Private Harry Geard


Unit : No.13 Platooon, "B" Company, 12th Battalion The Devonshire Regiment.

Service No. : 3532888

Awards : Military Medal


During the night 1st/2nd July 1944 Private Geard was a member of a Platoon detailed to raid an enemy post near Breville. He volunteered to go on this raid which was the third time he had taken part in patrol activity in quick succession.


On approaching the final objective Private Geard saw his Platoon Commander and an NCO charge a Medium Machine Gun which had suddenly opened fire on them. The officer and NCO fell to the ground. Private Geard advanced and threw a Grenade into the German post; the Medium Machine Gun was silenced. At that moment Private Geard received a wound in the foot and was left behind unnoticed when the raiding party withdrew. While lying on the ground a Schmeiser opened fire near him and Private Geard silenced this with a second Grenade. He eventually crawled back to his Company position bringing very valuable information concerning enemy disposition and habits.


Although this story has not been verified, it is said that Harry Geard's foot was saved by a captured German doctor, who struggled against the opinion of his British counterpart who was in favour of amputation. After the war, Geard moved to the Isle of Wight and became a steward aboard a ship. He died during the 1960's and was buried at sea.


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