On the 4 Jan 45 Tpr Purvis was driver of a tank of 4th Tp, ‘A’ Sqn.

The leading tank was knocked out by bazooka fire before reaching its previously selected position. Tpr Purvis, by his skill, negotiated his own tank past the disabled one and made his way into position in the farm yard. This yard is separated for the main farm and is in an isolated position.

During periods when his tank commander was absent, Tpr Purvis, on his own initiative, took over alternatively loader and gunner in the tank. At one period when ammunition was getting low and the enemy had infiltrated on all sides of the farm, Tpr Purvis was observed standing in the driver’s compartment, with head and shoulders exposed, firing his Tommy gun.

During a lull in the fighting he observed his Troop Leader attempting to assist the crew of the disabled tank, and heedless of the fire he crossed the bullet-swept road to assist him. Between them they pulled two men out of the tank, one of whom died and the other was evacuated with the help of PW.

There is no doubt that Tpr Purvis, by his skill in attaining the position required for his tank, and the courage and determination throughout the battle even when the situation appeared hopeless, had a very marked effect on the course of the battle and prevented the enemy from overrunning the farm and the garrison which were in it.

Enemy losses in this action amounted to approx 80 killed and wounded, of which many bodies were lying close beside Tpr Purvis’ tank, and 37 PW.

Commanding Officer
4th Hussars

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