RSM Robert Dennis Gay


Unit : Battalion HQ, 156th Parachute Battalion

Army No. : 2613715

Awards : Member of the British Empire, Distinguished Conduct Medal.


For RSM Gay's conduct at Arnhem, and as a Prisoner of War, he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. His citation reads:


RSM Gay dropped with his battalion at Arnhem on the 18th September 1944, his coolness and courage and sense of discipline, which no danger could divert, were of first rate importance when the battalion found itself in action even as it began to organise on the ground. During the fighting that day and the next his leadership was conspicuous. On the second day an enemy AFV was harassing him on a road covered by flanking fire from a spandau. Ignoring intense fire from the MG he charged the tank, attracting its attention away from Battalion HQ and trying to put it out of action with a grenade but he was severely wounded in the leg by the tank's machine gun and subsequently made a prisoner.


His conduct as a POW has now been reported on in terms of the highest praise. Once recovered from his wounds he determined that imprisonment would not affect his own standards nor anyone else. The high state of health, spirits and discipline which he assisted RSM Lord {3rd Battalion} to produce in a prison camp is now well known and reflects most adequately the tradition of a regular Grenadier Guardsman and a member of the 1st Airborne Division which RSM Gay represents.


He was later made a Member of the British Empire:


This Warrant Officer has been in the Army for 10 years. He joined Airborne Forces at an early stage in their formation as a Company Sergeant Major and proved himself to be an outstanding Warrant Officer. He joined the Battalion in June 1943 in North Africa as Regimental Sergeant Major. His services to the Battalion have been unrivalled. He has been very loyal and cheerful through every kind of difficulty and has proved himself a first class example to the NCOs of the Battalion.


See also: Maj Powell.


Back to 156th Parachute Battalion

Back to Biographies Menu