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Phil Perry
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Lieutenant Peter Scawen Watkinson Roberts VC, DSC RN (28th July 1917 – 8th December 1979), and Petty Officer Thomas William Gould VC (28th December 1914 – 6th December 2001), of HM Submarine Thrasher.

 

On 16th February 1942 north of Crete, in the Mediterranean, HM Submarine Thrasher, after attacking and sinking a supply ship, was itself attacked.Thrasher was subjected to a three-hour depth charge attack and aerial bombing.

 

Later, after surfacing, two unexploded bombs were discovered in the gun-casing. Lieutenant Roberts and Petty Officer Thomas William Gould removed the first one without too much difficulty, but the second bomb had penetrated the side plating of the gun emplacement, and then the deck casing above the pressure hull. Roberts and Gould entered the confined space (which was no more than 2 ft high in places), and lying flat, wormed past deck supports, battery ventilators, and drop bollards. The petty officer then lay on his back with the 100 lb bomb in his arms while the lieutenant dragged him along by the shoulders. Meanwhile, Thrasher was surfaced, stationary, and close inshore to enemy waters. If the submarine was forced to crash dive, both men would drown. It was 40 minutes before they got the bomb clear, wrapped it in sacking, and dropped it over the side.

 

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OK, OK,. . .this VC was won in the Great War. . . ( so Sue me . . .)

 

Sergeant John Carmichael VC MM (1st April 1893 – 20th December 1977), 9th Battalion, The North Staffordshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's).

 

Carmichael was 24 years old, and a sergeant when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

 

On 8th September 1917, when excavating a trench near Hill 60, Zwarteleen, Belgium, Sergeant Carmichael saw that a grenade had been unearthed and had started to burn. Rather than simply throwing the bomb out of the trench and endangering the lives of the men working on top, he immediately rushed to the spot shouting for his men to get clear, put his steel helmet over the grenade and then stood on the helmet. The grenade exploded, blowing him out of the trench causing him serious injuries, but no one else was hurt.

 

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Corporal Edward Thomas Chapman VC, BEM (13th January 1920 – 3rd February 2002), 3rd Battalion, Monmouthshire Regiment.

 

3rd July 1945 – Teutoburger Wald, Germany, 2nd April 1945, Corporal Edward Thomas Chapman, 3rd Bn, Monmouthshire Regiment:

 

On 2nd April 1945, a Company of the Monmouthshire Regiment crossed the Dortmund- Ems canal and was ordered to assault the ridge of the Teutoberger Wald, which dominates the surrounding country. This ridge is steep thickly wooded and is ideal defensive country. It was, moreover, defended by a battalion of German officer cadets and their instructors, all of them picked men and fanatical Nazis.

 

Corporal Chapman was advancing with his section in single file along a narrow track when the enemy suddenly opened fire with machine guns at short range, inflicting heavy casualties and causing some confusion. Corporal Chapman immediately ordered his section to take cover and, seizing the Bren gun, he advanced alone, firing the gun from his hip, and mowed down the enemy at point blank range, forcing them to retire in disorder. At this point, however, his Company was ordered to withdraw but Corporal Chapman and his section were still left in their advanced position, as the order could not be got forward to them.

 

The enemy then began to close up to Corporal Chapman and his isolated section and, under cover of intense machine gun fire, they made determined charges with the bayonet. Corporal

 

Chapman again rose with his Bren gun to meet the assaults and on each occasion halted their advance. He had now nearly run out of ammunition. Shouting to his section for more bandoliers, he dropped into a fold in the ground and covered those bringing up the ammunition by lying on his back and firing the Bren gun over his shoulder.

 

A party of Germans made every effort to eliminate him with grenades, but with reloaded magazine he closed with them and once again drove the enemy back with considerable casualties. During the withdrawal of his Company, the Company Commander had been severely wounded and left lying in the open a short distance from Corporal Chapman.

 

Satisfied that his section was now secure, at any rate for the moment, he went out alone under withering fire and carried his Company Commander for 50 yards to comparative safety. On the way a sniper hit the officer again, wounding Corporal Chapman in the hip and, when he reached our lines, it was discovered that the officer had been killed. In spite of his wound,

 

Corporal Chapman refused to be evacuated and went back to his Company until the position was fully restored two hours later.

 

Throughout the action Corporal Chapman displayed outstanding gallantry and superb courage. Single-handed he repulsed the attacks of well-led, determined troops and gave his battalion time to reorganise on a vital piece of ground overlooking the only bridge across the canal. His magnificent bravery played a very large part in the capture of this vital ridge and in the successful development of subsequent operations.

 

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