish Regiment of Canada at this stage of the battle.