GVI Distinguished Conduct Medal to 827399 SJT W Sargent RA / For Burma
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Correctly impressed – 827399 SJT. W. Sargent. R.A.
Condition VF (edge bruising under service number and above the last letter in surname)
Provenance – DNW July 28th 1993.
Sergeant William Sargent served with the 129th ( Lowland Field Regt Royal Artillery.
The 129th Field Regiment, a Territorial formation, was part of 17th Indian Light Division, which was screening the Fort White area of the border with Burma. The regiment famously rigged 25 pounders with jeep axles to get a battery near the Kennedy peak summit. Supposedly the highest Battery of the war. They provided fire support to infantry patrols in February and early March. They were changed to a defensive role when the Japanese launched operation U-Go on March 15th to occupy Imphal and Kohima. The Japanese 33rd Division was assigned to cut off 17th Indian Division. After several actions involving defensive blocks, the Division withdrew to the Imphal Plain largely intact.
Sargent was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for his actions at Kennedy Peak.
The original recommendation reads;
KENNEDY PEAK - March 11th 1944. An outstanding example of courage and devotion to duty and an inspiration to all ranks. For 20 consecutive days the Battery in which Sgt. Sargent was No. 1 of a 25 pdr. gun was subjected to periods of heavy shelling both by day and night, causing casualties. Sgt. Sargent's gun was straddled on many occasions, and his position finally hit. Through this whole period Sgt. Sargent showed complete indifference to enemy shell fire and by his example of continued fearlessness exerted a most encouraging and steadying influence on the whole Battery under trying circumstances.'