Chindit Awards - British Empire Medal

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Corporal (acting) Reginald French BEM

[Transcript of Recommendation of Award]

British Empire Medal - Chindits Awards


14th Infantry


3rd Indian


1st Bn The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment

Date of Recommendation

10 Aug 44

Regtl. No.


Rank and Name

Private Reginald French

Action for which recommended -

Pte. French has been employed as the Regimental Medical Officer's orderly for four years. During this time he has worked hard and gained the confidence of the men in the battalion.

At the start of this campaign on 1st April 1944 he was employed as Medical Orderly to 16 Column and assisted the R.A.M.C. Staff. Within two weeks the serjeant RAMC of the medical detachment became sick. Pte. French was called on to perform his duties.

On the 4th May 1944 the Column Medical Officer was evacuated. There was no hesitation in requesting Pte. French to undertake the duties of Column Medical Officer. As such he was responsible for the medical attention of four hundred officers and other ranks. For three weeks Pte. French alone carried the heavy burden of the physical well being of his Column. During that period he attended battle casualties and sick casualties. He had to frequently treat malaria cases involving the injection of intra-venous quinine and two patients were kept under morphina, owing to severe gun shot wounds.

This private soldier, without special medical training, performed a task, unflinchingly, the responsibility for which is usually only entrusted to a King's Commissioned Medical Officer. The physical fatigue was no whit less than his heavy responsibility. It meant that for three weeks he marched throughout the day and dispensed the necessary treatment during rest periods and on occasions right through the night.

I have no doubt in my mind that many men owe their present well-being and maybe their lives to the exceptional devotion to dutyof this private soldier. He was called upon to carry out a task far greater than one expected of a man of his standard of training and rank. The success he achieved is reflected in the health of the members of his Column. Morale, in the L.R.P. type of operations, is largely dependant on the individual being assured that when sick or wounded, he will receive the best and most devoted medical attention. The morale of 16 Column has neve flagged.

Recommended By


(Signed) T.Brodie

Honour or Reward

British Empire Medal (Military Division)

Signed By

W. Lentaigne, Major General
Comd Special Force

G. Giffard, General
C-in-C 11 Army Group

(London Gazette 26.4.45)