Charles Upham VC

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by montgomery, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. montgomery

    montgomery Member

    On the night of may 21/22 a small New Zealand force was attacking the germans at
    Aliame. One machine gun nest was calling particular trouble when 2nd lietenant Charles Hazlitt Upham a peace time farmer from New Zealand south island appeared out of the dark. advancing fearlessly firing his pistol and lobbing hand granades. He so rattled the gunners that his men were able to destroy the postion with ease. Later between may22 and 30 Upham was wounded by two mortar shells and recieved a bullet in the foot yet carried on leading his men for such exploits on Crete. Upham won the VC now a captian he won another VC .A year later at Aleiman despite two serious wounds he knocked out a german tank and severall machine gun postions then got taken prisoner and spent the rest of the war in a pow camp.
  2. adrian roberts

    adrian roberts Senior Member

    Charles Upham was one of only three men to be awarded a bar to their VC (i.e. two VCs).
    The others were both Doctors who were awarded theirs for rescuing wounded men. Arthur Martin-Leake was awarded his first VC in the Boer war (2nd South African War) in 1902, and the second on the Western Front in 1915. Noel Chavasse was awarded his first in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, and the second posthumously a year later (i.e. he was killed in the action for which he won it).
    Attached is a photo I took of Chavasse's grave - the only Commonwealth War Grave Commission grave you will find with two VC badges on it

  3. Gibbo

    Gibbo Senior Member

  4. soren1941

    soren1941 Living in Ypres

  5. arkrite

    arkrite Senior Member

    His words about the UK were certainly prophetic.

    I read The Telegraph obits. and realise how little I have done with my life compared to these Giants of Men.
  6. Clint_NZ

    Clint_NZ Member

  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member

    Hi Clint_NZ,

    Thanks for posting this. Fascinating to watch, although Charles was clearly a little overwhelmed at the beginning.
  8. South

    South Member

    Thanks for posting, really interesting to watch.
  9. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    Have downloaded this & will watch shortly

  10. The Scorer

    The Scorer Active Member

    I recently bought a copy of "Mark of the Lion" by Kenneth Sandford, which is the biography of Charles Upham VC*.

    Although it was published in 1962, it's a great read, and really tells the story of someone who must have been such a tough and brave character. However, that's not why I am writing this; I do have a question, and I hope that someone can answer it.

    Tucked inside the book was a cutting of his obituary. This was written by Ian Cobain and Jack Lee and published on 22nd November 1994 in (I think) the Daily Express. It's titled "Bravery without ... " and then there's at least one word missing, as it's been torn out of the paper and the top right hand corner is missing.

    So, my questions this: how can I get a copy of this obituary? I've tried googling his name, the paper and the names of the reporters, but with no luck. I've also tried the British Newspaper Archive Online, but they don't seem to recognise the title.

    So, can anyone give me some help to find this, please? If you can, please post on here or send me a PM; thank you.
  11. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Owen, Tricky Dicky and CL1 like this.
  12. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Name: Charles Hazlitt Upham (I note he is VC and Bar)
    Birth Date: 21 Sep 1908
    Birth Place: Gloucester Street, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand
    Death Date: 22 Nov 1994
    Death Place: Christchurch


    CL1 likes this.
  13. The Scorer

    The Scorer Active Member

    Thank you: I'll have to look at the web site and see if I can find it.
  14. Clint_NZ

    Clint_NZ Member

    Captain Charles Upham receives his first Victoria Cross from General Auchinleck on November 22, 1941. A movie of Upham's life is in the works.

    A Bafta-winning screenwriter is currently working on a film based on the life of Kiwi hero Captain Charles Upham.

    Jeff Pope, best known for teaming up with Steve Coogan for 2013's Philomena, visited New Zealand last summer and is now in the throes of putting a script for Charlie together.

    Fifty-five-year-old Pope, who is currently the head of factual drama at Britain's ITV, says he was drawn to the project because it was not only a most fantastic adventure story, but also a love story.

    "We'll not only see Charles going from his sheep station to fighting so fantastically in the war, but this will also be Molly, his wife's story as well."

    Considered by many to be one of the bravest men in World War II, Upham was the only person to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice during the Second World War (for his actions in Crete in May 1941 and the Western Desert in July 1942). A previous attempt to turn his story into a movie foundered in 2009.

    Pope says he was contacted by Firefly Films producer Emma Slade (the company behind this month's Margaret Mahy adaptation The Changeover), who persuaded him to read Kenneth Sandford's 2003 biography Mark of the Lion.

    "I fell in love with the story and we said we'd make a decision based on a trip to New Zealand, which I did around Christmas time. I spent a lot of time criss-crossing the country meeting his daughters, his old friends, army buddies and guys that worked on the farm with him. I even visited his old house. By the end of that three-week trip, I was certain there was a fantastic story and felt very passionate about it."

    The Charles Upham movie will also focus on the love of his life - wife Molly.

    Slade and Pope then visited Crete and El Alamein, where Upham fought during World War II.

    "That was magical to retrace his steps," Pope says, adding that he's enjoying writing the script immensely.

    Charlie is not the first time Pope has been involved with a New Zealand story. He visited our shores briefly to interview Auckland woman Felicity Drumm about her estranged husband, convicted murderer Malcolm Webster, for the 2014 British TV drama The Widower.
  15. andy007

    andy007 Senior Member

    Lets hope it gets off the ground!

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