VC Winners?

Discussion in 'History' started by seafarer1939, Jul 1, 2011.

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  1. I have just finishes a book of the letters of one Robert Shebbeare VC an officer in the Indian mutiny.
    He was undoubtedly a brave officer but the part that made me sit up was:
    Another Senior Officer wrote to him saying you did a brave thing[but in my opinion reading the reports it was brave but not VC materiel but[I may not have seen the whole picture although I've read it extensively and I think I am clear on it] he said " If you want to put yourself forward for the VC I will support your application!
    I thought that you had to be recommended from a person who saw your bravery and forwarded it.
    Captain Shebbeare felt he deserved it and applied for it and it was awarded around 1860.
    This was an officer who served the East Indian Company and The Goorkas[The Ghurkas!] during the Indian Mutiny and was a fine officer.
    After 15 years with no leave to England he was finally granted leave to go home but died of fever just out of Singers and buried at sea,much to the distress of his family who were waiting for him at Plymouth docks as the ship arrived.
    I know it's Army and not RN but I just wondered.
    A very brave man but was it normal for someone to recommend themselves for the VC?
    I don't understand that.
    Maybe some will
  2. Maybe it was different back then and hossifers could recommend themselves, obviously different for t'other ranks.
  3. Hi, SF1939,

    It was and still is customary for a serviceman's name to be put forward for recommendation of the award by his fellow comrades or superior officer, however, it didn't always happen that way, as in the case of Charles Wooden, whose claim was "I was there too, therefore I should also received a VC." Wooden put his own name forward, and after much whinging and whining on his part, was controversially awarded the VC. The Wiki link below touches on the "controversial award". A more detailed account can be found in the book Symbol of Courage by Max Arthur.

    Charles Wooden - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  4. Thanks for that,I think I've mentioned before when I left school and went down the pits at the bottom of the shaft was an old mustard scarred vet from WW1.
    He and his mate VC Young were stretcher bearers who went out in No mans Land and saved 9 wounded.
    VC young was awarded the medal[and I knew him in the Village, he never ever bought a drink as it was customary that a VC never bought drinks]
    He was the nicest and most modest man you could find as I suppose most were but I never understood why his mate on the other end of the stretcher got nowt!
    Even now if you read the report you will find that Young went out and saved the soldiers no mention of his mate on the other end of the stretcher.
    I think sometimes High awards are given with out thinking them thru too much especially the early ones.
    They were all very brave,foolhardy,scared,determined and a credit to their country I just don't see how you can recommend your self for a medal.
  5. Is there a consolidated list of RN/RM VC winners anywhere?
  6. Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  7. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    And for the RN, "Victoria Cross at Sea" by John Winton
  8. :thumleft: A good book indeed, Seaweed!

    Here's a list from my Max Arthur book - RN VC recipients 1940 - 1945. They all should be listed On the VC Holders website.
    Link: List of VICTORIA CROSS Holders

    LINTON, John Wallace. Cdr, RN.
    ROOPE, Gerald Broadmead. LT. Cdr. RN.
    WARBURTON-LEE, Bernard Armitage Warburton. Cpt. RN.
    STANDARD, Richard Been. Lt. RN.
    MANTLE, Jack Foreman. A/Leading Seaman. RN.
    FEGEN, Edward Stephen Fogerty. A/Cpt. RN.
    SEPTON, Alfred Edward. PO. RN.
    WANKLYN, Malcolm David. Lt. Cdr. RN.
    ESMONDE, Eugene. Lt. Cdr. 825 Squadron. FAA.
    WILKINSON, Thomas. T/Lt. RNR.
    GOULD, Thomas William. PO. RN.
    ROBERTS, Peter Scawen Watkinson. Lt. RN.
    MIER, Anthony Cecil Capel. Cdr. RN.
    SHERBROOKE, Robert St Vincent. Cpt. RN.
    BEATTIE, Stephen Halden. Lt. Cdr. RN.
    RYDER, Robert Edward Dudley. Cdr. RN.
    SAVAGE, William Alfred, Able Seaman, RN.
    PETERS, Frederick Thornton A/Cpt. RN.
    CAMERON, Donald. Lt. RNR.
    PLACE, Basil Charles Godfrey. Lt. RN.
    HUNTER, Thomas Peck. Corporal. 43 RM Commando attached to Special Service Troop.
    FRASER, Ian Edward. Lt. RN.
    MAGENNIS, James Joseph. A/Leading Seaman. RN.
    GRAY. Robert Hampton. T/Lt. RCNVR serving with 1841 Squadron. FAA.

    DURRANT, Thomas Frank, Sgt. Royal Engineers attached to 1 Commando.

  9. :salute::salute:Two famous Wafu VC Holders in your list Maam, along with the other two famous Wafu VC Holders from the First World War
  10. There have been 14 submariner VC's, 9 of them from WW2 and on the list.
  11. Hi SF1939,

    I have now had time to carry out a little bit of research on Thomas Young VC, who you refer to above. The simple explanation as to why no other stretcher bearer was mentioned or considered for the award at the same time as Thomas Young is that they simply were not there. Thomas Young acted alone - unaided.

    Thomas Youngs citation was published in The London Gazette 31st May 1918, in which it states the following:

    203590 Pte. Thomas Young, Durham L.I.
    For most conspicuous bravery in the 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.

    Link to the Citation: Viewing Page 6572 of Issue 30726

    I agree with you regarding those who in the past nominated themselves for the award, I don't think it was ethically right, and therefore it should not have been allowed.... but that is just my opinion.

  12. Thanks for that Sweatpea,I do have his gallantry report and his picture and as I said I knew him pretty well.
    A young lad just joining up was in awe of him as was the Village who had it's own share of heroes as well as him but!
    This topic has been a long bone of contention in the village,many have said it was wrong that he went alone all the time to rescue the men ,Seth at the shaft bottom refused to speak re. it as did VC Young but from others who were there , it seems they said Seth was on the Stretcher a few times with Young and that is not disputed.
    The fact that he was awarded the VC was down to an Officer seeing him and making the necessary recommendation.
    Seth never made an comment over it but you know bar talk and I heard them talk about it quite a lot.
    Next time I came on leave VC Young was dead and sadly missed by all and the talk died out.
    Doesn't matter what the truth was he was exceptionally brave to risk his life with no means of defending himself.BTW he was very modest and would never speak of it.
    My old man and plenty of others also never spoke of both Wars.
    If I'd won the VC I'd have worn it out to shop at Tesco's!
    But I'm a tosser, they were exceptional.Cheers
  13. :salute:Well told SF 1939 your story touched my heart string

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