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04-Jan-2018 04:45

For his conduct during this battle, he was awarded the MC.By December 1944, Coke was commanding "S" Company of the Scots Guards, attached to the 2nd Battalion, the Coldstream Guards.At 5.30 the next morning, after a severe mortar and artillery concentration, the Germans attacked with elements of two companies, penetrating to Coke's headquarters and inflicting heavy casualties.At this moment, Coke was an inspiration to his men, personally directing operations and throwing grenades in the close fighting.The company commander was killed and Coke took charge, leading his men over very difficult terrain under constant machine-gun fire.

A fierce hand-to-hand battle took place on the cliff tops, until, with machine-gun fire and grenades, Coke succeeded in killing or capturing all of the enemy.

Coke continued to command his company for three days under heavy mortar and spandau fire and, in the words of his citation, "it was largely due to his courage and example that the position was held"."F" Company had gone up the hill with three officers and 105 men.

Only Coke and 57 men came down unhurt, but Coke accounted for every single man to his Commanding Officer.

His father was the third son of the 2nd Earl of Leicester, and his maternal grandfather the 14th Lord Inchiquin.

Coke was educated at Stowe, then went on to the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester, where, in 1938, he won the Gold Medal for Forestry.As a supplementary reservist he was mobilised in 1939 and commissioned into the Scots Guards.



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