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  1. ITV Report

The Border's WWII action hero who received the American Silver Star medal 70 years ago

Kenneth Gash wears his American Silver Star medal Photo: ITV Border

In 1945, Carlisle born Kenneth Gash, aged 21, was awarded the American Silver Star medal for his gallantry in action during WWII.

70 years later at age 92, Ken remains one of few non-Americans to receive one of the highest USA military decorations for bravery. He lives in Gretna with his wife, Win, and recalls the events which led to his military distinction.

Ken Gash receiving his Silver Star medal at Carlisle Castle in 1945 Credit: Kenneth Gash

During WWII, Mr Gash was sent to Beachhead at Anzio in Italy, to fight alongside the Americans against Hitler's army. He was a tank driver and sustained serious injuries when his tank was immobilised in full view of the enemy. He quickly grabbed his machine gun and joined an American unit in nearby ditch where they remained under heavy fire for most of the day.

To name a few of his injuries, Kenneth lost a finger, part of his ear and still to this day, has shrapnel in his body.

After he was wounded, he was taken off the battlefield and returned to England to recover in hospital. Soon after, he received his Silver Star medal from an American colonel in a ceremony at Carlisle Castle.

His courageous and aggressive action was an important factor in repelling the German counterattack, and reflects the finest traditions of military service."

– Harry S. Truman, President of the United States
Kenneth Gash (centre) pictured at his medal ceremony at Carlisle Castle in 1945 Credit: Kenneth Gash