Military Cross citation for Capt Eric Woodman

For outstanding leadership and gallantry in action from 6th June 1944 to 8th May 1945. During this period he made two operational parachute descents behind the German lines and was in the forefront of practically every action fought by the battalion during the period. His contribution to the battalion's effort over this prolonged period has been beyond all praise. He performed countless acts all worthy of the highest praise. Three typical ones are cited.

During the difficult period of holding, which followed the Normandy drop on 6th June 1944, Captain Woodman was commanding a company; his splendid example and cheerfulness under any circumstances acted as a tonic to his men. His own gallantry under fire inspired them. At the end of this period he was the only officer left in the company but the morale of his men was, if possible, even higher than it had been at the beginning.

In August 1944, during the follow-up, he led an extremely successful company patrol action which was almost a model of what such action should be. His personal gallantry during this was again outstanding.

On 7th/8th April 1945, the company of which he was Second-in-Command, made the assault on the bridge at Neustadt. Woodman led the assault troops himself and kicked at the explosive charge as he passed them and succeeded in severing some of the fuses. The bridge was blown as the troops were crossing, and heavy casualties were suffered. Woodman, with a dozen men only and himself wounded, managed not only to rout the enemy garrison, but also to hold a small but most valuable bridgehead until reinforcements could be got over to him the following morning. He also managed to organise first aid for his many serious casualties even though no medical orderlies had crossed the bridge in his party.

He was eventually evacuated with his own wounds but returned to the battalion within three weeks and took up his appointment again.

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