Lachhiman Gurung VC

Lachhiman Gurung (30/12/1917 – 12/12/2010), a member of the 4th Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles of the Indian Army, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in May 1945 at Taungdaw, Burma.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of 24 July 1945, Supplement:37195, Page: 3861 reads:
“No. 87726 Rifleman LACHHIMAN GURUNG, 8th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.

At Taungdaw, in Burma, on the west bank of the Irrawaddy, on the night of I2th/I3th May, 1945, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning the most forward post of his platoon. At 0120 hours at least 200 enemy assaulted his Company position. The brunt of the attack was borne by Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s section and by his own post in particular. This post dominated a jungle path leading up into his platoon locality.

Before assaulting, the enemy hurled innumerable grenades at the position from close range. One grenade fell on the lip of Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s trench; he at once grasped it and hurled it back at the enemy. Almost immediately another grenade fell – directly inside the trench.

Again this Rifleman snatched it up and threw it back. A third grenade then fell just in front of the trench. He attempted to throw it back, but it exploded in his hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his right arm arid severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded and lay helpless in the bottom of the trench.

The enemy, screaming and shouting, now formed up shoulder to shoulder and attempted to rush the position by sheer weight of numbers. Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung,  regardless of his wounds, fired and loaded his rifle with his left hand, maintaining a continuous and steady rate of fire. 

Wave after wave of fanatical attacks were thrown in by the enemy and all were repulsed with heavy casualties. For four hours after being severely wounded Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung remained alone at his post, waiting with perfect calm for each attack, which he met with fire at point-blank range from his rifle, determined not to give one inch of ground.

Of the 87 enemy dead counted in the immediate vicinity of the Company locality, 31 lay in front of this Rifleman’s section, the key to the whole position. Had the enemy succeeded in over-running and occupying Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s trench, the whole of the reverse slope position would have been completely dominated and turned.

This Rifleman, by his magnificent example, so inspired his comrades to resist the enemy to the last, that, although surrounded and-cut off for three days and two nights, they held and smashed every attack.

His outstanding gallantry and extreme devotion to duty, in the face of almost overwhelming odds, were the main factors in the defeat of the enemy. “

Lachhiman Gurung VC died at the  Chiswick War Memorial Homes on 12th December 2010  aged 92 of pneumonia, and was buried in Chiswick New Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 12/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

William Ratcliffe VC. MM.

William Ratclifffe (18/01/1884 – 26/03/1963), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 14 June 1917 at Messines, Belgium, 

The Citation, published in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30215 Page: 7907, reads:

“No. 2251 Pte. William Ratcliffe, S. Lane. E. For most conspicuous bravery.
After an enemy’s trench had been captured, Pte. Ratcliffe located an enemy machine gun which was firing on his comrades from the rear, whereupon, single handed and on his own initiative, he immediately, rushed the machine gun position and bayoneted the crew. He then brought the gun back into action in the front line. 

This very gallant soldier has displayed great resource on previous occasions, and has set an exceptionally fine example of devotion to duty.”

He is commemorated on the Liverpool Heroes Statue in Abercromby Square in Liverpool

Liverpool Heroes Statue. Inscription

And there is a Commemorative Plaque for him at the Hall of Remembrance in Liverpool City Hall

Commemorative Plaque, Hall of Remembrance, Liverpool City Hall

Outside the Hall of Remembrance is a framed list of names that are connected to Liverpool and he is also listed on it.

A paving stone was unveiled for him at the Liverpool Parish Church on 15 June 2017. 

William Ratcliffe VC. MM. died on 26 March 1963, and is  buried in  Allerton Cemetery in Liverpool.

DRW © 2018. Created 20/06/2018

Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson VC.

Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson (23/09/1872 –  15/12/1932) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Wolvespruit, about 15 miles north of Standerton, Transvaal, South Africa, on 5 July 1990.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27229 Page: 5688, reads:

“Lord Strathcona’s Corps

Sergeant Arthur Herbert Lindsey Richardson

On the 5th July, 1900, at Wolve Spruit, about 15 miles north of Standerton, a party of Lord Strathcona’s Corps, only 38 in number, came into contact, and was engaged at close quarters, with a force of 80 of the enemy. 
When the order to retire had been given, Sergeant Richardson rode back under a very heavy cross-fire and picked up a trooper whose horse had been shot and who was wounded in two places and rode with him out of fire. 
At the time when this act of gallantry was performed, Sergeant Richardson was within 300 yards of the enemy, and was himself riding a wounded horse.”

