Major Clifford Clarence Norbury


Unit : Headquarters 6th Airborne Division

Army No. : 165802

Awards : Military Cross


Major Norbury is Deputy Assistant Quartermaster General of 6th Airborne Division. On 24th March 1945, when the division landed East of the Rhine, both the other Adjutant/Quartermaster Staff Officers who landed were killed. As the sole survivor, Major Norbury had to tackle the double job of setting up Rear Divisional Headquarters and organising the supply of the fighting units.


Rear Divisional Headquarters collected with great difficulty in the area previously allotted to it. There it was the target for heavy enemy fire from guns, mortars and small arms, throughout the day. Thanks largely to Major Norbury's drive and energy the perimeter of the Headquarters was vigorously defended, and the unusual case occurred of an administrative Headquarters playing an important part in the defence and consolidation of the divisional area. Towards evening I [Major-General Bols] ordered a withdrawal to Main Divisional Headquarters which by then was well established. Major Norbury organised this withdrawal with great skill and courage, and carried it out with complete success under the very noses of the enemy.


Shortly after the division landed the first air resupply was dropped. The collection and disposal of commodities was made extremely difficult by vigorous enemy interference and our own heavy casualties. Major Norbury drove his Jeep all over the divisional area with complete disregard for the enemy. He organised the collection of supplies, and visited each Brigade Headquarters to ensure that all was well. A shortage of ammunition at this stage might well have turned the scale against us. It was very largely due to Major Norbury that this was prevented.


This officer showed throughout the day the highest standard of devotion to duty. He refused to allow the enemy fire which was very heavy and widespread, to divert him from his course in the least degree. It was entirely due to him that the divisional administration stood this searching test.


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