The superb pair of Second World War groups to the Maclean brothers, both South African's, one being Corporal D.M. Maclean, First City Cape Town Highlanders, who won a superb Military Medal at Monte Stanco, Italy on 13th October 1944, when he led the assault to personally destroy the first machine gun post with a burst of Tommy gun fire, being later killed in action on 19th November 1944, and his elder brother, Lance Corporal K.H. Maclean, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who was captured in North Africa but escaped, being then captured aga
The superb pair of Second World War groups to the Maclean brothers, both South African's, one being Corporal D.M. Maclean, First City Cape Town Highlanders, who won a superb Military Medal at Monte Stanco, Italy on 13th October 1944, when he led the assault to personally destroy the first machine gun post with a burst of Tommy gun fire, being later killed in action on 19th November 1944, and his elder brother, Lance Corporal K.H. Maclean, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who was captured in North Africa but escaped, being then captured again in late 1944 in North West Europe.
Group of 7: Military Medal, GVI 1st type; (75733.V. CPL. D.M. MACLEAN. F.C./C.T.H.); 1939-1945 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; Defence Medal; War Medal; Africa Service Medal 1939-1945; last 6 all with correct South African issue impressed naming; (75733 F.M. MACLEAN). Mounted loose style as worn.
Condition: Good Very Fine.
Together with South African Memorial Brooch, reverse stamped: '6948' together with original forwarding letter for the Memorial Plaque and the Memorial Brooch in memory of Corporal Donald MacLeod Maclean M.M.; 1st Battalion, Pretoria Highlanders cap badge complete with tartan cloth reverse; Union of South Africa original citation for the Military Medal, issued by Defence Headquarters, dated 19th January 1945; original photograph of recipient as a school boy; original photograph of recipient in uniform together with his brother when both serving with the Pretoria Highlanders - later the First City Regiment, dated 28th April 1938; 4 x original press photographs taken by the Natal Mercury and showing the First City Regiment parading prior to being sent to the war in North Africa; a photograph of men of the First City Battalion in Durban prior to embarkation - the reverse annotated: 'Dick, self & Ossie in Durban'; a photograph of men of the First City Battalion at Jerusalem in Palestine - reverse annotated 'Jerusalem in back ground Palestine Dec.1942 (Whew! What a week!)'; Condolence Letter from the General Officer Commanding South African Armoured Division issued in memory of Corporal Donald MacLeod MacLean; Union of South Africa Office of the War Records letter concerning the burial place of MacLean, dated 7th December 1944; Union of South Africa letter notifying recipient's mother that whilst it must be a shock to known that her son has been killed, it must be comforting to know that her other son will soon be released from captivity in Germany, dated 15th December 1944; letter notifying recipient's mother that the grave of her son has now been located and registered by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, dated 19th February 1945; forwarding letter for the ribbons for the 1939-1945 Star, Africa Star, Italy Star, and Africa Service Medal, forwarded to his mother, dated 9th January 1946; forwarding letter for some Italy Star sent to recipient's mother, dated 24th April 1946; two letters from the Union of South Africa Office of the War Records forwarding photographs of the grave of her son, dated 21st October 1946 and 20th March 1947 respectively, together with original photograph of his pre-commonwealth war graves headstone; book - 'The First City Cape Town Highlanders in Italy 1943-45', as published for the Regiment, written by Major L.G. Murray, M.C., circa 1945.
Group of 7: General Service Medal 1918-1962, 1 Clasp: Palestine; (2982139 PTE. K. MACLEAN. A. & S. H.); 1939-1945 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; War Medal. Mounted loose style as worn.
Condition: Nearly Extremely Fine.
Together with Transvaal Education Department School Year 1934 Certified Statement for Kenneth Hector MacLean at Pretoria Boys' High School; South African Post Office Telegram to his mother informing her that Maclean has now arrived in Egypt having escaped enemy hands, dated 7th July 1942; Durban Record Office letter informing MacLean's mother that he is a prisoner of war in Camp Stalag 357 in Germany, dated 20th November 1944; War Office letter informing MacLean's mother that her son is a prisoner of war in Germany at Stalag 357, dated 10th January 1945; South African Post Office Telegram to his mother informing her that he has been released from captivity as a prisoner of war and arrived in the United Kingdom on 28th April 1945, dated 2nd June 1945; 2 x original photographs of recipient in uniform taken during wartime.
Awards to Corporal D.M. Maclean, First City Cape Town Highlanders, who won a superb Military Medal at Monte Stanco, Italy on 13th October 1944, when he led the assault to personally destroy the first machine gun post with a burst of Tommy gun fire, being later killed in action on 19th November 1944.
Donald MacLeod MacLean was born circa 1920, the son of Archibald K. and Katharine M. MacLean, of Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa, and the younger brother of Kenneth Hector Maclean, and is believed to have been educated at Pretoria Boys' High School. MacLean joined the Union Defence Forces prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, circa 1938, and saw service as a Private (No.75733), believed initially with the Reserve Unit the Pretoria Highlanders which was later retitled the First City Battalion. With the outbreak of the Second World War he volunteered for active service (No.75733V) and having paraded in Durban, then saw service in Madagascar with the 7th South African Infantry Brigade during 1942, and then in North Africa in the Western Desert during 1943, where the First City Battalion amalgamated with the Cape Town Highlanders, being the First City Cape Town Highlanders at Khatatba on 4th October 1943, with Maclean being promoted to War Substantive Corporal. The new formed regiment followed this with the invasion of the Italian Mainland, and was serving as part of the 12th South African Motorised Brigade in the 6th South African Armoured Division, with the regiment first going into action in Italy on 2nd May 1944, and it was whilst here during the battles for the Gothic Line, that the Division met strong resistance from troops of the 16th S.S. Division along the axis of its advance. Monte Vigese was captured after bitter fighting, and this was followed by the assault on Monte Stanco, a strategic height commanding two of the roads leading from Florence to Bologna. The Battalion was called forward from Prato, and took over positions in the line on the Division's left flank on the 9th October.
