Maj A. R. W. Ormond, MC and bar; Wallingford, Waipukurau; born Wallingford, 27 Jan 1916; farmer; wounded 17 Dec 1942. (Source: Loughnan, R.J.M. Divisional Cavalry. p.222.)
'By 5.30 a.m. on the 4th it was obvious that the Divisional Cavalry would not be able to get down into Deir Alinda through 132 Brigade. On the 5 Brigade front the objectives had been reached but the Maoris had overshot them and were not consolidated; so a route through that brigade was impracticable and the whole regiment was sent to its old positions east of the Box. Nor were those who had been with it overnight sorry to go. Like everybody else there they had suffered a very wakeful night indeed, and at first light RHQ and part of one squadron were horrified to find themselves parked right against a huge stack of New Zealand Engineers' mines. They could only stay there, keeping very still and hoping they would not be noticed, but when the word came to move off they did so with a briskness which no doubt drew much praise from their neighbours concerning the efficiency with which Div Cav got off the mark.
A Squadron became the reserve for all day on the 4th while B and C Squadrons were sent out to the edge of Deir el Muhafid with the artillery Forward Observation Officers watching for suitable targets for a ‘stonk’.
Virtually the battle of Alam Halfa was over. The Axis columns rolled steadily westwards through 4 and 5 September. Everyone in Div Cav was disappointed to be robbed by pure accident of its chance to get in amongst them, particularly as they had been previously getting stories of their opposite numbers in formations further east harrying the retiring enemy. They had been licking their chops at the prospect of a day's similar sport in Deir Alinda. Nevertheless, on the 5th, tank troops under D'Arcy Cole, Dan Ormond and Jack Reeves did manage to get at the enemy a little and do some shooting, Ormond actually penetrating right down into Deir el Muhafid.
Two days later, near the same place, he earned a bar to his MC. Probing about here and there, he ran across a minefield through which the Germans had a gap covered by anti-tank and machine-gun fire. He stopped his troop and walked forward under machine-gun fire to make sure that the gap was genuinely clear of mines, then got back into his tank and charged through and right on to one post, so close that he could not bring fire to bear on it. Down he jumped again, shooting two men before his pistol misfired. The other three in the post he took to with fists and boots—and he had a nippy little kick when he played second five-eighths at school—and bustled them up, thoroughly subdued, on to his tank. By now the stationary tank was under anti-tank and high-explosive fire from a flank and this was too much for the three prisoners, unnerved as they were. They jumped down and tried to run away, but Ormond cut them down with a burst from the anti-aircraft machine gun on the outside of his turret before he opened up on and silenced the anti-tank gun. While this was going on the tank suffered a direct hit of HE, and though it temporarily blinded the driver, Ormond managed to guide him straight at and over the top of the gun, the survivors of which he wiped out also before setting off back to the rest of the troop.' (Source: Loughnan, R.J.M. Divisional Cavalry. pp. 222-223.)
'There was more than one probe eastwards by enemy columns. The next day, 4 December, RHQ and the two fighting squadrons continued their harassing role on the main road while the brigade moved off to relieve 5 Indian Brigade at Capuzzo and Sollum. Late in the morning RHQ heard that fifteen enemy tanks were advancing eastwards along the Trigh Capuzzo. Patrols out in that direction were advised and RHQ, with the attached troops, moved into the shelter of the re-entrants along the escarpment, hoping to repeat the previous day's ambush; but this was not to be, for no attack developed. Nor was there any clash with a further twenty-nine tanks that were reported on the escarpment during the afternoon. Second-Lieutenant Ormond did his best to bring the enemy to blows when, ignoring the fire from three tanks on his flank, he led his troop in to engage six armoured cars. These withdrew hurriedly but, try as he might, Ormond could not catch them. This exploit was one of several for which he was awarded the MC.' (Source: Loughnan, R.J.M. Divisional Cavalry. pp. 156–7, 182–4, 222–3, 253, 385.) AWMM