42108 William Philip SIDNEY, Viscount De L'Isle, VC, KG, GCMG, GCVO, KStJ, PC, Grenadier Guards

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    Personal Number: 42108
    Rank: Colonel
    Name: William Philip SIDNEY, 1st Viscount De L'Isle, VC, KG, GCMG, GCVO, KStJ, PC
    Unit: Grenadier Guards

    London Gazette : 28 March 1944
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:—
    Captain (temporary Major) William Philip Sidney (42108), Grenadier Guards (Girvan).

    For superb courage and utter disregard ot danger in the action near Carroceto, in the
    Anzio Beach Head, in February, 1944., The period 6th-ioth February, 1944, was one of critical importance to the whole state of the Anzio Beach Head. The Germans
    attacked a British Division with elements of six different divisions and a continuous series of fierce local hand-to-hand battles was fought, each one of which had its immediate reaction on the position of other troops in the neighbourhood and on the action as a whole. It was of supreme importance that every inch of ground should be doggedly, stubbornly and tenaciously fought for. The area Carroceto-Buonriposo Ridge was particularly vital.
    During the night 7th-8th February, Major Sidney was commanding the support com- pany of a battalion of the Grenadier Guards, company headquarters being on the left of battalion headquarters in a gully South- West of Carroceto Bridge. Enemy infantry who had by-passed the forward rifle com- pany North-West of Carroceto, heavily attacked in the vicinity of'Major Sidney's company headquarters and successfully pene- trated into the wadi. Major Sidney collected the crew of a 3 inch mortar firing nearby and personally led an attack with Tommy guns and hand grenades,' driving the enemy out of
    the gully. He then sent the detachment back to continue their mortar firing while he and a handful of men took up a position on the edge of the gully in order again to beat off the enemy who were renewing their attack in; some strength. Major Sidney and his party succeeded in keeping the majority of the Germans out but a number reached a ditch 20 yards in front, from which they could outflank Major Sidney's position. This officer— in full view and completely exposed—dashed forward without hesitation to a point whence he could engage the enemy with his Tommy gun at point blank range. As a result the enemy withdrew> leaving a number of dead.

    On returning to his former position on the edge of the gully, Major Sidney kept two guardsmen with him and sent the remainder back for -more ammunition and grenades. While they were away, the enemy vigorously renewed his attack, and a grenade struck Major Sidney in the face, bounced off and exploded, wounding him and one guardsman and killing the second man. Major Sidney, single-handed and wounded in the thigh, kept the enemy at bay until the ammunition party returned five minutes later, when once more they were ejected. Satisfied that no further attack would be made, he made his way to a nearby cave to have his wound dressed, but before this could be done Ihe enemy attacked again. He at once returned to his post and continued to engage the enemy for another hour, by which time the

    left of the battalion position was consolidated and the enemy was finally driven off. Only then did Major Sidney, by that time weak from loss, of blood and barely able to walk, allow his wound to be attended to.

    Throughout the next day contact with the enemy was so close that it was impossible to evacuate this officer until after dark. Dur- ing that time, as before, although extremely weak, he continued to act as a tonic and inspiration to all with whom he came in contact.

    Throughout the engagement Major Sidney showed' a degree of efficiency, coolness, gallantry and complete disregard for his per- sonal safety of a most exceptional order, and there is no doubt" that as a result of his action, taken in the face of great odds, the battalion's position was re-established with vitally far reaching consequences on the battle as a whole.

    London Gazette : 13 January 1956
    The QUEEN has been pleased by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the Realm, bearing date the 12th instant, to confer the dignity of a Viscounty of the United Kingdom upon Colonel the Right Honourable William Philip, Baron De L'Isle and Dudley V.C., and the heirs male of his body lawfully be- gotten, by the name, style and title of VISCOUNT DE L'ISLE. of Penshurst in the County of Kent.

    London Gazette : 12 May 1961
    The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to give directions for the following appointment to the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George:
    To be a Member of the First Class, or Knight Grand Cross, of the said Most Distinguished Order :
    The Right Honourable William Philip, Viscount De L'Isle, V.C., Governor-General and Commander- in-Chief (designate) of the Commonwealth of Australia.

    London Gazette : 23 April 1968
    The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to appoint the undermentioned to be Knights Companions of the Most Noble Order of the Garter:
    The Right Honourable William Philip, Viscount DE L'IsLE, V.C., G.C.M.G., G.C.V.O.

    London Gazette : 4 October 1988
    The QUEEN has been graciously pleased to confer the Award of the 1st Clasp to the Army Emergency Reserve Decoration upon the following Officers:
    Grenadier Guards
    Capt. (Hon. Col.) W. P. SIDNEY(42108) (Retired).
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
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    UK, Victoria Cross Medals, 1857-2007
    Name: Viscount De L'Isle
    Birth Date: 23 May 1909
    Birth Place: Chelsea, South West London
    Death Date: 5 Apr 1991
    Death Place: Penshurst Place, Kent

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