He is buried in St James Cemetery, Liverpool, and the headstone is erected  on the patch of lawn between the cemetery entrance and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

DRW © 2018. Created 05/06/2018.  Taddy &Co cigarette card by Card Promotions, ©1997, first issued 1902.

Patrick Joseph Bugden VC

Patrick Joseph Bugden (17/03/1897 – 28/09/1917) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Polygon Wood, during the Passchendaele Offensive from 26 September to 28 September 1917.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30400 Page: 12329 reads: 

“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when, on two occasions, our advance was temporarily held up by strongly defended “pill boxes”. Private Bugden, in the face of devastating fire from machine guns, gallantly led small parties to attack these strong points, and, successfully silencing the machine guns with bombs, captured the garrison at the point of the bayonet. On another occasion, when a Corporal, who had become detached from his company, had been captured and was being taken to the rear by the enemy, Private Bugden, single handed, rushed to the rescue of his comrade, shot one enemy, and bayonetted the remaining two, thus releasing the Corporal. On five occasions, he rescued wounded men under intense shell and machine gun fire, showing an utter contempt and disregard for danger. Always foremost in volunteering for any dangerous mission, it was during the execution of one of these missions that this gallant soldier was killed”

He is buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery, Zillebeke, Belgium.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 26/04/2017. Image courtesy of Mark Green.

John Joseph Sims VC

John Joseph Sims (1835 – 06/12/1881) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions following the assault on the Redan on 18 June 1855 during the Crimean War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 21971, Page: 659, reads:

“On the 18th June 1855, after his Regiment had retreated back to their trenches following the assault on the Redan, he went out into the open ground, under heavy fire, in broad daylight, and brought in wounded soldiers outside the trenches.”   

Sims died on 6 December 1881, aged 46 in the Union Workhouse, Thavies Inn, City of London from tuberculosis, and was buried in common ground in the City of London Cemetery, Manor Park. On Friday, 11th April 2003, a memorial plaque was placed over the location of his grave. 

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 21/04/2017. Image courtesy of Mark Green. 

Frederick Harold Tubb VC

Frederick Harold Tubb (28/11/1881 – 20/09/1917)  was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 9 August 1915 at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, Turkey.

.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 29328 Page: 10154,  reads:

“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Lone Pine trenches, in the Gallipoli Peninsula, on 9th August, 1915. In the early morning the enemy made a determined counter attack on the centre of the newly captured trench held by Lieutenant Tubb. They advanced up a sap and blew in a sandbag barricade, leaving only one foot of it standing, but Lieutenant Tubb led his men back, repulsed the enemy, and rebuilt the barricade. Supported by strong bombing parties, the enemy succeeded in twice again blowing in the barricade, but on each occasion Lieutenant Tubb, although wounded in the head and arm, held his ground with the greatest coolness and rebuilt it, and finally succeeded in maintaining his position under very heavy bomb fire.” 

He died from wounds received in battle at Polygon Wood, in the Third Battle of Ypres, on 20 September 1917. He is buried in  Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.

Maj. Frederick Harold Tubb VC.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 19/01/2016. Image courtesy of Mark Green.  Gallaher cigarette card by Card Promotions © 2001. First issued 1916. 

William Amey VC, MM

William Amey (05/03/1881 – 28/05/1940) was awarded the Victoria Cross for for his actions at Landrecies, France, during the First World War.

The Citation reads:

“On 4 November 1918 at Landrecies, France, when many hostile machine-gun nests were missed by the leading troops owing to fog, Lance-Corporal Amey led his section against a machine-gun nest under heavy fire and drove the garrison into a neighbouring farm, finally capturing 50 prisoners and several machine-guns. Later, single-handed and under heavy fire he attacked a machine-gun post in a farmhouse, killed two of the garrison and drove the remainder into a cellar until assistance arrived. Subsequently he rushed a strongly held post, capturing 20 more prisoners”.

