Saturday, October 29, 2011

Signalman George Edward Thomas, MM

Signalman George Edward Thomas

On the evening of 29 April 1945, Signalman George Edward Thomas, of 3rd Canadian Infantry Division Signals, was a member of a cable detachment consisting of a corporal. three linemen and one driver, in two 5-cwt cars. The task of the detachment was to lay a cable from a point on the east bank of the River Ems opposite Weener to a point on the Leda River. It was known that the area was heavily mined, but the provision and maintenance of line communications to the 9th Canadian Infantry Brigade, which was across the River Leda at Leer, and the 7th Canadian Infantry Brigade which was to follow across shortly was imperative.

Before the line was completed. one of the cars blew up on a mine, killing the corporal in charge of the detachment and severely wounding the other two linemen in the vehicle. After seeing that his wounded comrades were attended to, Signalman Thomas took charge of the situation and carried on with the driver to complete the line.

However, upon testing through, it was found to lie broken. By this time, darkness had fallen and it was raining heavily, making visibility very limited. without regard to his personal safety, Signalman Thomas went back over the line, through an area that he knew to be mined and repaired the breaks. He continued to maintain this line throughout that night and all the following day, thus assuring line communications from Headquarters. 3rd Canadian Infantry Division to 7th and 9th Canadian Infantry Brigades at a time when it was most essential to the operation. 

This soldier’s courage, dedication and devotion to duty was an example and inspiration to all ranks of his section and his actions are worthy of the highest traditions of his corps.

For his action. Signalman George Edward Thomas was awarded the Military Medal.

Valour in the victory campaign: the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division gallantry ... By T. Robert Fowler … page 209

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