Private John Southern served in the Defence Platoon, 1st Airlanding Brigade and took part in the Battle of Arnhem, during Op Market Garden.
He was recommended for the award of the Military Medal for his actions during the battle by his brigade commander.
The citation for the award records:
'Pte Southern during the battle of Arnhem from Sept 17th to Sept 25th was largely instrumental in maintaining the morale of the HQ 1 Air Landing Bde. His cheerfulness and good humour lasted until the evacuation. He acted as cook to the HQ and all his spare time was spent in foraging for food, often under heavy fire, both from mortars and snipers. In his spare time he acted as medical orderly and on evacuation night remained north of the river attending to the wounded. He finally rejoined the Brigade having swum the river the night Sept 26/27.'
It appears that the recommendation was not endorsed, as no trace has been found in the London Gazette or the National Archives to confirm that the award was made.
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