North East Victoria Cross Winners

This is a list of 25 soldiers and sailors from the north east who have received the highest award for bravery.  They are very interesting group of men who have showed supreme courage on the field of battle.  The list includes those who fought during the Indian Mutiny of 1857, the Defence of Rorke’s Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War, World War 1 and World War 2.  It’s worth clicking on the links to find out a bit more about them.  Information sources include Wikipedia, London Gazette Archive and VCOnline.

Richard Wallace Annand (1914 – 2004)

Place of birth: South Shields, Tyne and Wear

Unit:  Durham Light Infantry

Rank (at time of VC action): 2nd Lieutenant

Conflict:  World War 2

Citation

For most conspicuous gallantry on the 15th–16th May 1940, when the platoon under his command was on the south side of the River Dyle, astride a blown bridge. During the night a strong attack was beaten off, but about 11 a.m. the enemy again launched a violent attack and pushed forward a bridging party into the sunken bottom of the river. Second Lieutenant Annand attacked this party, but when ammunition ran out he went forward himself over open ground, with total disregard for enemy mortar and machine-gun fire. Reaching the top of the bridge, he drove out the party below, inflicting over twenty casualties with hand grenades. Having been wounded he rejoined his platoon, had his wound dressed, and then carried on in command.

Richard Annand’s platoon sergeant said later “Mr Annand came to me at platoon headquarters and asked for a box of grenades as they could hear Jerry trying to repair the bridge. Off he went and he sure must have given them a lovely time because it wasn’t a great while before he was back for more.

During the evening another attack was launched and again Second Lieutenant Annand went forward with hand grenades and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy. When the order to withdraw was received, he withdrew his platoon, but learning on the way back that his batman was wounded and had been left behind, he returned at once to the former position and brought him back in a wheelbarrow, before losing consciousness as the result of wounds.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/richard-wallace-annand-vc/4585926096

 

William Wilson Allen (1843 – 1896)

Place of birth:  Kyloe, Northumberland

Unit: 24th Regiment of Foot

Rank (at time of VC action): Corporal

Conflict:  Anglo-Zulu War

Citation

On the night of 22nd-23rd January 1879 under the command of Lieutenants Chard of the Royal Engineers, and Bromhead of the 24th, Corporal Allen and another man, Private Frederick Hitch were heavily involved in keeping communication open between the hospital and the barricades. During this action, Allen was wounded in the left shoulder, and briefly left the front line to get treatment. Their actions had already helped the patients to be withdrawn from the hospital safely, and having had their wounds dressed, they returned to action. Unable to bear arms due to his wounds, Allen joined with Hitch in distributing ammunition boxes around to their comrades throughout the night.

Allen was recommended for the Victoria Cross and his citation alongside Hitch was published in the London Gazette on 2nd May 1879. He was presented with his medal later that year on 9th December by Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle. Later he served as a Sergeant Instructor with the 3rd Militia Battalion in Brecon and the 4th Volunteer Battalion in Monmouth.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/william-wilson-allen-vc/4585912685

 

Roland Boys Bradford (1892 – 1917)

Place of birth:  Witton Park, County Durham

Unit:  Durham Light Infantry

Rank (at time of VC action):  Lieutenant Colonel

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery and good leadership in attack, whereby he saved the situation on the right flank of his Brigade and of the Division. Lieutenant-Colonel Bradford’s Battalion was in support. A leading Battalion having suffered very severe casualties, and the Commander wounded, its flank became dangerously exposed at close quarters to the enemy. Raked by machine-gun fire, the situation of the Battalion was critical. At the request of the wounded Commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Bradford asked permission to command the exposed Battalion in addition to his own. Permission granted, he at once proceeded to the foremost lines. By his fearless energy under fire of all description, and his skilful leadership of the two Battalions, regardless of all danger, he succeeded in rallying the attack, captured and defended the objective, and so secured the flank.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/roland-b-bradford-vc/4585990673

 

George Nicholson Bradford (1887 – 1918)

