Son of Alfred Henry Worthington, and of Florence May Worthington, of Onehunga, Auckland, New Zealand.
Lance Sergeant B. A. W. Worthington, MM; born NZ 29 Jun 1919; labourer; wounded 20 Apr 1943; killed in action 19 Dec 1943.
(Source: Cody, J.F. 21 Battalion. p.261.)
'Hirst took over from Shaw and, while the platoons were fighting a 50-yard duel with the enemy, firing through loopholes in their stone forts against their adversaries on rooftops and behind doorways, Manahi and 13 Maori volunteers rejoined the garrison. The Maori sergeant and the pakeha lieutenant discussed the problem of winning back the pinnacle, and decided that two parties, one from each battalion, advancing from different directions would attempt to rush the buildings. It was also decided to soften the opposition before the attempt, and Manahi tried to get the 28 Battalion mortars on the flat below to range on the pinnacle, but the distance was too great. Captain Harding, forward observation officer 5 Field Regiment, had arrived by this time to set up an observation post, and suggested sniping with a 25-pounder. There was no room for mistakes with less than fifty yards between the parties, but it was decided to give it a go. There was some fine artillery shooting as, step by step, the range was lifted up the hill, until finally three shells were landed slap onto the target. The parties commanded by Corporal Worthington and Sergeant Weepu worked cautiously to within thirty yards of their objective, then rushed the buildings. They returned very puzzled indeed, for there was no enemy except a dead Italian. The mystery was explained when a rope was found dangling over the precipice, showing the way the enemy had come and gone. Lance Sergeant B. A. W. Worthington, MM; born NZ 29 Jun 1919; labourer; wounded 20 Apr 1943; killed in action 19 Dec 1943. (text from 28 (Maori) Battalion) The FOO got a 25-pounder from E Troop 28 Battery, at about 8000 yards, to range its shells up the side of the hill a few yards at a time. It took fifty rounds to bring the gun on to the target but the last three were dead on.
Meanwhile three assaulting parties had been detailed: one of seven Maoris led by Manahi, one of seven pakehas led by Lance-Corporal Worthington35 of 21 Battalion, and one of twelve Maoris and some 21 Battalion men led by Sergeant Weepu. The first two rushed the mosque and the third covered the pinnacle, but the enemy had left as mysteriously as he had arrived.
Enemy mortar reaction was immediate and there were more casualties, but by this time the artillery FOOs had both observation and communication with their guns; one by one the mortars were silenced and the Italians made to realise that this time Takrouna was definitely lost.
Takrouna village itself was so situated that the field guns could not get at it so one of the new 17-pounder anti-tank guns, hitherto kept in the background, was brought up into action by Major Fairbrother while the Brigadier was with the forward troops. Sergeant Manahi had decided that he had been a target long enough, so when the solid shots were ripping through the stone buildings and creating confusion and despondency among the enemy hidden there, he collected a couple of other Maoris and went out on a private reconnaissance. He patrolled north-west towards the two captured 25-pounders that Corporal Ruha had dealt with the previous day and which had not been removed during the night. There several posts were stalked and captured and Manahi felt better. Lance Sergeant B. A. W. Worthington, MM; born NZ 29 Jun 1919; labourer; wounded 20 Apr 1943; killed in action 19 Dec 1943.
' (Source: Cody, J.F. 21 Battalion. p. 261.; Cody, J.F. 28 Maori Battalion. pp. 307-8.) AWMM