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Captain John Michael Page. 11th Regiment, Honourable Artillery Company

This is to mark 70 years since my Grandfather was awarded his Military Cross. This is how he did it.

6th - 9th December 1944

Crossing the Rubicon - Faenza, Italy 1944

Some few days stand out: among them 7th December when 1 K.R.R.C supported by a squadron of 9 Lancers, captured Piduera, on the high ground south-west of Faenza. It was touch and go whether the tanks, with only one possible path across the rocky hillside, and that swept by fire from Tigers only half a mile away could reach the village.

Captain Page was the Forwarding Observing Officer with the leading company. His O.P was a house 500 yards from the village and the Germans had no doubts as to its location. Enemy tanks and artillery pounded it all day. From this uncomfortable viewpoint, Captain Page decided that smoke was the only answer, and laid a screen which enable the Lancers’ tanks to seize the crest without one being knocked out. All day, all night and throughout the next day Captain Page stuck to his observation post, the only one the Regiment had so far been able to establish. It was largely due to him that the enemy failed to dislodge the British Rifleman and he got a Military Cross for it

Extract from Regimental Fire, page 155
Michael Page in 1944

Captain Page at Technaville, Tmimi, Libya, Jan 1943 (HAC Archives)

This strategic position was part of ‘The Gothic Line’ (German: Gotenstellung; Italian: Linea Gotica). This formed Field Marshal Albert Kesselring's last major line of defence in the final stages of World War II along the summits of the northern part of the Apennine Mountains during the fighting retreat of the German forces in Italy against the Allied Armies in Italy commanded by General Sir Harold Alexander.

Map of Northern Italy

The Gothic Line. Italy June until December 1944

Michael Page in 1944

Getting married. Mike & Faiths Wedding at St Pauls Kingston

Michael Page in 1944

Revisting the very location where he got his MC with his son Simon. Italy March 2005

Michael Page in 1944

His son Simon and daughter Judy presenting his medals to the Honourable Artillery Archives in London.

In loving memory of John Michael Page.

Born 16th November 1916. Died 24th October 2010. Aged 93.

Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Uncle, Grandfather and Great Grandfather.