Place of birth:  Witton Park, County Durham

Unit:  Royal Navy

Rank (at time of VC action):  Lieutenant Commander

Conflict:  Work War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous gallantry at Zeebrugge on the night of the 22nd–23rd April, 1918. This Officer was in command of the Naval Storming Parties embarked in Iris II. When Iris II proceeded alongside the Mole great difficulty was experienced in placing the parapet anchors owing to the motion of the ship. An attempt was made to land by the scaling ladders before the ship was secured. Lieutenant Claude E. K. Hawkings (late Erin) managed to get one ladder in position and actually reached the parapet, the ladder being crushed to pieces just as he stepped off it. This very gallant young officer was last seen defending himself with his revolver. He was killed on the parapet. Though securing the ship was not part of his duties, Lieut.-Commander Bradford climbed up the derrick, which carried a large parapet anchor and was rigged out over the port side; during this climb the ship was surging up and down and the derrick crashing on the Mole. Waiting his opportunity he jumped with the parapet anchor on to the Mole and placed it in position. Immediately after hooking on the parapet anchor Lieut.-Commander Bradford was riddled with bullets from machine guns and fell into the sea between the Mole and the ship. Attempts to recover his body failed. Lieut.-Commander Bradford’s action was one of absolute self-sacrifice; without a moment’s hesitation he went to certain death, recognising that in such action lay the only possible chance of securing Iris II and enabling her storming parties to land.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/george-n-bradford-vc/4585990490

 

Hugh Cairns (1896 – 1918)

Place of birth:  Ashington, Northumberland

Unit:  46th Battalion, CEF

Rank (at time of VC action):  Sergeant

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery before Valenciennes on 1st November, 1918, when a machine gun opened on his platoon. Without a moment’s hesitation Serjt. Hugh Cairns seized a Lewis gun and single-handed, in the face of direct fire, rushed the post, killed the crew of five, and captured the gun. Later, when the line was held up by machine-gun fire, he again rushed forward, killing 12 enemies and capturing 18 and two guns.

Subsequently, when the advance was held up by machine guns and field guns, although wounded, he led a small party to outflank them, killing many, forcing about 50 to surrender, and capturing all the guns. After consolidation, he went with a battle patrol to exploit Marly and forced 60 enemies to surrender. Whilst disarming this party he was severely wounded. Nevertheless, he opened fire and inflicted heavy losses. Finally, he was rushed by about 20 enemies and collapsed from weakness and loss of blood.

Throughout the operation, he showed the highest degree of valour, and his leadership greatly contributed to the success of the attack. He died on the 2nd November from wounds.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/hugh-cairns-vc/4586139444

 

Edward Colquhoun Charlton (1920 – 1945)

Place of birth:  Rowlands Gill, Gateshead

Unit:  Irish Guards

Rank (at time of VC action):  Guardsman
Conflict:  World War 2

Citation

In Germany on the morning of 21st April, 1945, Guardsman Charlton was co-driver in one tank of a troop which, with a platoon of infantry, seized the village of Wistedt. Shortly afterwards, the enemy attacked this position under cover of an artillery concentration and in great strength, comprising, as it later transpired, a battalion of the 15 Panzer Grenadiers supported by six self-propelled guns. All the tanks, including Guardsman Charlton’s, were hit; the infantry were hard pressed and in danger of being over-run.

Whereupon, entirely on his own initiative, Guardsman Charlton decided to counterattack the enemy. Quickly recovering the Browning from his damaged tank, he advanced up the road in full view of the enemy, firing the Browning from his hip. Such was the boldness of his attack and the intensity of his fire that he halted the leading enemy company, inflicting heavy casualties on them. This effort at the same time brought much needed relief to our own infantry.

For ten minutes Guardsman Charlton fired in this manner, until wounded in the left arm. Immediately, despite intense enemy fire, ‘he mounted his machine gun on a nearby fence, which he used to support his wounded left arm. He stood firing thus for a further ten minutes until he was again hit in the left arm which fell away shattered and useless.

Although twice wounded and suffering from Boss of blood, Guardsman Charlton again lifted his machine gun on to the fence, now having only one arm with which to fire and reload. Nevertheless, he still continued to inflict casualties on the enemy, until finally;” he was hit for the third time and collapsed. He died later of his wounds in enemy hands. The heroism and determination of this Guardsman in his self-imposed task were beyond all praise. Even his German captors were amazed at his valour.

