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On 15 May 1940, the German Army attacked the 2nd Battalion DLI across the River Dyle, east of Brussels.  "B" Company was pushed back and the Commanding Officer ordered "C" Company to counter attack.  One platoon was destroyed.  The other led by Platoon Sergeant Major Pinkney, an old soldier who had enlisted in 1920, forced the Germans back across the river. 

On 27 May at Saint Venant, 2 DLI was overwhelmed by German armour.  Sergeant Major Pinkney was last seen attacking the tanks with a box of grenades.  He survived but spent the rest of the war as a prisoner.  In 1945 he was listed amongst those held in Stalag 383 with a Pow Number of 2895.

For his "example and courage", George Pinkney was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal - one of the first awarded during the Second World War. 

The Distinguished Conduct Medal was presented to him at Buckingham Palace after the war. 

George Pinkney`s citation / recommendation reads;-

At Le Tombe two platoons were ordered to counter-attack a position which had been over-run by the enemy.  It was only through PSM Pinkney`s example and courage that they succeeded in gaining their objective.  At St Venant when enemy tanks were approaching his position he went forward himself with a box of grenades and engaged the tanks with them. Throughout the whole three weeks his bearing was always cheerful as well as determined.


    Distinguished Conduct Medal

    India General Service (1908-35)   

    British War Medal (1939-45)

    Long Service & Good Conduct

    Meritorious Service Medal


I am exceptionally proud of my grandfather. 


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