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L/Bombardier Les Pring MM

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by GRW, Mar 18, 2022.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
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    Stirling, Scotland
    "Tributes have been paid to a D-Day hero who single-handedly saved a Normandy village following his death aged 98.
    Lance Bombardier Les Pring passed away at his home in Bath, Somerset surrounded by family, his daughter Alison Currall confirmed.
    And while relatives have honoured the 'wonderful' great-grandfather who devoted his later life to family and friends, veterans have saluted his achievements in WW2, something he 'never spent any time talking about'.
    Pring, who landed on Gold Beach in 1944, held off Nazi forces for several hours while holed up in a church bell tower in St Honorine La Chardronnette, France.
    The then 22-year-old was the last man standing after the remaining members of his brigade were lost in the action following D-Day.
    He spent several hours firing at the advancing enemy until support arrived. His remarkable rearguard prevented the village of over 700 people from being re-occupied by the Nazis...
    ...L/Bdr, who served in the 128th Highland Regiment, fought with distinction as the Allies advanced westwards across France and into Germany.
    He worked in a fishery before the war and in later life he married Betty, who he met at a dance, and worked as a regional manager with Mac Fisheries.
    They moved to Bath where he became involved with the Bristol Normandy Veterans and played golf and bowls.
    Pring received a Military Medal for his 'disregard for his own safety' to defend the village from Nazi reoccupation.
    He died following a long period of deteriorating health surrounded by family at his home in Bath, Somerset."
    Kai-Petri likes this.
  2. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

    Jan 5, 2013
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    London UK
    A few years ago I met one of Pring's fellow Highland Gunners in the hospital bed next to my late father in law in the Northern General in Sheffield.

    His citation states: 'In the second attack on St Honorine in June 1944 he remained on duty in a very precarious church tower which received several direct hits while he was there.
    'His coolness in passing fire orders under these conditions gave invaluable help to the defeat of several determined counter attacks.
    '...His total disregard for his own safety and his gallantry under fire were an inspiration to all ranks.'

    He was an OP Assistant or Signaler. His action took place in the second of these actions.

    Op 'Smock'
    On 13 June, 152nd Brigade (less the 5th Seaforths attached to the 153rd Infantry Brigade), supported by 4th Armoured Brigade, with the 128th Field Regiment in direct support, began Operation Smock to take the villages of Sainte-Honorine-la-Chardonne and Démouville, thus breaking out of the bridgehead to the south and east of Caen. The 5th Camerons were to take the former and the 2nd Seaforth the latter. The Camerons concentrated around Ranville and attacked on the morning of 13 June with the artillery fire plan starting at 0400 with one battery preparing 210 rounds per gun, but firing more than 1,500. The Germans reacted quickly and dropped a heavy artillery bombardment on the Scots’ start line, causing the attack to be delayed. The 128th Field Regiment suffered twenty-one casualties from bombing. The attack was initially successful but a German counter-attack forced the 152nd Brigade back to the start line, with two FOOs wounded.
    Baldwin, Frank. Gunners in Normandy . The History Press. Kindle Edition.

    Op ‘Perth’
    Operation Perth Operation Perth was an attack by 51st Division on Sainte-Honorine on 23 June to be carried out by 5th Camerons of 152nd Brigade, supported by a squadron of 13th/18th Hussars and the artillery of the 3rd and 51st Divisions, 4th AGRA, 150th Field Regiment, as well as cruisers and fighter and medium bombers. The battalion attacked before dawn on 23 June, eschewing a preliminary bombardment to achieve surprise, and captured the village by 0830 hrs. Reinforced by a company of 2nd Seaforths, and assisted by artillery fire, they were able to beat off counter-attacks by Kampgruppe Luck.
    Baldwin, Frank. Gunners in Normandy . The History Press. Kindle Edition.

    Much of the Mail account is nonsense. Sadly I missed Pring's action in Gunners in Normandy. I went through the WP 373 medal rolls but must have missed the Dec 1946 list.
    GRW and Kai-Petri like this.
  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

    Jul 31, 2002
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    Cheers and thanks, Guys, for this info!!!

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