Spr Joseph Roger Royal Whelan, 3rd Field Company, Military Medal

Sgt Joseph Roger Royal “Roy” Whelan, MM (Ret’d)
Military Medal GVIR

Sapper Whelan's Military Medal was awarded by King George VI at Buckingham Palace. After the war, Roy became a civil servant with the External Affairs Department with assigned postings to Rome, Italy, Beirut, Lebanon, and London, England. He was an avid golfer and played into his 90s.

Sergeant Joseph Roger Royal "Roy" Whalen (Ret'd) died in Ottawa on 4 April 2017.  His Last Post entry is at https://cmea-agmc.ca/spr-joseph-roger-royal-roy-whelan-mm-retd.



On 19 September 1944 a party of 3 Field Company, Royal Canadian Engineers was making a reconnaissance of the River Ausa in the area Map Reference 849939, with a view to establishing a crossing over which to pass the tanks supporting 2 Canadian Infantry Brigade's proposed assault on the Fortunato Ridge. C.2087 Sapper Joseph Roger Royal Whelan was a member of this party.

At about 0830 hours the reconnaissance party made its way forward of the Forward Defended Localities and reached the south bank of the river. Uncalled for smoke in the area by our own troops brought down heavy mortar and machine gun fire from the enemy. Before examination of the crossing could proceed it was necessary to search and clear an adjacent house, from which the fire appeared to be directed. With complete disregard for his own safety, Sapper Whelan undertook this task, and successfully cleared the house, capturing five prisoners.

His seizing the initiative and his bold action carried out in a most resolute manner enabled the reconnaissance to be successfully completed and ensured the final success of the entire operation.