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11.11.2013
Colonel Patrick Porteous, VC Commando officer who braved withering machinegun fire during the Dieppe raid and captured a German gun battery with a bayonet charge The raid on Dieppe in German-occupied France on August 19, 1942, carried out by troops of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division supported by two British Commando units and 50 United States Rangers, had the immediate purpose of gaining experience of an opposed landing and capture of a port on an enemy-held coast. It was also intended as a response to Stalin's plea to do something to try to draw German reinforcements away from the Russian front. It was also intended as a response to Stalin's plea to do something to try to draw German reinforcements away from the Russian front. Captain Patrick Porteous was with Lord Lovat's 4th Commando, which was given the task of silencing the German six-gun battery near Varengeville, some five miles west of Dieppe, which could bring flanking fire to bear on the landing craft and beaches to be used by units of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division at Dieppe itself. Captain Patrick Porteous was with Lord Lovat's 4th Commando, which was given the task of silencing the German six-gun battery near Varengeville, some five miles west of Dieppe, which could bring flanking fire to bear on the landing craft and beaches to be used by units of the 2nd Canadian Infantry Division at Dieppe itself. He himself was to land with the main body on an easier beach further west near Quiberville, and to execute a wide outflanking movement to attack the gun emplacements from the rear. He closed with his assailant, disarmed him and then killed him with his own bayonet, just as the German was taking aim at a British sergeant, whose life was thus saved.


Porteous dashed across the open ground despite withering machinegun fire, rallied the men and carried the battery with a bayonet assault.
During the charge he was again shot, this time through the thigh, but went on to supervise the destruction of the guns before collapsing from loss of blood. He was educated at Wellington College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, before being commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1937.
Pat, as he was known in the Army, was not a good horseman, but he was determined never to fail in the riding schools. Unseated on one occasion, he was trampled on by the following horses, suffering a badly broken jaw, but he never gave up. Quiet, self-effacing, and charming with a nice sense of humour, he was an excellent companion, always conscious of the interests of others, and particularly of the wellbeing of his soldiers.
When he returned to England through Dunkirk, he volunteered for commando training and was sent to 4th Commando in 3rd Special Service Brigade at the end of 1940.


Again entrusted with flank protection, 4th Commando landed and took Ouistreham at the mouth of the Orne Canal, successfully linking up with troops of the 6th Airborne Division holding the Pegasus Bridge to secure the eastern flank of the beachhead. He saw no further major actions, but thereafter became closely associated with airborne forces and went with 53rd Air Landing Light Regiment to Palestine with 6th Airborne Division. His first wife, Lois, daughter of Major-General Sir Horace Roome, a former Engineer-in-Chief, India, died very suddenly just three months after their arrival in Singapore, leaving him with a son and a daughter. He spent 1958 at the RAF Staff College and 1959 as assistant military secretary at Southern Command.



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