Basil Arthur Horsfall VC

Basil Arthur Horsfall (04/10/1887 – 21/03/1918) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 21 March 1918, between Moyenneville and Ablainzevelle, France. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30697, Page: 6058, reads:

2nd Lt. Basil Arthur Horsfall, late E. Lane. R

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. 2nd Lt’. Horsfall was in command of the centre platoon during an attack on our positions.

When the enemy first attacked his three forward sections were driven back and he was wounded in the head. Nevertheless, he immediately organised the remainder of his men and made a counter-attack, which recovered his original positions. On hearing that out of the remaining three officers of his company two were killed and one -wounded, he refused to go to the dressing station, although his wound was severe. Later his platoon had to be withdrawn to escape very heavy shell fire, but immediately the shelling lifted he made a second counter-attack and again recovered his positions. When the order to withdraw was given he was the last to leave his position, and, although exhausted, said he could have held on if it had been necessary.

His conduct was a splendid example to his men, and he showed throughout the utmost disregard of danger.

This very gallant officer was killed when retiring to the positions in rear.” 

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing, France. Bay 6.

Arras Memorial to the Missing. Image courtesy of Ralph Mclean and the South African War Graves Project. 

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