b. 17/11/1925 Easington, County Durham. d. 18/01/1945 Stein, Germany.
Dennis Donnini was born to Italian-born Alfred Donnini and his English wife Catherine (née Brown), on 17 November 1925 in Easington. His father owned an ice cream parlour in Easington and attended Corby Grammar School in Sunderland, now known as St. Aidans School. Donnini was 19 years old, and a fusilier in the 4/5th Battalion, The Royal Scots Fusiliers, British Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 18 January 1945 during Operation Blackcock, Fusilier Donnini's platoon was ordered to attack the small village of Stein in The Netherlands, close to the German border. On leaving their trench they immediately came under heavy fire from a house and the fusilier was hit in the head. After recovering consciousness he charged 30 yards down the open road and hurled a grenade through the nearest window, whereupon the enemy fled pursued by Fusilier Donnini and the survivors of his platoon. He was wounded a second time, but continued firing his Bren gun until he was killed after the grenade he was carrying, was hit by a bullet and exploded. His gallantry had enabled his comrades to overcome twice their own number of the enemy.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: COMMONWEALTH CEMETERY, SITTARD, LIMBURG, NETHERLANDS.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
ROW H, GRAVE 10
Easington Colliery War Memorial
Easington Colliery, County Durham