Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Cambridge & Bethnal Green Boys Club, the club that produced heroes

Photo shows: Left is my brother Mick, also a hero in my eyes, to the right is Donnie

As a young teenager in the pre-war years I was a member of the C and B.G Boy's Club.
Every year we hold a re-union and tales are re-told of lads who did more than their share of war-time service.
I have already told the tale of Jack Nissenthal (A2665271) I would now like to tell the story of Donnie Carlton.
Because he is such a reticent character I will have to let the official story speak for itself.


A./CPL. D. CARLTON (10th Battalion), 7th December, 1944: M.M.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty at Monte Rentella. On 21st/22nd June, 1944, Cpl. Carlton was signal corporal of a company which was ordered to seize the feature to the north of Monte Rentella.
On approaching the objective, the company came under heavy machine-gun fire. Cpl. Carlton, however, carrying a heavy load of vital signal equipment, followed his company commander into the assault, and on reaching the position calmly set about establishing communications.
Small-arms, mortar and shell fire was intense and any movement in the open was almost suicidal. Cpl. Carlton, however, volunteered to carry a message down 800 yards of exposed hillside to the reserve company, with whom it had been found impossible to make contact by any other means.
This task accomplished, he immediately set out up the hill again, still under intense fire, and showing an example of personal courage and devotion to duty which was an inspiration to all who witnessed it.
By the time he approached it, however, the company position had been overrun. Cpl. Carlton, however, although a signaller by trade, gathered together the men in the vicinity, organized them as a section and, still under heavy fire, successfully conducted a fighting withdrawal to the reserve company area.
Cpl. Carlton's complete disregard of his own safety and fine qualities of leadership and initiative in a crisis are worthy of the highest commendation and have set a magnificent example to all ranks of the Battalion.

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