The complete absence of roads for other than Jeeps in the forward areas necessitated a lengthy march. The move up and relief was carried out in bitter weather over sodden, muddy country. Customary patrolling commenced immediately and yielded quick results, for on the following day a daring raid resulted in the capture of six members of the 94th German Infantry Division, the first indication of the presence of this formation which had moved down into the line from North Italy. Following two unsuccessful attempts to capture Monte Stanco, by the 4th/13th Frontier Force Rifles, and secondly by the Carbineers, it was decided that it was the turn of the First City Cape Town Highlanders, who were then placed into positions for preparation, and moved into the pre attack assembly area on the 12th October, they intention being to pass through the positions held by the Carbineers on the lower terraced slopes of Monte Stanco. On the morning of Friday, 13th October, the attack began. The enemy reaction was immediate and violent. In conjunction with another regiment, the First City Cape Town Highlanders engaged as follows: Baker Company fought their way to the extreme right of their objective but were subjected to intense fire from three sides. Dog Company, confronted by an extremely well-prepared and fortified strong point of machine guns, was moving forward despite all the efforts of the enemy who was fighting with suicidal determination. Mortar fire was called down on this strong point - it was subsequently proved to be held by fifty Germans - and Dog Company formed up for the final assault. The attack culminated in a bayonet charge up the steep slopes of the mountain which finally overran the enemy. The German's suffered great losses in killed and wounded, dead littered the area and many prisoners were taken. It was here during the battle for Monte Stanco on 13th October 1944 that MacLean performed a superb act of gallantry which would gain him the award of the Military Medal for bravery in the field.
The citation reads as follows: 'For bravery in action. During the action on Monte Stanco on the thirteenth of October 1944 a platoon was called upon to launch a direct assault up a steep hillside to capture an enemy strong point that was holding up the advance. No sooner had they started than they ran into anti-personnel mines and intensive Spandau fire at point blank range. The situation was critical as the platoon began to waver. Exhorting his men, Corporal Maclean rallied the section and led the assault to personally destroy the first post with a burst of Tommy gun fire. The other sections followed, completely overran the enemy and wiped them out thus restoring the situation. His great bravery undoubtedly saved the situation and by his total disregard of danger inspired the platoon in a magnificent assault at the crucial moment.'
During the rest of the day the enemy attempted several times to form up for a counter attack but he was on each occasion dispersed by artillery and mortar fire. By mid afternoon the main force of the fighting had died down and it was firmly established that the objective had been established. The total casualties estimated to have been inflicted on the enemy that day numbered approximately five hundred, including some one hundred and fifty prisoners taken from both the 16th S.S. and 94th Infantry Division. The Battalion lost twelve men killed and thirty-three wounded. MacLean was subsequently killed in action whilst the Battalion was occupying winter positions in the Casigno - Castiglione area - and is believed to have been the Battalion's only casualty suffered a new enemy weapon which was introduced over this period - a 32 cm rocket projectile weighing approximately 180 pounds which was directed onto the Casigno area, which had a similar sound of projection to the Nebelwerfer but its effect more devastating. Confined almost entirely to blast it exploded with a deafening explosion accompanied by a vivid crimson flash. During the ensuing months no less than one hundred and seventy-six of these missiles were loosed on the Battalion, but only one casualty was suffered, and this is believed to have been Corporal D.M. Maclean, who was killed in action on 19th November 1944, and is buried in Castiglione South African Cemetery. Maclean was awarded the Military Medal posthumously in the London Gazette for 8th March 1945.
Awards to Lance Corporal K.H. Maclean, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who was captured in North Africa but escaped, being then captured again in late 1944 in North West Europe.
Kenneth Hector Maclean was born on 7th August 1917, the son of Archibald K. and Katharine M. MacLean, of Pretoria, Transvaal, South Africa, and the elder brother of Donald Macleod Maclean, he was educated at Pretoria Boys' High School gaining examination results in Form IV during 1934 in English Higher Grade, Afrikaans, French, History, Mathematics, and Physical Science. He is believed to have subsequently joined the Union Defence Forces prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, circa 1938, and saw service as a Private, believed initially with the Pretoria Highlanders which was later retitled the First City Battalion. However he must have then travelled to the United Kingdom, where he joined up as a Private later Lance Corporal (No.2982139) the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and then saw service in Palestine during the Arab Rebellion and was in the Middle East at the outbreak of the Second World War.
Official correspondence indicates that Maclean was taken prisoner by the enemy in North Africa, however he then 'escaped enemy hands' and made it back to his regiment in Egypt, his mother being notified of this fact on 7th July 1942. However having served in Sicily, and then North West Europe, he was once again taken prisoner of war, sadly date unknown, but probably late 1944, and was made a prisoner (No.70854) being incarcerated by the Germans at Stalag 357 at Oerbke in Niedersachsen, his mother being notified of this fact in a letter dated 20th November 1944, around the time that his younger brother was killed in action in Italy. Maclean was subsequently released from captivity, and arrived in the United Kingdom on 28th April 1945.