RSM John Siely


Unit : Headquarters, 1st Airlanding Light Regiment

Army No. : 818590

Awards : Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.


This Warrant Officer has been Regimental Sergeant Major of this Regiment since its formation in February, 1943. Throughout the period the Regiment was under training in North Africa and was fighting in Italy, this Warrant Officer, by his personal example, strict discipline and attention to detail, was greatly responsible for raising the efficiency and discipline of the unit to a very high level. During the recent operations at Arnhem he was continually on duty throughout the 9 days of the operation relieving the adjutant when necessary. He continually exposed himself to enemy fire whilst inspecting the local defence of Regimental Headquarters and was largely responsible for maintaining the morale of Regimental Headquarters personnel at a very high level. During the withdrawal across the river Lek, when signs of panic appeared amongst the men, he worked courageously and untiringly to keep proper order and discipline. He continued to do this until long after daylight and only attempted to save himself by swimming the river when ordered to do so. His smartness and discipline have at all times been a fine example to Officers and men of this Regiment.


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