Victoria Cross Awards for Grenadiers
Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Charles Russell 3rd Baronet; VC
3rd Bn Grenadier Guards
As Brevet Major on 5th November 1854 at the Battle of Inkerman
he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions. His citation reads: -
"Offered to dislodge a party of Russians from the Sand-bag Battery, if any one would follow him;
Serjeant Norman, Privates Anthony Palmer, and Bailey (who was killed) volunteered the first.
The attack succeeded.
Private Anthony Palmer VC
3rd Bn Grenadier Guards 1838
Private Palmer's citation reads: -
"Present when the charge was made in defence of the Colours, and also charged singly with the enemy
as witnessed by Sir Charles Russell; is said to have saved Sir Charles Russell's life"
Private Palmer was one of a small band of of men who volunteered to follow Brevet Major Sir Charles Russell
in the successful defence of the Colours against overwhelming numbers, and who shot an assailant
whilst in the act of bayoneting Sir Charles.
Field Marshall The Rt Hon Sir John Standish Surtees Prendergast Vereker
The 6th Viscount Gort VC; GCB; DSO & 2 bars; MVO; MC
For most conspicuous bravery, skilful leading and devotion to duty during the attack of the Guards Division on 27th September 1918
across the Canal du Nord, near Flesquieres, when in command of the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, the leading battalion of the 3rd Guards Brigade.
Under heavy artillery and machine-gun fire, he led his battalion with great skill and determination to the "forming-up" ground,
where very severe fire from artillery and machine guns was again encountered.
Although wounded, he quickly grasped the situation, directed a platoon to proceed down a sunken road to make a flanking attack,
and, under terrific fire, went across open ground to obtain the assistance of a tank, which he personally led and directed to the best possible advantage.
While thus fearlessly exposing himself, he was again severely wounded by a shell. Notwithstanding considerable loss of blood, after lying on a stretcher for awhile [sic],
he insisted on getting up and personally directing the further attack.
By his magnificent example of devotion to duty and utter disregard of personal safety all ranks were inspired to exert themselves to the utmost,
and the attack resulted in the capture of over 200 prisoners, two batteries of field guns and numerous machine guns.
Lt.-Col. Viscount Gort then proceeded to organise the defence of the captured position until he collapsed;
even then he refused to leave the field until he had seen the "success signal" go up on the final objective.
The successful advance of the battalion was mainly due to the valour, devotion and leadership of this very gallant officer.
Subsequent to this he became known as "Tiger" Gort. He won a second bar to his DSO in January 1919.
He was also mentioned in despatches eight times during the War.
Sgt Alfred Ablett VC; DCM;
3rd Bn Grenadier Guards September 1855
His citation (London Gazette) read ;
"On September 2nd 1855, seeing a shell land in the centre of a number of cases of ammunition and powder
he instantly seized and threw it outside the trench; it burst as it touched the ground."
Ablett was nominated for the award by his Company Captain, who had witnessed the event.
The Regiment was awarded the Battle Honour of Sevastopol seven days later on the 9th September.
Ablett was decorated with the VC by Queen Victoria at a ceremony in Hyde Park on 26th June 1857.
General Lord Henry Percy VC; KCB
Lord Henry Percy was born in Surrey on 22nd August 1817
and was a Lt Colonel serving with the 3rd Battalion at the Battle of Inkerman
on 5th November 1854 where he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions.
"Colonel Percy charged single handedly into the Russian battery
which was defended by severe musket fire,
he was followed immediately by the Guards and men of various other Regiments.
Percy found himself nearly surrounded by Russians and although wounded
and out of ammunition he managed to extricate these men to safety
and where ammunition could be obtained thus allowing them to renew the combat"
General Percy was the most senior Officer in the British Army
to be awarded the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War
and was decorated by Queen Victoria at a ceremony in Hyde Park on 26th June 1857.
L/Cpl Wilfred Dolby Fuller VC
Lance-Corporal Fuller saw a party of the enemy trying to escape along a communication trench.
He ran towards them killing the leading man with a bomb.
The remainder (nearly 50!) seeing no means of evading his bombs, all surrendered to him.
Lance-Corporal Fuller was quite alone at the time
He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Neuve Chapel WWI on 12th March 1915
Upon his discharge from the Regiment he served in the Avon and Somerset Constabulary for over 30 years.
He is buried in Christchurch Church Cemetery at Frome, Somerset which 100th Anniversary was celebrated on Sunday 15th March 2015.
