1 British Infantry Division awarded 5 ( actually six) VC's in WW2.

Discussion in 'Higher Formations' started by Stuart Avery, Mar 20, 2021.

  1. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    I was just wondering if any other British Infantry Division was awarded has many VC's has 1 Division in any theater of operations in WW2? I was gob smacked to find out this.

    Three in the North African Campaign ( all with-in a week of April 1943) & two in the Italian Campaign 1944. In less than 12 months, 24 Guards Brigade had been awarded a Victoria Cross ( one each to 1 SG, 1IG & 5 GG.)
    The other two was awarded to 1 Loyals (2 Infantry Brigade) & one to 1 DWR ( 3 Infantry Brigade.)

    This must be some kind of a achievement for any Division & I'm not gloating here. If any one can provide the citations then it would be much appreciated? I will make good use of the info has I'm doing a revised copy of the First British Infantry Division in the Anzio Campaign. PRIMUS. INTER. PARES. ( first among equals).

    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
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  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  3. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Owen, thanks.

    That would take me a age to read through that lot. I've noticed that 17 Indian Division was awarded (six.) post 269. I'm not sure it shows all the citations. I was kind of hoping that someone would provide the citations of 1 Division. That nice chap Charley Fortnum, sent me the two (large WO files on Citations) a while back of which I lost one like a d....! They go on for ever & ever & seem not to be in any order.

    I've got all of the relevant Regimental histories & some of the War Diaries. 1944 for the latter.

    Stu. Edit: Hats off to 17 Indian Division.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    That's why I suggested searching for the 5 names you are looking for.
    What are the 5 chaps who were awarded the VC in 1st Div called ?
  5. dryan67

    dryan67 Senior Member


    I PMed you with a couple of VC lists that you may find useful.
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  6. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    17th Indian Division actually has 7 recipients of the Victoria Cross. Additionally to 6 shown in the photo in post 269, Naik Fazal Din of 7/10th Baluch Regiment was also awarded VC for action at Meiktila in 1945. 6 of 7 recipient, all those from that image, came from just one brigade, 48th Indian Brigade.
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  7. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.


    Lt. W.A. Sandy-Clarke, posthumously awarded the VC for gallantry at the battle of Gueriat el Atach, Tunisia, on the 23rd April, 1943.
    1 Loyals ( 2 Brigade.) Page 195 The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) 1919-53.

    I'm struggling with the chap from 1 IG. Was he a Corporal at the time ? I think he was.

    Captain The Lord Lyell, VC, 1 SG, Killed in Action in Tunisia, on Gebal Bou Aoukaz, 27th April, 1943. Info from The Scots Guards 1919-1955 Erskine. Page 496.

    Sergeant P. Kennelly, V.C. 1 IG. I have him being a pain in the rear on the 28th/ 29th April, 43. Info from the Irish Guards by Fitzgerald.
    I've seen two photos of this chap & they are not the same in my eyes.

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
  8. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Not quite first among equals. Perhaps second. Many thanks.

  9. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake All over the place....

    The 2nd New Zealand Division seem to have managed six, two from Charles Upham.
  10. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Paul Reed only has 2 listed on his old website .
    You missed off the 1940 one in your first post so does that give 1st Div six VCs ?
    1st Division (50megs.com)

    Cpl Harry Nicholls VC
    3 Bn Grenadier Guards
    Date: 21 May 1940
    Place: Near River Scheldt, Belgium

    Pte R. Burton VC
    1 Bn Duke of Wellingtons
    Date: 8 October 1944
    Place: Monte Ceco, Italy

    Here's the six VCs for 1st Div.
    Harry Nicholls VC - victoriacross (vconline.org.uk)
    Willward Sandys-Clarke VC - victoriacross (vconline.org.uk)
    Charles A Lyell VC - victoriacross (vconline.org.uk)
    William P Sidney VC - victoriacross (vconline.org.uk)
    John P Kenneally VC - victoriacross (vconline.org.uk)
    Richard H Burton VC - victoriacross (vconline.org.uk)
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
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  11. sol

    sol Very Senior Member

    Yes, 2nd New Zealand Division has 6 VC. 9th Australian and 17th Indian Division, both with 7, have more VC holders than any other British, Commonwealth or Empire division.
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  12. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.


    many thanks. I owe you one. I was not aware of the one for Harry Nicholls. The paragraph below is what it says on page 66 of the HISTORY of the FIRST DIVISION ANZIO CAMPAIGN:

    It was for his gallantry in the defence of Carroceto that Major Sidney (that should be) Captain (Temporary) of the Grenadier Guards was later awarded the Victoria Cross-the fourth to be won by the Division since its departure from England in February 1943.

    I have since gleaned that The ribbon for his VC was made from his Farther in Law Lord Gort's uniform. He was appointed Knight of the Garter on the 23 Apr 68, becoming one of (only two men) to have held both of the highest orders of gallantry & chivalry- Victoria Cross and Knight of the Garter. He died on the 5 Apr 1991. I will add another Appendix to Honours & Awards for all six.

    Thanks for your time. I will have a look at the links later.

    Edit: Just for the record, i wonder who was the other chap that was appointed the Knight of the Garter?

  13. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The answer was on Sidney VC's wiki page.

    Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts - Wikipedia
  14. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    The website above is fab. I must come back with the war diaries for William P Sidney, & Richard H Burton. The Appendix i mentioned earlier may well go on for God knows how many pages.:)

    Much ta.
  15. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Does anyone have the two books that was written by John P. Kenneally?

    I want ask the daft question has to if i should buy them? What are the last three medals from the right has you look @ them?

    I must go and visit the Southport Garden of Remembrance when it comes to Sandy-Clarke. 1 Loyals that is. That is a 45 minute drive from my house. I will raise a pint to him.

    these links are bloody fab. I can't thank you enough. I will have your pint in the pub when they do open. Probably plenty in Southport.

    I will have to catch the train to be on the safe side. These links will do me fine when it comes to the revised history..

    Top chap.

  16. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Which 3 medals in which photograph ?
  17. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    John P. Kenneally's medals at the Irish Guards RHQ, London. Its in the link you posted earlier.

  18. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    General Service Medal 1918-1962.
    Queen Elizabeth II Coronation medal.
    HM The Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal 1977
    All here..

    Medals: campaigns, descriptions and eligibility

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  19. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    Oh, by the way, the book that is also in his link(is not) the original. THE HONOUR AND THE SHAME BRAVERY HAS NO RULES.

    Paid £10.00 for a mint copy.

    Will come back with à couple of pages from it. I think it includes a letter from his son?

    It was daft O'clock when i bought it. Will confirm. Thanks for the above.

    Last edited: May 30, 2021
  20. Stuart Avery

    Stuart Avery In my wagon & not a muleteer.

    I need some help with the file below. The Lateral Road is shown in the wrong place in my opinion. The more I look at it, the more it aggravates me. It should be shown above the FIRST OVERPASS. I'm going with the majority who agree.
    This is the caption that is above the illustration: THE FACTORY, focal point on the beachhead right flank, was situated at the junction of a road network over which armor would be forced to operate in the area. The Lateral road behind the Factory, the old railroad bed, & the first overpass north of Anzio became successive lines of battle as the fight went on.

    This Illustration is taken from the ANZIO BEACHHEAD HISTORICAL DIVISION. DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY. American Forces in Action Series. They have form in getting the captions wrong in this book.

    Last edited: May 30, 2021

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