Captain Martin Steeds
The late Captain Steeds was a Territorial Force, Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps officer who joined the Regular Army and was posted to the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps. In June 1967 he was seconded to the Royal New Zealand Artillery and arrived in Vietnam in December 1967 for service with 161 Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery as a Forward Observer with 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.
During his tour with D Company, 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment Captain Steeds won the respect of all members of the company. He carried out his tasks with skill, alacrity and painstaking care. His initiative and foresight in planning artillery support have undoubtedly helped prevent many casualties within the company.
When 3 Battalion Royal Australian Regiment received heavy ground and mortar attacks at Fire Support Base Balmoral, Captain Steeds controlled and adjusted fire on several targets simultaneously as well as providing timely information on counter battery fire. His work on both the 26 and 28 May 1968 accounted for many of the scores of enemy dead during a regimental sized attack and helped prevent the enemy breaching the perimeter defences.
Throughout his tour in Vietnam Captain Steeds has shown a professional competence and understanding of the supported infantry in accord with the highest traditions of his profession. His conduct reflects great credit upon himself, his Corps and the New Zealand Army.
Captain Steeds award was received by Col Matthew Beattie, Colonel Commandant 16 Field Regiment, on behalf of his widow in Australia.