*** RESERVED *** The miraculous 1944 Immediate Military Medal George VI group to a South Wales Borderer sevely wounded at Zetten, resulting in the amputation of both legs. Consisting of: to 4074894 Pte. S.G. Lewis, S. Wales Bord.; India Medal with North West Frontier 1936-37 clasp to 4074894 Pte. S.G. Lewis, S. Wales Bord.; 1939-45 Star; France & Germany Star; WWII Defence Medal; WWII War Medal. Accompanied by an archive of original material including two Certificate of Service red booklets, letter from Lewis describing in detail how he came to be severely wounded, Ministry of Pensions document listing the extent of Lewis' injuries and a large quantity of photographs and postcards, many with dates and explanations to the reverse.

M.M. Gazetted 5 Apr 1945: "At ZETTEN on 21 Dec 1944, Pte. Lewis was a stretcher bearer with "A" Coy. During the afternoon this Company's HQ was attacked by a strong enemy patrol. At the time Pte. Lewis was outside the HQ in a house across the road. Endeavouring to make his way back he found himself and his Company. The enemy fired at him wounding him through the leg and also through the back. However, by diving into the back of a pigsty he evaded capture. During the afternoon "A" Coy was withdrawn to a new position. That night the enemy once more came back to the position and occupied the houses opposite to where Pte. Lewis was hiding. There might well have been some excuse if Pte. Lewis, unarmed, badly wounded, in an icy temperature, surrounded by floods and quite isolated from our troops, had given himself up to the enemy. But this was in no way in keeping with the high standards of this soldier and utterly out of harmony with his own great personal bravery, loyalty and devotion to duty. During that night and on the following one our patrols sent out to locate Pte. Lewis failed to do so, but reported signs of enemy occupation. On this information the area was shelled by our own artillery. Finally, four days later, having observed the enemy and ascertained that the enemy withdrew from their post in daylight, Pte. Lewis decided to come back towards our lines. Fortune favoured his indomitable spirit for he was seen by the Commanding Officer who was with one of our patrols and they went out, lifted him from the ice and water and carried him safely back. To return to our lines after this ordeal, which was made no easier by our own shelling, and when the enemy were in the immediate vicinity, demanded of Pte. Lewis the highest courage and devotion to duty. In these he was not wanting and thereby denied the enemy an important identification and returned with valuable information."

Lewis was carried in 'more dead than alive' according to Battalion records and the list of his wounds was extensive: 'Gun Shot Wound Left Leg with Amputation Below Knee and Gun Shot Wound Right Leg with Amputation Above Knee.' His personal account is as follows: "We landed at Arromanches on 'D' Day June 6th 1944 and went through France & Belgium into Holland and got as far as Nymegen and on to Elst. By this time the dykes had been blown and we were almost under water. We had to go back to Zetten because of the heavy flooding. During this spell of action I became wounded - I heard an explosion, being a stretcher bearer I rushed to see if any of my comrades had trodden on a mine, but instead was confronted by a German raiding party. I turned to run, but was shot in the back and legs. I dragged myself to a pigsty and I had to stay there because the Germans occupied the houses across the road. After two days I dragged myself to the house close by and lived on apples which were floating in water. Knowing I was just about finished, I made an effort to try to get on to the road which was frozen. I went, as I thought, some little way, but the ice gave way and I was up to my neck in water. I knew I could go no further, but by a stroke of luck there was an Observation Post looking in my direction. It was my own Battalion, a patrol was sent out and I was picked up. It was Christmas Day. My first leg was amputated at Eindhoven and my stomach wound dressed and the same day I was picked up. I was flown to England on New Year's Day 1945 and had my second leg amputated at the airfield hospital."


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