CSM Bernard Patrick MacGuinness


Unit : 22nd Independent Parachute Company

Service No. : 122305

Awards : Military Medal


On 9th June 1944 at approximately 1200 hours a patrol led by the late Captain I.A. Tait entered Breville, and was at once heavily engaged by enemy snipers and small arms fire. In this engagement Captain Tait was killed and CSM B.P. MacGuinness had two fingers shot off his left hand. Notwithstanding this CSM MacGuinness took charge of the patrol and ordered a withdrawal, leaving the Bren to give covering fire which he himself controlled, while the remainder of the section retired. After about 40 rounds the Bren became unserviceable. Using then only a Sten gun CSM MacGuinness got the section out of the village, and it was by his example and cool courage that the withdrawal was carried out without further loss.


Bernard MacGuinness was a prominent sportsman within the Armed Forces, holding the title of Army boxing champion for three consecutive years, and also winning tennis tournaments and numerous trophies for discus throwing. He struggled with the injuries that he had sustained during the War in the years thereafter, and as a consequence of this his health began to decline in the 1960's. Bernard MacGuinness died in 1971, at the age of 59.


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