Victoria Crosses That Never Were....

Discussion in 'General' started by Drew5233, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    There was 182 Victoria Crosses awarded during WW2 one with a Bar and that figure could have been so different with a close inspection in the medal section of files held at Kew. Checking through citations over the last month or so looking for Royal Corps of Signals awards I've come across a few recommendations for Victoria Crosses that have been struck through by someone and down graded to a lesser medal.

    I have always had a bit of a curiousity with gallantry awards and the numerous why's and what for's that go with each individual award but the questions relating to these must surely be up the top of the list to be asked.

    Assuming it was not a postumous award, how did the recipient and his colleagues feel afterwards? British units have have always struck me as having, in the main quite a Esprit de Corps and would this have effected their moral?

    Why was it donwarded?

    Was it something forgotten about over time or was their bitterness for sometime after the war?

    I would think that, in the main, these questions sadly will never be answered accurately now but one thing is for sure, regardless of what they were awarded for gallantry everyone of their action will be worthy of a Victoria Cross in my eyes.


    Regards
    Andy
     
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  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    63575 Lieutenant Colonel J R Cleghorn DSO
    [​IMG]

    265856 Lieutenant W D Ross
    [​IMG]

    314293 Lieutenant R P Duthaler MC
    [​IMG]
     
  4. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA

    Would the recipient have known he'd got a lesser award. Like the war diaries, the citations were not available to view for quite a number of years. The only ones who would have known were those who wrote the citation and I am sure they would have kept Mum despite the disappointment.
     
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

  6. James Daly

    James Daly Senior Member

    One case that springs to mind is that of Paddy Mayne.

    I've come across a few cases of subalterns being awarded DSO's in WW1, which would suggest that they weren't far away from a VC.

    How much depended on exactly how the reccomendation was written up? I suspect a good, vivid report would make a higher award more likely, whereas a more wooden write-up might lead to downgrading?
     
  7. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    24th Guards Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps
    Action: Attack on Pts 212 and 214
    Date: 27 April to 1st May 1943

    This officer was in command of No. 3 Coy, which held Pt 212, a place vital to the rest of the position. More than any other single person he was responsible for holding and retaining this vital position. He personally organized and led two highly successful counter-attacks, clearing the crest and forward slopes of Pt 214 after they had been overrun by the enemy.

    He led the party which eliminated a pair of extremely troublesome M.G.s on a hill beyond 214, leading the final charge and personally shooting No. 1 on the first gun with his revolver.

    His unfailing energy, constant presence, cheerfulness, resolution and disregard of his own safety was an inspiration to the men of his company and to the whole force.

    Even when he was wounded and handed over command, on the Force Commander's orders to Sjt ASHTON, he continued to visit his company, after intervals of rest and could be seen limping and hopping form one rock to another, encouraging the men and cursing the Germans. He somehow managed to get in the forefront of the last counter-attack, and when not hurling grenades was pointing out suitable targets to his riflemen. He won a sort of awed admiration from his men, who would do anything for him and were continually asking how and where he was.

    This officer's gallantry and magnificent leadership inspired his men to fight back when they had been overrun by the enemy, enabled his company to hold this very important height and withstand five counter-attacks.

    I have no hesitation in saying that the loss of this position would have been a serious setback to the whole operation and it was due to his great spirit and conspicuous gallantry that the whole company fought and maintained this vital position at a very critical time.

    Signed C.A. M-D-SCOTT, Lt Col, O.C. 1st Bn IRISH GUARDS

    It would appear that it was the great gallantry and devotion to duty of this officer that enabled Pt 21 to be held against determined attacks by superior forces.

    Had this feature been lost the entire course of the battle would have been altered

    [I strongly recommend him for the Victoria Cross] (bracketed by hand)

    Recommended for an immediate DSO

    DSO

    LG 22.07.1943
    WO373/2-ir807-p7 & 8

    L/Cpl Patrick Kenneally was awarded the VC for the same action
     

    Attached Files:

    Drew5233 likes this.
  8. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    I was reading in Forgotten Voices of Dunkirk about a guy who kept Germans at bay with a Bren and was recommended for a VC but didn't get it.
     
