Sergeant Binnick at Arnhem

Sergeant Norman Binnick


Unit : No.1 Platoon, 21st Independent Parachute Company

Army No. : 4752181

Awards : Military Medal


Sergeant "Sonny" Binnick was a founder member of the 21st Independent Parachute Company, and during the initial training period he was granted the rare honour of retaining his rank, whereas most others had to resign theirs and become private soldiers. He was made Platoon Sergeant of No.1 Platoon and served them in this capacity throughout the war. For his actions during the Battle of Arnhem, Sergeant Binnick was awarded the Military Medal:


On the 22nd September 1944, the above Sergeant with the assistance of another N.C.O. salvaged a 3" mortar which had been abandoned in no mans land. This they immediately brought into action against a concentration of enemy in their platoon front with great effect. Their position was soon spotted by the enemy who opened a heavy fire on them. However Sergeant Binnick continued to operate until his assistant was killed and the mortar destroyed. On the 23rd September 1944 a shell burst in the room in which he was directing operations, severely wounding him in the back and causing both his arms to become paralysed. Despite of this he continued to encourage his men and direct fire on the enemy, refusing to give up until he had led them {No.1 Platoon} back safely over the river on the night of 25th September 1944. His example, courage, though in great pain, encouraged his men in their arduous fight against almost overwhelming odds.


In May 1945, Binnick, together with the other two Platoon Sergeants of the Company, left the Company to undergo officer training, all three were successful.


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