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Ken Lewis MM

Discussion in 'Roll of Honor & Memories - All Other Conflicts' started by GRW, Mar 27, 2016.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "Ken Lewis, who has died aged 74, won the Military Medal in 1967 in Aden while serving with the Irish Guards.
    “The Micks” had been sent to Aden the previous year to help with counter insurgency operations and it was on the night of April 20 1967 that Lance Corporal (Acting Corporal) Lewis distinguished himself as second in command of an ambush patrol in the Radfan Mountains.
    At about 23.00 hours Lewis heard men approaching. He immediately informed the patrol commander, enabling him to alert the remainder of the patrol. It quickly became obvious to Lewis that the men making the noise were a group of terrorists and that they were heading directly into the patrol’s “killing zone” – the area in which maximum fire would be brought to bear on the approaching enemy.
    As they got nearer, however, they unexpectedly diverged from the anticipated route and away from the patrol commander’s line of fire. So it fell to Lewis, as second in command, to spring the ambush. The leading insurgents, however, were almost on top of his flank. Realising the potential danger, Lewis stood up in full view of the enemy so as to engage them at point blank range.
    Determined to secure his flank and prevent the ambush position from being overrun, while continuing to bring maximum fire to bear on the dissidents, Lewis kept jumping up and down, exposing himself to heavy fire and inspiring his group to fight to what they expected to be “the bitter end”. This did not stop him, however, from relaying details of the men’s movements to the patrol commander so as to give him a clear picture of the overall situation.
    When the patrol commander ordered the ambush position to be abandoned, Lewis helped to ensure the withdrawal happened in an orderly fashion despite heavy follow-up fire from the enemy. He also showed great calmness and firmness at the rendezvous, helping the patrol commander to rally the patrol, which had suffered severe casualties.
    "Throughout the engagement,” the citation to his Military Medal noted, Lewis “displayed outstanding leadership and exceptional courage. The success of the ambush in which four dissidents were reported killed and seven wounded owed much to the gallant and selfless action of this Non-Commissioned Officer.”
    James Kenneth Lewis was born on May 3 1941 in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, and grew up in Belfast. After a period in the Royal Artillery he enlisted into the Irish Guards in 1961."

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