  9. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    I was reading in Forgotten Voices of Dunkirk about a guy who kept Germans at bay with a Bren and was recommended for a VC but didn't get it.

    To expand, Andy.

    Written by Captain (Acting) Humpherey 'Bala' Bredin
    2nd Batt, Royal Ulster Rifles

    We had two chaps in a post in front of the railway, and they were getting into a lot of trouble. One of them was badly wounded, and one of the corporals did a marvellous thing. During the lull, he went to help the other chap to pull the fellow in, so we were able to evacuate that position. The chap was brought back and survived. But the corporal didn't survive. He was killed the next day by a rush of the enemy - which nearly suceeded in overwhelming us. The corporal manned his Bren gun, firing magazine after magazine, and he stopped that particular attempt almost single handedly. He was recommended for a Victoria Cross. (Doesn't actually say if he got it)
     
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    To expand, Andy.

    Written by Captain (Acting) Humpherey 'Bala' Bredin
    2nd Batt, Royal Ulster Rifles

    We had two chaps in a post in front of the railway, and they were getting into a lot of trouble. One of them was badly wounded, and one of the corporals did a marvellous thing. During the lull, he went to help the other chap to pull the fellow in, so we were able to evacuate that position. The chap was brought back and survived. But the corporal didn't survive. He was killed the next day by a rush of the enemy - which nearly suceeded in overwhelming us. The corporal manned his Bren gun, firing magazine after magazine, and he stopped that particular attempt almost single handedly. He was recommended for a Victoria Cross. (Doesn't actually say if he got it)

    Can't find anything, Only 2 MM's awarded to this battalion in 1940 and neither fit.
     
  11. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended a VC and downgraded to a DCM

    On 21 Nov 41 Pipe Major Roy displayed the most exceptional and outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty in the attack of the bn on Tiger from the Tobruch Perimeter. From the start line to the German Bn posn commanding the objective, he played his pipes with the foremost tps almost continuously throughout the advance of 22 miles, under heavy enemy fire of all kinds for the entire distance.

    When collective movement ceased, and while the enemy posn was being reduced, the Pipe Major crawled round to the wounded men near him, dressing wounds and giving them water, when any movement brought down a hail of enemy fire.

    In the vicinity of the objective he was ordered back to the RAP having been wounded three times. His bravery and example of complete disregard of personal danger was an inspiration to the advancing tps and had a direct bearing on maintaining the impetus of the attack. This NCO previously distinguished himself in the defence of Crete where he was again wounded and captured by the enemy. On recovery, he escaped from a POW camp in Greece and at considerable personal danger made his way to Syria where he rejoined the bn.

    MiD 15.12.42
    MBE 31.05.56

    DCM Gazetted 24.02.42
     
  12. izzy

    izzy Senior Member

    On the Halewood Village War Memorial near Liverpool is the name of George Ashplant. George was a pilot in 166 Sqdn R.A.F. he was awarded a C.G.M Aircrew which was awarded instead of the V.C. One of only 111 Awarded i believe.
     
  13. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended for VC

    'In recognition of gallantry displayed in flying operations against the enemy'

    One night in February 1943, Flight Sergeant Ashplant, after successfully completing an operational sortie on Lorient, was returning to base when, while over this country, his aircraft came into collision with a Halifax bomber. As a result his aircraft was severly damaged. Both engines were torn from their bearers, the front and underside of the nose were completely ripped off, the bomb aimers parachute stowage and parachute were carried away and both propellers were missing. The aircraft went out of control into a spin. Regaining control, however, Flight Sergeant Ashplant gave his parachute to the bomb aimer and ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. By fine example of airmanship and determination he managed to make a crashed landing with the remians of his bomber, without personal injury. Flight Sergeant Ashplant, in an appalling situation, displayed the utmost courage and devotion to duty and acted in accordance with the highest traditions of the Royal Air Force.