Guardsman Charlton’s courageous and self-sacrificing action not only inflicted extremely heavy casualties on the enemy and retrieved his comrades from a desperate situation, but also enabled the position to be speedily recaptured.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/edward-c-charlton-vc/4586173202

 

George Bell Chicken (1833 – 1860)

Place of birth:  Wallsend, Tyne and Wear

Unit:  Indian Naval Brigade

Rank (at time of VC action):  Master (Civilian Volunteer)

Conflict:  Indian Mutiny

Citation

Indian Naval Brigade. For great gallantry on the 27th September, 1858, at Suhejnee, near Peroo, in having charged into the middle of a considerable number of the rebels, who were preparing to rally and open fire upon the scattered pursuers. They were surrounded on all sides, but, fighting desperately, Mr. Chicken succeeded in killing five before he was cut. down himself. He would have been cut to pieces, had not some of the men of the 1st Bengal Police and 3rd Seikh Irregular Cavalry, dashed into the crowd to his rescue/and routed it, after killing several of the Enemy.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/george-b-chicken-vc/4586181974

 

Joseph Henry Collin (1893 – 1918)

Place of birth:  Jarrow, Tyne and Wear

Unit:  King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment

Rank (at time of VC action):  2nd Lieutenant

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty and self-sacrifice in action. After offering a long and gallant resistance against heavy odds in the Keep held by his platoon, this officer, with only five of his men remaining, slowly withdrew in the face of superior numbers, contesting every inch of the ground. The enemy were pressing him hard with bombs and machine-gun fire from close range. Single-handed 2nd Lt. Collin attacked the machine gun and team. After firing his revolver into the enemy, he seized a Mills grenade and threw it into the hostile team, putting the gun out of action, killing four of the team and wounding two others. Observing a second hostile machine gun firing, he took a Lewis gun, and selecting a high point of vantage on the parapet whence he could engage the gun, he, unaided, kept the enemy at bay until he fell mortally wounded. The heroic self-sacrifice of 2nd Lt. Collin was a magnificent example to all.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/joseph-h-collin-vc/4586220820

 

Edward Cooper (1896 – 1985)

Place of birth:  Stockton-on-Tees

Unit:  King’s Royal Rifle Corps

Rank (at time of VC action):  Sergeant

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack. Enemy machine guns from a concrete blockhouse, 250 yards away, were holding up the advance of the battalion on his left, and were also causing heavy casualties to his own battalion. Sjt. Cooper, with four men, immediately rushed towards the blockhouse, though heavily fired on. About 100 yards distant he ordered his men to lie down and fire at the blockhouse. Finding this did not silence the machine guns, he immediately rushed forward straight at them and fired his revolver into an opening in the blockhouse. The machine guns ceased firing and the garrison surrendered. Seven machine guns and forty-five prisoners were captured in this blockhouse.

By this magnificent act of courage he undoubtedly saved what might have been a serious check to the whole advance, at the same time saving a great number of lives.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/edward-cooper-vc/4586242424

 

Fredrick William Dobson (1886 – 1935)

Place of birth:  Ovingham, Northumberland

Unit:  Coldstream Guards

Rank (at time of VC action):  Private

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry at Chavanne (Aisne) on the 28th of September, in bringing into cover on two occasions, under heavy fire, wounded men who were lying exposed in the open.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/frederick-w-dobson-vc/4586532870

 

Dennis Donnini (1925 – 1945)

Place of birth:  Easington Colliery, County Durham

Unit:  Royal Scots Fusiliers

Rank (at time of VC action):  Fusilier

Conflict:  World War 2

Citation

In North-West Europe on 18th January, 1945, a Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers supported by tanks was the leading Battalion in the assault of the German position between the Rivers Roer and Maas. This consisted of a broad belt of minefields and wire on the other side of a stream.

As the result of a thaw the armour was unable to cross the stream and the infantry had to continue the assault without the support of the tanks. Fusilier Donnini’s platoon was ordered to attack a small village.

As they left their trenches the platoon came under concentrated machine gun and rifle fire from the houses and Fusilier Donnini was hit by a bullet in the head. After a few minutes he recovered consciousness, charged down thirty yards of open road and threw a ‘grenade into the nearest window.

The enemy fled through the gardens of four houses, closely pursued by Fusilier Donnini and the survivors of his platoon. Under heavy fire at seventy yards range Fusilier Donnini and two companions crossed an open space and reached the cover of a wooden barn, thirty yards from the enemy trenches.

Fusilier Donnini, still bleeding profusely from his wound, went into the open under intense close range fire and carried one of his companions, who had been wounded, into the barn. Taking a Bren gun he again went into the open, firing as he went.

He was wounded a second time but recovered and went on firing until a third bullet hit a grenade which he was carrying and killed him.

The superb gallantry and self-sacrifice of Fusilier Donnini drew the enemy fire away from his companions on to himself. As the result of this, the platoon were able to capture the position, accounting for thirty Germans and two machine guns.

