SSM Robert Dudley PageDistinguished Conduct Medal Home
Prime source: John Cook, additional details by Gordon Page, Roberts's brother.
Entered Wellingborough Grammar School in 1930 with his brother David.Robert will be 91 in August 2009
1930 Panorama: Robert is immediately between Mr. Clayton and Mr.Hole
David is eighth from right hand front row
Robert Page, and his younger brother David, initially went to Kettering Grammar School. They transferred to Wellingborough when the school first opened. Their parents farmed at Chelvesden
Both boys joined Major Marriot's, Rushden Territorial Army. David, a Raund's motor mechanic, was called up early in 1939. His brother Robert continued to work on the farm until a few days before the war started.
Squadron Sergeant Major Page was in command of C Squadron HQ vehicles when the Squadron HQ vehicles crossed the Albert Canal at KO71043, south of Gheel on September 9th 1944 in offensive operations. The vehicles immediately came under heavy fire and three were hit. SSM Page quickly organised the HQ behind some houses, being continually under machine gun fire while doing so. Soon after, the first Squadron casualties came in. The bridge over the canal by now had been broken and rendered useless by enemy shell fire, but SSM Page got them across by boat, still under constant and heavy fire. After two hours of fighting, the forward troops required ammunition. Owing to the bridge being broken, the ammunition truck was still on the far side of the canal. SSM Page organized the transport of ammunition in a small boat and himself took it forward to the armoured cars. The route was under enemy observation, and he was under heavy mortar and machine gun fire the whole way. His truck was hit three times. Nevertheless he maintained the ammunition supply throughout the whole day until the troops were relieved at dusk.
By his energy, enterprise and great personal courage SSM Page played a large part in the Squadron’s success; his outstanding devotion and example being a great inspiration and encouragement to his comrades during a very trying day.
Robert was not wounded in the exploit but moving all the heavy boxes of ammunition gave him a Hernia. Robert was invalided home and was operated on by Dr.Watson at Wellingborough Cottage Hospital. He subsequently returned to the army.
Photograph of the account and the medal is given below.
SSM Page was not wounded in the exploit but moving all the heavy boxes of ammunition gave him a Hernia. Robert was invalided home where he was operated on by Dr.Watson, a local GP, at Wellingborough Cottage Hospital. SSM Page subsequently returned to the army.
See National Service enlistment experience of Gordon Page below.
The final signature to the award is that of Bernard Montgomery.
Gordon Page (1936)
Gordon left school at Xmas 1940. When called up for National Service, he went for an interview. Before the interview really started, the Sergeant was told his cup of tea was ready, so he told Gordon to wait and left, saying he would only be a short time. When the sergeant had gone Gordon looked at the sheet of paper on his desk and saw that there was a rubber stamp against his name stating Coal Mining. Not wanting this, Gordon crossed it out and wrote RAF. This was accepted by the sergeant and when Gordon went outside and was told to get on the lorry with the other boys, for the army, he said he was for the RAF. The Corporal looked at the list and accepted this – so Gordon went to the RAF.