Chindit Awards - Distinguished Service Order

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Captain (temporary Major) D.G.C. Whyte D.S.O.

[Transcript of Recommendation of Award]

Distinguished Service Order - Chindits Awards


111 Ind Inf


3rd Indian


Royal Army Medical Corps, 111 Ind Inf Bde

Date of

28th May 1944

Regtl. No.


Rank and Name

T/Major Desmond Gilbert Cromie Whyte

Action for which recommended -

Major Whyte as S.M.O. of 111 Ind Inf Bde was Comd. M.D.S. 'BLACKPOOL' from 7th to 25th May.

During this period the fortress was under continual attack by enemy infantry, mortars, MGs, artillery and aircraft. The garrison suffered 450 casualties all of which passed through the M.D.S. The M.D.S. was hit several times by shell fire and patients killed. Continuous rain made conditions for patients and doctors bad. There was a chronic and continual shortage of all medical stores.

Evacuation of a proportion of patients was carried out from an airstrip, on at least two occasions under enemy fire. Major WHYTE supervised the evacuation.

Throughout this period Major WHYTE showed complete disregard of his personal safety and gave a superb and sustained example of cheerfulness and courage. He treated patients in his M.D.S. and went out on shell and MG swept slopes to collect them and treat them. He was at all times efficient.

On 25 May when 'BLACKPOOL' was evacuated, he organised the evacuation of 180 wounded, including 18 stretcher cases. During the evacuation 12 patients and stretcher bearers were killed in the immediate vicinity of Major WHYTE, who continued his work as if nothing was happening.

From 25th to 29th May, Major WHYTE organised the carriage, movement, and treatment of 180 wounded men, mostly without equipment, blankets or cover of any kind, with inadequate medical equipment , over 18 miles of muddy mountain track in continuous pouring rain, without food.

This Officer's continuous courage and cheerfulness was an inspiration to the wounded, many of whom would have succumbed but for him and the other Bde medical Officers.

Throughout the period reviewed, i.e. 7th to 29th May, Major WHYTE has shown a spirit and courage beyond all praise, and his total disregard of personal safety was an inspiration to all.

(Signed) J.Masters, Major,
A/Comd. 'Profound' 28-5-44.

Recommended By


Honour or Reward

Recommended for Victoria Cross, awarded Distinguished Service Order

Signed By

D.D.C. Tulloch Brig.

W. Lentaigne, Major General
Comd 3 Ind.Div.

W.J.Slim Lieut-Gen
G.O.C-in-Chief, Fourteenth Army

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

(London Gazette 05.10.1944)

Further Recommendations for the Victoria Cross, Major D.G.C. Whyte, RAMC

Citation by Lieut.Col. W.P.Scott, DSO, MC.

Major WHYTE was S.M.O. 111 Bde from 7 - 25 May '44 at BLACKPOOL.

It was my privilege to meet him first on 9 May. From this time I saw him many times during this hard period, several times going out to the airfield under shell fire and get his casualties evacuated by aeroplane, and often on the shell swept slopes of the 'BLACKPOOL' ridges, collecting, attending to, and carrying wounded. His personal courage and total disregard for his own safety proved an inspiration not only to his own mediacl staff and wounded, but also to the officers and men whose job was to fight and defend BLACKPOOL.

At times like this, of most men one does expect acts of bravery, but seldom could a man put up such a sustained and prolonged demonstration of courage.

Major WHYTE's personal example, during the short time I have known him, is a credit not only to his profession and country but to mankind in general.

(Signed) W.P.Scott, Lieut-Col.

Citation by Major T.H.Henfrey, Actg B.M. 111 Ind. Inf. Bde.

Major Whyte was in command of the CLYDESIDE/BLACKPOOL garrision medical services from 7th May to 29th May 1944.

During this period his hospital was one of the chief targets of enemy artillery, being finally blown in. Not dismayed, Major WHYTE set up another, which in turn received full artillery attention.

On several occasions when his junior M.Os were busy, he left his M.D.S. and under heavy shell and MMG fire went forward to treat the wounded.

It is difficult to single out any particular action of Major WHYTE's for mention. His record is one of superb and sustained gallantry over the whole period which set an example of complete disregard of his own safety to the whole garrison and proved a great encouragement to us all.

(Signed) T.H. Henfrey, Major., Actg B.M. 111 Bde. Field, 29 May '44.

Citation by Capt. (The Revd) T. Hawthorn, C.F.

During the CLYDESIDE/BLACKPOOL engagement, I was intimately associated as Chaplain with the Medical services and with the M.D.S. in particular. I had therefore, a unique opportunity for observing the conduct of the S.M.O. Major WHYTE. To see him at work was to feel the inspiration of a grand personality. In addition to transcending apparently insuperable obstacles in the way of inadequate equipment, mounting casualties, and the steady discouragement of rain and mud and filth, Major WHYTE, by his infectious enthusiasm, stirred us all to greater effort than any of us deemed possible. Everyone who came into contact with him took better heart, the wounded, the dying, his medical officers and orderlies. His personal courage was beyond question, his cheerfulness our best asset, and by the evacuation of the block all these qualities were evinced to the full. He supervised personally the carriage of the stretchers from the M.D.S. along the congested line of withdrawal, not leaving himself until every one was out. That there was not a trace of panic was in my opinion due in large measure to his coolness and control. Then in the incredibly disheartening trek across the hill tracks his organising power and infectious courage not only ensured the well being of the sick but gave them the will to go on living.

Major WHYTE is worthy of the highest approval from the highest point of view as the pattern of the 'beloved physician' and a very gallant gentleman.

(Signed) T. Hawthorn, C.F.