The axis of the 5 Canadian Armoured Division was WEST and NORTH to the ZUIDER ZEE.
Lieutenant Alexander Murdock ROSS was Gun Position Officer of F Troop.
About 0030 hours 17 April 1945 the enemy mounted a brigade attack on the town
in an effort to break through to rejoin his main forces.
Under cover of a heavy wood the enemy succeeded in getting into the troop
Appreciating that he could do nothing for his troop from an enemy
Lieutenant Ross successfully covered his command post staff while they
got out of the house and on to the gun position, where they dug in, prepared to fight
the guns to the barrel.
The gun position was being heavily mortared and soon was subjected to
medium machine gun fire from both flanks as well as the front.
In spite of this cone of fire, Lieutenant Ross went to each gun detachment in turn
to issue clear and concise orders that the position would be held and that every
round of small arms ammunition would be used only for a sure hit.
As a result, when the enemy arrived in strength, only visible targets were engaged,
that is at about four feet.
Soon the troop was completely surrounded and cut off; it was assumed
that all ranks had been either killed or captured.
But such was far from true.
This officer with his troop, for six and one-half hours, beat off attack after attack and
defended the guns successfully until after first light when assistance
arrived to find the men cleaning up and having breakfast.
During the night he made two trips across 300 yards of open country swept by medium
machine gun fire to contact the infantry behind him to get a message to his
battery commander at battalion headquarters to produce
fire from one of the other batteries.
In spite of the fact that Lieutenant Ross is trained as an
artillery officer and has always been employed as such, his calm, cool,
stouthearted devotion to duty would be exceptionally outstanding
in a trained, battle-tried infantry battalion.