On 21 Dec 43, the L. Edmn R secured a foothold in ORTONA and moved it’s B.H.Q. to the outskirts of the town at 334163. Command Post 2 Cdn Inf Bde HQ was established at 348133. The Seaforth Highlanders of Canada were ordered to move into ORTONA that night and to enable the Bde Comd to have first hand information of the situation, it was important that line communication be established between the Command Post and the L. Edmn R as soon as possible. Demolitions and danger to the line from shell fire made it impracticable to lay the line along the axis of the road. On the other hand, it was known that the approaches to the town were well mined and that to lay line across country would be an extrememly hazardous operation. The danger was increased by the fact that it was now dark and, since there was no moon, it was impossible to discern any indication of mines. Nevertheless, Capt. Galbraith with two linemen carrying two miles of cable and a telephone, set off. During the journey to L Edmn R the party passed through a minefield realizing they had done so only when they saw a sign warning them not to traverse the Area they had already crossed. On their return they again came in this minefield. It was too dark to ascertain its limits and time was too short to allow an extensive recce. Capt. Galbraith therefore, led his party again through the minefield, this time coming across the body of a soldier who, it was subsequently ascertained, had been killed by one of the mines with which the area was strewn. During this whole period the party was constantly under shell fire. Through the courage, determination and devotion, to duty of Capt Galbraith, line communication was established with the L Edmn R wihtin two hours and the conduct of the operation greatly assisted. [“K” Sec, 1st Canadian Infantry Divisional Signals]

On the 26th of February 1945, 6 Canadian Infantry Brigade were to attack the last remaining high ground before the HOCHWALD forest defensive line. The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada were to seize and hold the right of the feature, thus protecting the main attack from flank thrusts and infiltration. To achieve this purpose the complete battalion was lifted on armoured troop carriers in order that their objectives might be reached in the minimum time, and bypassing all intermediate resistance, which was to be taken care of later. Early in the action the armoured vehicle carrying the battalion communications was hit by enemy fire destroying the wireless set, killing the commanding officer, and wounding the intelligence officer. Lieutenant Elliott, the battalion signal officer, realizing that communications were vital, decided to set up in the nearest house, as his present position was untenable, seized a spare set and ran for the nearest house. Immediately enemy machine gun posts opened up and were successful in hitting the set rendering it useless. Again with complete disregard for his own safety he made his way from the house, over two hundred yards of open ground under heavy fire, to the artillery officer. He requested this officer to keep contact with the companies through his channels while he made his way to rear headquarters for new wireless equipment. Having ascertained communications would be maintained, he made his way by foot to rear headquarters, although the route took him over roads that were covered by intense enemy fire. At rear headquarters he quickly informed the second in command of the situation and collecting the necessary equipment made his way forward again. In order to return quickly he chose his jeep to travel in, at the same time bringing forward jeeps to evacuate casualties. On returning he set up the wireless contacting all companies and thus restoring full battalion communications. This officer’s supreme devotion to duty, bravery, and determination to carry out his duty against seemingly unsurmountable odds was a definite factor in maintaining communications so vital to the successful completion of this extremely important operation. [Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada, 6th Canadian Infantry Brigade, 2nd Canadian Infantry Division]