    LG 30.03.43

    Later killed on a raid over Hamburg on the night of 24/25th July 1943, buried in Hamburg Cemetery.

    Award presented by HM King George VI to next of kin 18.12.45

    He would have been more likely to receive a George Cross rather than a Victoria Cross as there was no direct enemy involvement and wouldn't qualify for a VC.
     
  14. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Recommended for VC and downgraded to DSO

    Parent Regiment Lancashire Fusiliers

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Witness statements accompany this citation online at NA.
     
  15. eddie chandler

    eddie chandler Senior Member

    Drew

    I think my Great grandfathers may have been a recommendation of a MM originally and then upgraded to a DCM? I've read in the diary that and MM was recommended but the citation clearly states that an immediate DCM to be awarded. This is on the first page of his citation. Given your knowledg of these citations and recommendations what is your view on this. I have the page that states MM in the war diary if you want me to upload it to help with an answer if you need it.

    Ed
     
  16. izzy

    izzy Senior Member

    Drew i have a photo copy of the Recommendation for the V.C for Ashplant it mentions the V.C twice i cannot reproduce it but for anyone intrested its on page 17 of On Wings of War A History of 166 Squadron by Jim Wright. Im very intrested in the mention about the award being given to the N.O.K in 1945 as i was under the impression from the local press that he went to the Palace himself to receive the award do you have a reference for this event as i can check local press for this date.
     
  17. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    From None Bolder: The History of the 51st Highland Division in the Second World War by Richard Doherty:

    But the pipers march in a place of great danger and often pay the highest price for their efforts. Such was the case with Piper Duncan McIntyre, a 19-years-old with 5th Black Watch. McIntyre led A Company towards their first objective Montrose. He must have known that he was facing death but he could not have expected his name to achieve posthumous legendary status in both his regiment and the Highland Division. As A Company moved forward, Duncan McIntyre played as men fell "all around him in the intense concentration of enemy artillery, mortar and small-arms fire". McIntyre was wounded but continued playing. Although he was struck a second time, still his pipes could be heard. Then, as the assault went in on Montrose, Piper McIntyre broke into "Heilan' Laddie" and his complete disregard for his own safety was an inspiration to his comrades as they completed the deadly advance on the enemy strongpoint. Montrose was taken by A and B Companies but young McIntyre had been hit a third time, by a mortar bomb that knocked him on the ground. And yet he continued to play as the life ebbed from his body.

    "In the morning they found him with his beloved pipes under his arm, his fingers rigid on the chanter, true to the last of his clan motto, 'Per Ardua'."

    Duncan McIntyre had shown the type of courage that merits the award of the Victoria Cross and it was felt in his battalion that he deserved such distinction. Both the brigade commander and General Wimberley agreed that this was so and recommendation was submitted for the Cross. Unfortunately this was unsuccessful and McIntyre's sacrifice went unmarked save in the minds of all who served in the Highland Division.
     
  18. Capt Bill

    Capt Bill wanderin off at a tangent

  19. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Intresting I posted on this a little while back after seeing it in the book mentioned in your link......... nice link by the way.And heres the post I mentioned. I have recently got the book SAS History Of The Special Raiding Squadron, 'Paddys Men' and at the end of the book is a Citation for an award of the VC to W/Major(T/LT COL) 87306 Robert Blair for a action on April 9th 1945 but instead of the VC he recived a third bar to his DSO.Now while im aware of plenty of speculation about Blair being awarded the VC I did not know he was auctually cited for one, anyone else know of this?. The citation would certienly appear to compare very well with other VC awards that I have read of being given:confused: so who decided otherwise, looking at the citation it looks most likely Monty put the mockers on it:unsure: if this is news I will post the citation in full. Jason
     
  20. idler

    idler GeneralList

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