1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment 1944-45 - Awards and Citations
Captain, T/Major Archibald John GUTCH (64608)
In July 1944 ‘Johnnie’ Gutch as he liked to be known, was recommended for an Immediate Military Cross by the Commanding Officer Lieut.-Col. A. R. Harrison for his actions at Mouen, France.
Military Cross (London Gazette 10th October 1944)
“On 29th June 1944 this Officer was commanding the left and assaulting Company during the attack on Mouen.
Soon after leaving the start line, he was wounded by shrapnel in the back. He refused to stop to have his wounds attended to or dressed and continued to lead his Company during a difficult house clearing and mopping up operation.
Two of his Platoon Commanders were wounded as was his CSM but this did not deter him. He personally supervised the clearing up of this area and the consolidation of his Company. Only when this was successfully completed did he allow himself to receive treatment and later to be evacuated.
By his personal leadership and example to the Assault Company, he contributed materially in the successful operation on MOUEN.”
Major A. J. Gutch
Johnnie Gutch was born in Pembroke on the 25th July 1914. He was commissioned into The Worcestershire Regiment in January 1935 and joined the 1st Battalion in Aldershot. He went to Palestine with the Battalion in 1938, but was invalided home after a severe bout of jaundice in 1939. After one and a half years at Norton Barracks he was posted to the 11th Battalion as Adjutant in 1941. When the 11th Battalion merged with the 1st Battalion Cadre in January 1943 and became the new 1st Battalion, he took over command of ‘C’ Company and landed with them in France in June 1944.
In the Battalion attack on Mouen, France on 29th June 1944, ‘C’ Company was the left hand leading Company. After clearing their part of the village of enemy, the Company reached its objective beyond. Johnnie was badly wounded in this attack and was losing a lot of blood. He refused to be evacuated until he was satisfied with his Company position and had made certain that his platoons were sited exactly to his liking. It was only then that he was persuaded to go back for medical treatment.
After the war he served in the Sudan before retiring on the 12th February 1949. He and his wife Joan then ran a hill farm on the east side of Dartmoor.
Johnnie died at Exeter Hospital on 18th December 1988, age 74.
Sgt. V. Smyth, CQMS R. Pawling, Capt. D. Y. Watson, Major A. J. Gutch, CSM H. Burton
('C' Company - April 1944)