Throughout this action, fought from beginning to end at point blank range, the dash, determination and magnificent courage of Fusilier Donnini enabled his comrades to overcome an enemy more than twice their own number.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/dennis-donnini-vc/4586533050

 

Basil John Douglas Guy (1882 – 1956)

Place of birth:  Bishop Auckland

Unit:  Royal Navy

Rank (at time of VC action):  Midshipman (on board HMS Barfleur)

Conflict:  Boxer Rebellion

Citation

On 13th July 1900, during the attack on Tientsin City, a very heavy cross-fire was brought to bear on the Naval Brigade, and there were several casualties. Among those who fell was an able seaman (name not quoted here), shot about 50 yards short of cover. Mr. Guy stopped with him, and, after seeing what the injury was, attempted to lift him up and carry him in, but was not strong enough, so after binding up the wound Mr. Guy ran to get assistance. In the mean time, the remainder of the company had passed in under cover, and the entire fire from the city wall was concentrated on Mr. Guy and the other man. Shortly after Mr. Guy had got in under cover the stretchers came up, and again Mr. Guy dashed out and assisted in placing the wounded man on the stretcher and carrying him in. The wounded man was however shot dead just as he was being carried into safety. During the whole time, a very heavy fire had been brought to bear upon Mr. Guy, and the ground around him was absolutely ploughed up.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/basil-j-d-guy-vc/4586873567

 

Michael Wilson Heaviside (1880 – 1939)

Place of birth:  Durham

Unit:  Durham Light Infantry

Rank (at time of VC action):  Private

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.

When the Battalion was holding a block in the line a wounded man was observed about 2 p.m. in a shell hole some sixty yards in advance of our block and about forty yards from the enemy line. He was making signals of distress and holding up an empty water bottle. Owing to snipers and machine gun fire it was impossible, during daylight, to send out a stretcher party. But Pte. Heaviside at once volunteered to carry water and food to the wounded man, despite the enemy fire.

This he succeeded in doing, and found the man to be badly wounded and nearly demented with thirst.

He had lain out for four days and three nights, and the arrival of the water undoubtedly saved his life.

Pte. Heaviside, who is a stretcher bearer, succeeded the same evening, with the assistance of two comrades, in rescuing the wounded man.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/michael-w-heaviside-vc/4586954510

 

Stanley Elton Hollis (1912 – 1972)

Place of birth:  Middlesbrough

Unit:  Green Howards

Rank (at time of VC action):  Warrant Officer Class II (Company Sergeant Major)

Conflict:  World War 2

Citation

In Normandy on 6 June 1944 Company Sergeant-Major Hollis went with his company commander to investigate two German pill-boxes which had been by-passed as the company moved inland from the beaches. “Hollis instantly rushed straight at the pillbox, firing his Sten gun into the first pill-box, He jumped on top of the pillbox, re-charged his magazine, threw a grenade in through the door and fired his Sten gun into it, killing two Germans and taking the remainder prisoners.

Later the same day… C.S.M. Hollis pushed right forward to engage the [field] gun with a PIAT [anti-tank weapon] from a house at 50 yards range… He later found that two of his men had stayed behind in the house…In full view of, the enemy who were continually firing at him, he went forward alone…distract their attention from the other men. Under cover of his diversion, the two men were able to get back.

Wherever the fighting was heaviest…[he]…appeared, displaying the utmost gallantry… It was largely through his heroism and resource that the Company’s objectives were gained and casualties were not heavier. ….he saved the lives of many of his men.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/stanley-e-hollis-vc/4587029527

 

James Bulmer Johnson (1889 – 1943)

Place of birth:  Widdrington, Northumberland

Unit:  The Northumberland Fusiliers

Rank (at time of VC action):  2nd Lieutenant

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty S.W. of Wez Macquart on the morning of 14th Oct, 1918, during operations by strong patrols.

He repelled frequent counter-attacks and for six hours under heavy fire he held back the enemy. When at length he was ordered to retire lie was the last to leave the advanced position, carrying a wounded man. Three times subsequently this officer returned and brought in badly wounded men under intense enemy machine-gun fire. His valour, cheerfulness and utter disregard of danger inspired all.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/james-b-johnson-vc/4587207236

 

Thomas Kenny (1882 – 1948)

