Lieutenant John Stanley Rannard Shave


Unit : No.6 Section, No.2 Troop, 3rd Parachute Squadron, RE.

Army No. : 229347

Awards : Military Cross


Lieutenant John Shave commanded No.6 Section, whom he led to great effect on D-Day and the subsequent days of difficult fighting. For his actions during this period he was awarded the Military Cross:


This officer dropped at 0050 hours on 6th June near Ranville and was with the party that arrived at the Bures bridges. With his section he {managed} to make a successful demolition of the girder road bridge cutting the span in two places with the minimum amount of explosives. In the subsequent attack on Troarn bridge Lieutenant Shave was in command of a protective detachment which covered the rear of the party into Troarn and their subsequent withdrawal on completion of the task. During 7th and 8th June Lieutenant Shave's section were in defensive positions in a forward area East of Le Mesnil. The enemy were very active in this sector and the positions were continuously under heavy shell and mortar fire. The courage and determination shown by Lieutenant Shave during this period had a great bearing on the successful defence in this area.


At 1800 hours 9th June Lieutenant Shave and his section were detached under command 8th Parachute Battalion in area 141704 for purpose of offensive patrolling in Bures and Troarn area. That night he led a small reconnaissance patrol of 3 other ranks to try to reach Troarn bridge. The patrol passed through the Bois de Bures and located an enemy patrol at the destroyed railway bridge. Moving south to the destroyed road bridge Lieutenant Shave crossed the river and was challenged by some Germans. Lieutenant Shave replied with a 36 grenade killing two and the patrol returned to Battalion.


On the night 11th/12th he again led a similar patrol to the same area. This time two sappers were left at the Bures railway bridge and Lieutenant Shave and Sapper Hurst crossed the River by the wrecked girders of the Railway bridge and proceeded south towards Troarn bridge. An enemy patrol was encountered however and the bridge was not reached. The patrol returned safety in two parties of two. At 0630 hours on 13th June 2 platoons 8th Parachute Battalion and Lieutenant Shave's section attempted to crater road Bavent-Troarn but were met by fire causing casualties to infantry and had to retire. At 2230 hours that night 1 company and 1 platoon and the section RE went out with Commanding Officer 8th Battalion in command and successfully cratered the road and track 166715 with 80lb of PE and returned safely to Battalion. Throughout these many engagements with the enemy Lieutenant Shave's enthusiasm and offensive eagerness has been of a high order.


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