Captain Michael Dobbin MC

Captain Michael Olaf Chetwynd Dobbin of the Grenadier Guards has been awarded the Military Cross, gazetted 22 Mar 2013.Captain Dobbin was recognised for his repeated gallantry by leading his men to victory on 4 occasions against significant odds, one of which led to the posthumous award of the Victoria Cross to Lance Corporal James Ashworth. On the first occasion, having been ambushed deep behind enemy lines and with insurgents determined to prevent the platoon extracting its 2 casualties, Captain Dobbin waited for the medical helicopter to lift off before launching an audacious counter-attack.

After 2 hours hard fighting, the insurgents were defeated, having been driven back more than a kilometre. Three days later, Captain Dobbin's platoon launched an air assault behind enemy lines to take out a tenacious insurgent sniper team. Landing in heavy fire, Captain Dobbin led his men as they charged across 200 metres of open ground. Although two of his men were killed, he pushed on, attacking with grenades and small arms fire, braving machine gun fire from as close as 5 metres.

The compounds are made from mud with high walls, and instead of streets like a British village the alleys are only wide enough to get a donkey down. So that when you turn corners the doorways and apertures that the insurgents fire from can be pretty close range. The action ended with the enemy's rout. Three days later lead elements of the platoon, emerging from a field of maize, found themselves facing 4 armed insurgents at very close quarters. A fierce fire fight ensued, with a Guardsman being shot. Again, without hesitation, Captain Dobbin charged the enemy and saved the situation.

The very next day, the platoon, while occupying a temporary checkpoint, again came under ferocious assault. Attempting to breach the front door the insurgents came face-to-face with Captain Dobbin and attacked him at close range. Grabbing his kit, Captain Dobbin fought off, then pursued the enemy. Inspired by his example the platoon charged after him, enabling the perimeter fence to be secured and a wounded comrade to be treated.

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by Stephen Luscombe