On 4 Jul 44 when the regiment was under command of 2nd Polish Corps, ‘B’ Squadron were cooperating with the Polish infantry in an attack on BADIA ridge, south of ANCONA.

Tpr Crewes was the driver of the Tp Leader’s tank which was leading the attack.

This tank went right through the enemy position and down the ridge on the far side when it was hit by an AP shell, killing the commander, Lt JCR Type, the gunner, and the operator.

Tpr Crewes immediately realised that the turret had been hit, and as the guns had stopped firing and he was some distance behind the enemy lines, and thinking that medical aid was needed urgently by the men in the turret, he therefore decided to withdraw when the tank was hit again.

He refused to give in, however, and managed to keep the tank going, despite been wounded in the head and neck and having his sight obscured by blood. Finally the tank was hit again, causing it to burst into flames.

Tpr Crewes and the co-driver had to bale out and were taken prisoner. Whilst being marched away they saw their Tp Sgt’s tank (commanded by Sgt Andrews) approaching. Although in enemy hands, Tpr Crewes signaled to Sgt Andrews by waving, not to come any further, and it was due to his quick action that this tank stopped and was saved from being knocked out or falling into enemy hands.

Throughout this action Tpr Crewes showed great coolness, determination, and personal bravery and this is characteristic of his devotion to duty in all the actions in which he has taken part with the regiment.

It has not been possible to forward this citation until now as Tpr Crewes has been a Prisoner of War, and the foregoing facts have only just been brought to my notice.

He is now in the UK, having been repatriated from a POW Camp in Germany.

J Congreve, DSO
7th Hussars

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 7th Hussars
  2. Italy 1943-5 timeline
  3. M3 Stuart ‘Honey’ tank
  4. M4 Sherman tank
  5. Sherman ‘DD’ tank
  6. Battle Honour: Ancona