Sgt. William Wraith MM

(S/N 4687570)

Prt. William Wraith, formerly of the Kings Own Yorks Light Infantry, served with No.6 Commando from, at least, October 1942.  He was recommended to be Mentioned in Dispatches by Lt-Col. Derek Mills-Roberts following the Battle of Steamroller Farm at Fedt et Atia on 26th February 1943.  The citation reads:

‘During the action between No.VI Commando and a Battalion of Herman Goering Jaeger Regiment, Prt. Wraith was in a Section which was moving up a hill under heavy MG and Mortar fire. Prt. Wraith volunteered to lie with the Bren resting on his shoulders so that his Section Commander could engage the enemy in a difficult position on the opposite slope with the gun.  This method proved successful and a complete enemy MG team were destroyed and the gun captured. Prt. Wraith’s perfect discipline and devotion to duty enabled his Section Commander to carry out this difficult task and is worthy of special mention. ’

Later, as a Lance-Sergeant, Bill Wraith served from at least January 1945 as a ‘A’ Sub-Section Sergeant in Capt. Clapton’s No.1 Troop under Sgt. Jack Byrne and Lt. James Halliday following the assault on Maasbracht (Netherlands).

As a Sergeant in No.2 Troop he was awarded the Military Medal on 3rd September 1945 for his actions during his time with the Unit. The citation read:

‘This NCO has served with No.6 Commando throughout the North African and North-West European campaigns and has at all times shown the highest standard of devotion to duty and exemplary courage.  During the recent advance towards the River Elbe, Sgt. Wraith was in charge of a patrol sent forward to gain information about the enemy. On his return a mortar bomb fell close to his patrol seriously wounding one man and inflicting blast injuries on himself which affected his sight.  With his sight failing he nevertheless returned and carried back the wounded man to our own lines under mortar fire.  He then reported to the Intelligence Officer, and in spite of his grave condition, insisted on giving detailed reports of his patrol before being evacuated.

During the period from 12th January to 15th April, Sgt. Wraith has been on 23 patrols many of which he commanded, and on all of them he has shown the greatest example and devotion to duty.  On three separate occassions he has been wounded but in spite of this he always continued to show complete fearlessness and a splendid example to his men in action.’