Private E Barber VC
1st Battalion Grenadier Guards
Private Barber won this honour at the stirring fight of Neuve Chapelle on 15th March 1915 WWI
where he dashed to the front of his company, and hand-bombed the enemy so effectively
that many quickly surrendered.
He was found by his comrades, quite alone, with many still surrendering to him!
L/Sgt John Harold Rhodes VC; DCM & Bar; Croix de Guerre
3rd Bn Grenadier Guards
L/Sgt Rhodes won the VC and Croix de Guerre for his actions on the 9th October 1917
at the Battle of Poelcapelle (the 3rd Battle of Ypres) where, after accounting for several enemy
with his rifle and Lewis Gun he spotted three enemy leaving a pill box
and went out single handedly through the British Barrage and enemy machine gun fire
and effected entry into the pill box where he captured nine enemy
including a forward observation officer who was using a field telephone
to direct artillery fire upon the British positions.
He returned to his lines with his prisoners and valuable information.
He was mortally wounded some eight weeks later during the British assault on Fontaine Notre Dame.
Captain George Henry Tatham Paton VC; MC;
4th Battalion Grenadier Guards
On 1 December 1917 at Gonnelieu, France, when a unit on Captain Paton's left was driven back,
thus leaving his flank in the air and his company practically surrounded
he walked up and down adjusting the line, within 50 yards of the enemy, under a withering fire.
He personally removed several wounded men and was the last to leave the village.
Later he again adjusted the line and when the enemy counter-attacked four times
each time sprang on to the parapet, deliberately risking his life, in order to stimulate his men.
He was eventually mortally wounded.
Captain Thomas Tannat Pryce VC; MC & Bar
4th Bn Grenadier Guards
Captain was awarded a posthumous VC for his bravery, when on the 11th April of 1918 on the Hazebruck Battlefield
with his ammunition exhausted and being fired upon from three sides, he led his men in two bayonet charges
before they were finally overwhelmed. Only one man survived the onslaught.
Captain Pryce's Victoria Cross is now displayed at RHQ in his medal group
Private William Holmes VC
2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards
Private Holmes won a posthumous Victoria Cross on 9th October 1918, just a month before the end of the war.
He had served from the very beginning, taking part in the retreat from Mons, having two frostbitten toes amputated at Ypres, and being twice wounded subsequently.
His award was for most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Cattenieres.
He carried two men under the most intense fire, and was severely wounded attending to a third case.
In spite of this he continued until receiving a fatal wound
L/Cpl Harry Nichols VC
3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards
On 21st May 1940 near the river Escaut in the village of Esquelmes north of Tournai, Belgium, L/Cpl Nichols,
although suffering from shrapnel wounds in his arm, continued to lead his section in a counter attack against overwhelming opposition.
He advanced over a ridge and when the position became critical, he rushed forward putting 3 enemy machine guns out of action.
He then attacked massed enemy infantry beyond a second ridge until his ammunition ran out and was taken prisoner.
He was presented with his VC Ribbon by a German Commandant whilst a prisoner in Poland.
Major The Hon William Philip Sidney, 1st Viscount De L'lisle VC; KG; GCMG; GCVO; KStJ; PC
5th Battalion Grenadier Guards
While serving as a company commander, Major Sidney led a handful of men in the defence of the Anzio beachhead in February 1944.
He led a successful attack driving German troops out of a gully.
Later he led another counter-attack engaging the Germans with his Tommy-Gun at point-blank range, forcing a withdrawal.
When the attack was renewed, he and one guardsman were wounded and another killed,
but he would not consent to have his wounds dressed until the Germans had been beaten off and the Battalion's position had been consolidated.
During this time, although extremely weak from loss of blood, he continued to encourage and inspire his men
L/Cpl James Thomas Duane Ashworh VC
1st Battalion Grenadier Guards
On 13 June 2012, Cpl Ashworth was serving as part of the Reconnaissance Platoon, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guardsand
on a patrol in the Nahri Saraj District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Leading a fire-team to clear out compounds, his team came under fire from the Taliban in several mud huts.
He charged the huts, providing cover for his team who followed in single file behind him.
After his fire-team took out most of the insurgents, he pursued the final remaining member.
He crawled forward under cover of a low wall whilst his team provided covering fire and acted as a diversion.
When he got to within about 5 metres (16 ft) of the enemy, but he was killed as he attempted to throw a grenade.