Place of birth:  South Wingate, County Durham

Unit:  Durham Light Infantry

Rank (at time of VC action):  Private

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the night of 4th November, 1915, near La Houssoie. When on patrol in a thick fog with Lieutenant Brown, 13th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry, some Germans, who were lying out in a ditch in front of their parapet, opened fire and shot Lieutenant Brown through both thighs. Private Kenny, although heavily and repeatedly fired upon, crawled about for more than an hour with his wounded officer on his back, trying to find his way through the fog to our trenches. He refused more than once to go on alone, although told by Lieutenant Brown to do so. At last, when utterly exhausted, he came to a ditch which he recognised, placed Lieutenant Brown in it, and went to look for help. He found an officer and a few men of his battalion at a listening post, and after guiding them back, with their assistance Lieutenant Brown was brought in, although the Germans again opened heavy fire with rifles and machine-guns, and threw bombs at 30 yards distance. Private Kenny’s pluck, endurance and devotion to duty were beyond praise.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/thomas-kenny-vc/4587282599

 

Edward Lawson (1873 – 1955)

Place of birth:  Newcastle upon Tyne

Unit:  Gordon Highlanders

Rank (at time of VC action):  Private

Conflict:  Tirah Campaign

Citation

The Gordon Highlanders. Private E. Lawson. During the attack on the Dargai Heights on the 20th October, 1897, Private Lawson carried Lieutenant K. Dingwall, the Gordon Highlanders (who was wounded and unable to move), out of a heavy fire, and subsequently returned and brought in Private McMillan, being himself wounded in two places.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/edward-lawson-vc/4587420089

 

John Aidan Liddell (1888 – 1915)

Place of birth:  Newcastle upon Tyne

Unit:  No.7 Squadron RFC

Rank (at time of VC action):  Captain

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 31st July, 1915. When on a flying reconnaissance over Ostend-Bruges-Ghent he was severely wounded (his right thigh being broken), which caused momentary unconsciousness, but by a great effort he recovered partial control after his machine had dropped nearly 3,000 feet, and notwithstanding his collapsed state succeeded, although continually fired at, in completing his course, and brought the aeroplane into our lines— half an hour after he had been wounded.

The difficulties experienced by this Officer in saving his machine, and the life of his observer, cannot be readily expressed, but as the control wheel and throttle control were smashed, and also one of the undercarriage struts, it would seem incredible that he could have accomplished his task.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/john-a-liddell-vc/4587448524

 

George Allan Maling (1888 – 1929)

Place of Birth:  Bisphopwearmouth (Sunderland), Tyne and Wear

Unit:  Royal Army Medical Corps (Medical Officer in the Prince Consort’s Own Rifle Brigade)

Rank (at time of VC action):  Temporary Lieutenant

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the heavy fighting near Fauquissart on 25th September, 1915. Lieutenant Maling worked incessantly with untiring energy from 6.15 a.m. on the 25th till 8 a.m. on the 26th, collecting and treating in the open under heavy shell fire more than 300 men. At about 11 a.m. on the 25th he was flung down and temporarily stunned by the bursting of a large high explosive shell, which wounded his only assistant and killed several of his patients. A second shell soon after covered him and his instruments with debris, but his high courage and zeal never failed him and he continued his gallant work single-handed.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/george-a-maling-vc/4587496416

 

William McNally (1894 – 1976)

Place of birth:  Murton, County Durham

Unit:  Green Howards

Rank (at time of VC action):  Sergeant

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery and skilful leading during the operations on the 27th October, 1918, across the Piave, when hie company was most seriously hindered in its advance by heavy machine-gun fire from the vicinity of some buildings on a flank. Utterly regardless of personal safety, he rushed the machine-gun post single-handed, killing the team and capturing the gun.

Later at Vazzola, on the 29th October, 1918, when his company, having crossed the Monticano River, came under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, Sjt. McNally immediately directed the fire of his platoon against the danger point, whilst he himself crept to the rear of the enemy position. Realising that a frontal attack would mean heavy losses, he, unaided, rushed the position, killing or putting to flight the garrison and capturing a machine gun.

On the same day, when holding a newly captured ditch, he was strongly counterattacked from both flanks. By his coolness and skill in controlling the fire of his party he frustrated the attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy.

