L/Sgt Glen Cuthbert Finch, 12th Fd Coy, Military Medal

Military Medal GVIR
Background 

Glen Finch was born in Winnipeg and served throughout the Second World War with the Royal Canadian Engineers in Italy and Holland.

On the night of 18 September, the 1st Canadian Division forced a crossing over the Ausa River under the accurate fire of German artillery using San Fortunato Ridge as a base.  This was a critical step forward in the advance to the Rimini Line and marked the beginning of a hard fight to take the ridge. Engineer recce parties crossed the river with the assaulting troops. Later an Arc was deployed, along with AVRE dropped fascines, to support a tank crossing. 

To the left of this action, the 12th Fd Coy, brought forward too under command 1st Division Engineers, was assigned the task of checking for and clearing mines in the vicinity of Rimini Airport. 

After the war, Glen married and later moved to Portland, Oregon where he died on 13 January 1989.

Citation 

On 18 September 1944, 12 Canadian Field Company took over Hat Route in the vicinity of Rimini airport. Lance-Sergeant Finch was ordered to take a section to check roads for mines and to check culverts for demolition charges. The main crossings over the Marano and the main road were under heavy enemy fire but nevertheless Sergeant Finch kept his section at work. On arriving at a culvert just north of the crossroads at 877911, Sergeant [sic] Finch found that the culvert was not only prepared for demolitions but the firing leads were still in place. The area in the vicinity of the culvert was heavily mined. Our infantry had been temporarily held up at this point, and were only shallowly deployed just ahead of the site. Sergeant Finch immediately set to work to remove the charges and firing leads, but shortly became [sic] under heavy enemy shell fire. Sergeant Finch withdrew his section 100 yards and when the shelling ceased, returned to his job, only to be driven off again. However, knowing that unless the charges were removed the enemy might infiltrate and blow up the culvert, Sergeant Finch kept his section at work until the job was done. Should the culvert have been blown, a considerable delay in the advance of our armoured vehicles would have occurred, leaving the infantry without their support, without which Rimini airport could not have need taken.

The high standard of this Non-Commissioned Officer's work and leadership has continued throughout operations in Northwest Europe. His reliability and cheerful devotion to duty has been an inspiration to all men under his command.