Victoria Cross

May

12

1944

Single handed attack overcomes German position

The fame of the old Indian Cavalry Regiments is known throughout the world. They have always been splendid horsemen, and fine fighting soldiers. These regiments still exist bearing their famous names and traditions, but newly equipped for modern warfare they have become the Indian Armoured Corps. Formations of this Corps have fought with distinction in the campaigns in the Middle East, and the Far East, and are now engaged in fighting in Italy. An Indian Armoured Formation somewhere in the Middle East. Picture shows:- The fighting Indian soldier. A fine study of Naik Gulab Nhan, in full cry, charging towards the camera, with fixed bayonets. He comes from the village of Amer Jaipur State.

Volunteering at once and crawling forward through the wire to a flank, Sepoy Kamal Ram attacked the post single handed and shot the first machine-gunner; a second German tried to seize his weapon but Sepoy Kamal Ram killed him with the bayonet, and then shot a German officer who, appearing from the trench with his pistol, was about to fire.

May

6

1944

Frontal assault on Japanese bunkers at Kohima

View of the Garrison Hill battlefield with the British and Japanese positions shown. Garrison Hill was the key to the British defences at Kohima.

He was only a few paces away, facing me. He had a rifle and bayonet and I had a light machine-gun. I pressed the trigger but found I’d got no ammunition left. As he came towards me, I realised that it was either me or him. I was an unarmed combat instructor and knew I could go hand-to—hand against anybody with a rifle and bayonet. I therefore let him come and I crashed the gun straight into his face.

Apr

9

1944

Victoria Cross as the Siege of Kohima begins

British infantrymen use a dismounted tank machine gun at Kohima.

Sergeant Tacon shouted out ‘Hang on,Taffy, I’m coming’, but as he crawled towards him he [Tacon] was hit in the arm and leg, fracturing it. He just managed to roll out of the danger area.Although we cou1dn’t help Taffy we did start talking to him because he was only about 2 yards from us down in a dip. He told us that he was paralysed. He was soon delirious and for eight hours he was screaming, shouting and calling for his Mum and Dad and praying, until he died.

Apr

6

1944

Islamic warrior earns VC leading counter-attack

Portrait of Abdul Hafiz, awarded the Victoria Cross: Burma, 6 April 1944.

Jemadar Abdul Hafiz then took a Bren gun from a wounded man and advanced against the enemy, firing as he advanced, and killing several of the enemy. So fierce was the attack, and all his men so inspired by the determination of Jemadar Abdul Hafiz to kill all enemy in sight at whatever cost, that the enemy, who were still in considerable numbers on the position, ran away down the opposite slope of the hill.

Mar

31

1944

Heavy losses as RAF Bomber Command targets Nuremberg

Halifax B Mark III, LV857, in flight shortly after completion by the Handley Page Ltd works at Radlett, Hertfordshire. In its brief service life, this aircraft served with Nos. 35, 10 and 51 Squadrons RAF before crashing at Schwarzbad while returning from a raid on Nuremberg on 31 May 1944.

Pilot Officer Barton faced a situation of dire peril. His aircraft was damaged, his navigational team had gone and he could not communicate with the remainder of the crew. If he continued his mission, he would be at the mercy of hostile fighters when silhouetted against the fires in the target area, and if he survived he would have to make a 4 1/2 hours journey home on three engines across heavily-defended territory.

Mar

17

1944

Officer’s VC after arm hacked off by Jap’s sword

Major General O C Wingate (1903 - 1944): One of the last pictures of Wingate, with his rifle, on board a Dakota of 1 Air Commando, during the second 'Chindit' expedition.

Some shots had come down at us but not as many as I had expected, which probably meant we had regained the initiative by then and taken them unawares. Then, to my surprise, the Japs leapt up as we went at them and charged into us. Two sides charging at each other was certainly not going according to the military rule books.

Mar

11

1944

Indian Army VC for bayonet attack

Nand Singh VC pictured in 1944.

Although wounded in the thigh he rushed ahead of his section and took the first enemy trench with the bayonet by himself. He then crawled forward alone under heavy fire and though wounded again in the face and shoulder by a grenade which burst one yard in front of him, took the second trench at the point of the bayonet.

Feb

7

1944

Victoria Cross for ‘tommy’ gun stand at Anzio

4.2-inch mortar of 15th Brigade (5th Division) Mortar Support Company in action, Anzio bridgehead, 16 March 1944.

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 the 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.

Dec

24

1943

Irish Guards celebrate Christmas Eve in a brothel

Portrait of Sergeant J P Kenneally, VC, by Henry Carr, 1943.

The bastards opened up on us — .45 slugs slammed into the rear doors they even fired at us from the upstairs windows of the brothel. Monty rounded the corner and we were away with no harm done; there were bullet holes in the roof but no one was hit so we proceeded on our merry way back to Canosa. We parked the wagon about half a mile from the granaries and walked back just in time to join midnight mass in the chapel attached to the farm house. It had been a good night out.

Nov

24

1943

Sergeant Derrick’s grenade attacks earns V.C.

An Australian casualty is brought down from the battle of Sattleberg.

Moving ahead of his forward section he personally destroyed, with grenades, an enemy post which had been holding up this section. He then ordered his second section around on the right flank. This section came under heavy fire from light machine-guns and grenades from, six enemy posts. Without regard for personal safety he clambered forward well ahead of the leading men of the section and hurled grenade after grenade, so completely demoralising the enemy that they fled leaving weapons and grenades.