He is buried in Leamington Spa Cemetery, Leamington Spa

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 18/01/2016. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Peter Scawen Watkinson Roberts VC, DSC

Peter Scawen Watkinson Roberts  (28/07/1917 – 8/12/1979) was awarded the Victoria Cross while serving on board HM Submarine Thrasher during the Second World War, north of Crete, in the Mediterranean.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 35591, Page: 2548 reads:

“Lieutenant Peter Scawen Watkinson Roberts, Royal Navy. 

Petty Officer Thomas William Gould, C/JXI47945-

On February 16th, in daylight, H.M. Submarine Thrasher attacked and’ sank a heavily escorted supply ship. She was at once attacked by depth charges and was bombed by aircraft.
The presence of two unexploded bombs in the gun-casing was discovered when after dark the submarine surfaced and began to roll.
Lieutenant Roberts and Petty Officer Gould volunteered to remove the bombs, -which were of a type unknown to them.  The danger in dealing with the second bomb was very great. To reach it they had to go through the casing which was .so low that they had to lie at full length to move in it. Through this narrow space, in complete darkness, they pushed and dragged the
bomb for a distance of some 20 feet until it could be lowered over the side. Every time the bomb was moved there was a loud twanging noise as of a broken spring which added nothing to their peace of mind.
This deed was the more gallant as H.M.S. Thrasher’s presence was known to the enemy; she was close to the enemy coast, and in waters where his patrols were known to be active day and night. There was a very great chance, and they knew it, that the submarine might have to crash-dive while they were in the casing. Had this happened they must have been drowned”

 

He is buried in Holy Cross Churchyard, Newton Ferrers, Devon.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/01/2016. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Charles Augustus Goodfellow VC

Charles Augustus Goodfellow (29/11/1836 – 01/09/1915) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny.

The Citation. recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22727, Page: 2071, reads:

“The late Bombay Engineers (now of the Royal Engineers),  Lieutenant Charles Augustus Goqdfellow

For gallant conduct at the attack on the Fort of Beyt, on the 6th of October, 1859. On that occasion, a soldier of the 28th Regiment was shot under the .walls of the Fort. Lieutenant Goodfellow rushed, under the walls, under a sharp fire of matchlocks, and bore off the body of the soldier, who was then dead, but whom he at first supposed to be wounded only.”

He is buried in Royal Leamington Spa, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/01/2016. Image courtesy of Mark Green 

William Beesley VC

William Beesley  (05/10/1895 – 23/09/1966), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30770, Page: 7619, reads:

“No. B.203174 Pte. William Beesley, Rifle Bde. (Nuneaton).

For most conspicuous bravery.
The enemy’s outpost position was attacked by two companies of his unit without artillery preparation. Pte. Beesley was in the leading wave of the left company, which came under heavy fire as it approached the enemy’s front line. His platoon serjeant and all the section commanders were killed. This young soldier, realising the situation at once, took command and led the assault. Single-handed he rushed a post, and with his revolver killed two of the enemy at a machine gun. He then shot dead an officer who ran across from a dug-out to take their place at the machine gun. Three more officers appeared from the dug-out. These he called on to surrender; seeing one of them trying to get rid of a map he shot him and obtained
the map. He took four more prisoners from a dug-out and two others from a shelter close by, disarmed them and sent them back to our lines. At this moment this Lewis gun was brought up by a comrade, who was acting as a. carrier. Pte. Beesley at once brought it into action, and used it with great effect against the enemy as they bolted towards their support line, inflicting many casualties. 

For four hours Pte. Beesley and his comrade held on to the position under very heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. The enemy then advanced to counter-attack, and the other soldier was wounded.. Pte. Beesley carried on by himself, and actually maintained his position until 10 p.m., long: after the posts on his right and left had been practically wiped out and the survivors had fallen back.
It was mainly due to his action that the enemy were-prevented, from rushing the position, and that the remnants of his company, when compelled’to withdraw were able-to do so without further loss. 

When darkness set in Pte. Beesley made his way back to the original line from which the attack had started, bringing with him the wounded carrier and the Lewis gun. He at once mounted the Lewis gun in the trench and remained in action until things quietened down.
The indomitable pluck, skilful shooting and good-judgment in economising ammunition displayed by Pte. Beesley stamp the incident as one of the most brilliant actions
in recent operations.”

He is buried in St Paul’s Cemetery, Coventry.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 16/01/2016