John Robertson

Staff member
Malcolm James
  • UNIT
G Squadron
  • RANK
Sergeant (MM), Captain (MBE)
23878966, 508695
Military Medal, Member of the Order of the British Empire
Dhofar 1972 (MM), Northern Ireland 1st November 1981 - 31st January 1982 (MBE)
parent regiment Royal Signals
for relief of Mirbat
Remarks of R. F. Semple Brigadier on 15th March 1972
"His exceptional all round performance was an inspiration and example to all. His coolness and determination under fire was a great morale booster to those serving with him."
London Gazette 49020, 14th June 1982, Page 7885 (MBE)


Military Medal :
(ii) Date of action or period covered by the citation February 1971 to December 1971
(iii)How employed Signal Troop Commander
(iv) Other detail - See attached sheet

REES was in the Middle East from February, 1971 until December 1971. For the first 4 months he was employed on Operation INTRADON. At the time of his arrival the operation had developed into an information gathering and 'hearts and minds' campaign. Small patrols were scattered across the Musandas peninsular which was believed still to contain hostile elements. A standby force was at instant readiness in case any patrols had contacts. REES was in charge of the communications which were naturally vital. It was very largely as a result of his personal example and devotion to duty that these communications were kept open during the entire operation thus ensuring its success. On numerous occasions he was left in charge of the base, having at these times to make important tactical and administrative decisions far beyond those normally expected of a soldier of his rank.

At the end of 'INTRADON' REES remained in Sharjah to close down the communications base and then went to Masirah to open a new base. Both of these difficult tasks he accomplished outstandingly well. He rejoined G Squadron on their arrival in Salalah for operation 'STORM'. For the initial six weeks of this operation he was responsible for the setting up and running of the communications which were more complex and important than any the squadron required before. Again REES showed a dedication far above the call of duty and the communications worked outstandingly well.

However it was during the last 2½ months of the operation that REES showed all his outstanding qualities of leadership and courage. He was in contact with the enemy during the entire period, refusing to leave the Jebel at any time because he realised that his job for maintaining signals communications was vital to the conduct of the operations. For the first six weeks of this 2½ months there was hardly a day when he was not under fire from small arms, machine guns, mortars or RCLs. At all times he displayed remarkable coolness and the greatest personal courage. On one occasion when Sgt Moores, who was a member of the group he was with, had been fatally wounded his calm and unemotional appreciation of the situation did a great deal to steady and direct his comrades. On another he displayed personal gallantry far beyond the call of duty when a section was badly pinned down. REES, although under heavy fire himself, so positioned and controlled a GPMG that the section was able to extract itself for the loss of only one firqat wounded. REES by this action earning the praise of British and Arab alike. On numerous occasions he was to be seen advancing forward under fire and throughout was an inspiration to all ranks.

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