On 15 October 1944 “C” Company of the 48th Highlanders of Canada captured a position approximately 3 miles SE of ORTONA AT MR 642031. The enemy counterattack was repelled with considerable difficulty and it was clear that another counterattack might soon be expected. It was therefore imperative that unit supporting arms be brought forward to strengthen “C” Company’s position. To make this possible the Pioneer Platoon was ordered to sweep clear of mines a road leading to the company.
Serjeant RALPH without hesitation volunteered to clear the road alone and at once commenced sweeping operations. As the stretch of road in questions was under observation, Sergeant RALPH was almost immediately subjected to heavy and persistent concentrations of mortar and shell fire, but nevertheless continued to sweep the road between a point known as PRONTO and the company’s position – a distance of about 200 yards – and removed 22 Box Mines, a large number of which were booby-trapped.
Throughout this operation Serjeant RALPH displayed qualities of the highest merit and heroism. He showed not only a courage and coolness of the highest order but also a concentration of mind and effort at time of extreme personal peril, which aroused the admiration and enthusiasm of all. As a result of his efforts and his spectacular devotion to duty, supporting arms reached “C” Company in the shortest possible time, and with their help the Company was able to form a firm base which withstood all enemy efforts and was in fact used for the immediate and successful continuation of operations.