Throughout the whole operations his innumerable acts of gallantry set a high example to his men, and his leading was beyond all praise.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/william-mcnally-vc/4587619996

 

Robert Newell (1835 – 1858)

Place of birth:  Seaham, County Durham

Unit:  9th Lancers

Rank (at time of VC action):  Private

Conflict:  Indian Mutiny

Citation

For conspicuous gallantry at Lucknow, on the 19th of March, 1858, in going to the assistance of a comrade whose horse had fallen on bad ground, and bringing him away, under a heavy fire of musketry from a large body of the enemy.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/robert-newell-vc/4587726073

 

Henry Howey Robson (1894 – 1964)

Place of birth:  South Shields, Tyne and Wear

Unit:  Royal Scots

Rank (at time of VC action):  Private

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery near Kemmel on the 14th December, 1914, during an attack on the German position, when he left his trench under a very heavy fire and rescued a wounded Non-commissioned Officer, and subsequently for making an attempt to bring another wounded man into cover, whilst exposed to a severe fire: In this attempt he was at once wounded, but persevered in his efforts until rendered helpless by being shot a second time.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/henry-h-robson-vc/4588068486

 

Richard Been Stannard (1902 – 1977)

Place of birth:  Blyth, Northumberland

Unit:  Royal Navy

Rank (at time of VC action):  Lieutenant (on board HMS Arab)

Conflict:  World War 2

Citation

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the grant of the Victoria Cross to Lieutenant Richard Been Stannard, R.N.R., H.M.S. Arab, for outstanding valour and signal devotion to duty at Namsos. When enemy bombing attacks had set on fire many tons of hand grenades on Namsos wharf, with no shore water supply available, Lieutenant Stannard ran Arab’s bows against the wharf and held her there. Sending all but two of his crew aft, he then endeavoured for two hours to extinguish the fire with hoses from the forecastle. He persisted in this work till he had to give up the attempt as hopeless.

After helping other ships against air attacks, he placed his own damaged vessel under shelter of a cliff, landed his crew and those of two other trawlers, and established an armed camp. Here those off duty could rest while he attacked enemy aircraft which approached by day, and kept anti-submarine watch during the night.

When another trawler near-by was hit and set on fire by a bomb, he, with two others, boarded Arab and moved her 100 yards before the other vessel blew up. Finally, when leaving the fjord, he was attacked by a German bomber which ordered him to steer East or be sunk. He held on his course, reserved his fire till the enemy was within 800 yards, and then brought the aircraft down.

Throughout a period of five days Arab was subjected to 31 bombing attacks and the camp and Lewis gun positions ashore were repeatedly machine-gunned and bombed; yet the defensive position was so well planned that only one man was wounded.

Lieutenant Stannard ultimately brought his damaged ship back to an English port. His continuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy was magnificent, and his enterprise and resource not only caused losses to the Germans but saved his ship and many lives.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/richard-b-stannard-vc/4588279339

 

Adam Herbert Wakenshaw (1914 – 1942)

Place of birth:  Newcastle upon Tyne

Unit:  Durham Light Infantry

Rank (at time of VC action):  Private

Conflict:  World War 2

Citation

On the 27th June, 1942, south of Mersa Matruh, Private Wakenshaw was a member of the crew of a 2-pounder anti-tank gun. An enemy tracked vehicle towing a light gun came within short range. The gun crew opened fire and succeeded in immobilising the enemy vehicle. Another mobile gun came into action, killed or seriously wounded the crew manning the 2-pounder, including Private Wakenshaw, and silenced the 2-pounder. Under intense fire, Private Wakenshaw crawled back to his gun. Although his left arm was blown off, he loaded the gun with one arm and fired five more rounds, setting the tractor on fire and damaging the light gun. A direct hit on the ammunition finally killed him and destroyed the gun. This act of conspicuous gallantry prevented the enemy from using their light gun on the infantry Company which was only 200 yards away. It was through the self sacrifice and courageous devotion to duty of this infantry anti-tank gunner that the Company was enabled to withdraw and to embus in safety.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/adam-h-wakenshaw-vc/4588398535

 

Thomas Young (1895 – 1966)

Place of birth:  Boldon, Tyne and Wear

Unit:  Durham Light Infantry

Rank (at time of VC action):  Private

Conflict:  World War 1

Citation

For most conspicuous bravery in face of the enemy when acting as a stretcher-bearer. He showed throughout the whole course of the operations a most magnificent example of courage and devotion to duty. On nine different occasions he went out in front of our line in broad daylight under heavy rifle, machine gun and shell fire which was directed on him, and brought back wounded to safety, those too badly wounded to be moved before dressing he dressed under this harassing fire, and carried them unaided to our lines and safety; he rescued and saved nine lives in this manner.

His untiring energy, coupled with an absolute disregard of personal danger, and the great skill he showed in dealing with casualties, is beyond all praise. For five days Pte. Young worked unceasingly, evacuating wounded from seemingly impossible places.

Find Out More

http://www.vconline.org.uk/thomas-young-vc/4588593615

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s