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Created in 1856 the Victoria Cross is Britain’s highest recognition for bravery in the presence of the enemy.

From the Indian Mutiny to the Second World War, fourteen Victoria Crosses have been awarded to the Staffordshire Regiment.

flynn
Drummer Thomas Flynn
VC
The Indian Mutiny 1857 - 1858
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On 28th November 1857, Cawnpore, India, the 64th Regiment attacked a besieging mutineer gun battery. Drummer Flynn was severely wounded in the successful charge but continued to fight hand to hand against two of the enemy.

wassall
Private Samuel Wassall
VC
Zulu war 1879
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On 22nd January 1879 during the battle of Isandhlwana, Private Wassall, 80th Regiment, was part of the mounted infantry attached to the central column when it was overwhelmed by Zulus. Some managed to escape to the Buffalo River to the rear but as Private Wassall urged his horse down the bank he saw a comrade drowning. Private Wassall dismounted and rescued him under enemy fire and both escaped.

booth
Sergeant Anthony Clarke Booth
VC
Zulu war 1879
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On 12th March 1879 Sergeant Booth was with a company of the 80th Regiment encamped on the Intombi River when they were surprised and overwhelmed by Zulus. Booth rallied the survivors and conducted their retreat for three miles.

vellentin
Captain John Franks Vallentin
VC
The Great War 1914-18
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On 7th November 1914 Captain Vallentin was in temporary command of the 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment in an attack on a trench near Zillebeke, Ypres. He was wounded but pressed on and was later killed by machine gun fire. The attack was a success due to his inspiring example.

kilby
Captain Arthur Forbes Gordon Kilby, VC, MC
The Great War 1914-18
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On 25th September 1915 during the Battle of Loos Captain Kilby led his company of the 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment in an attack on La Bassee Canal. He was wounded, and had lost a foot, but led his men right up to the wire where he was shot down. He continued to urge his men forward using his rifle until he died.

Henderson
Lieutenant. Colonel Edward Ellers Delaval Henderson, VC
The Great War 1914-18
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On 25th January 1917 Lieutenant Colonel Henderson, commanding 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, led his battalion against Turkish positions at Kut-Al-Amara in Mesopotamia, but was wounded and forced to withdraw. He led a second attack, again being wounded but eventually capturing the position by a bayonet charge. Wounded twice more before being evacuated but died shortly afterwards.

barrett
Private Thomas Barrett
VC
The Great War 1914-18
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On 27th July 1917 in the Ypres Salient Private Barrett, 7th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment,  was acting as scout with a patrol and had already stalked and shot several snipers when the patrol was forced to withdraw. Barrett covered their retirement, whilst under heavy fire and caused a number of enemy casualties. On reaching our own lines safely he was killed by a stray shell.

Carmichael
Sergeant John Carmichael
VC
The Great War 1914-18
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On 8th September 1917, during the Third Battle of Ypres, whilst serving in the 9th North Staffords, Sergeant Carmichael was in charge of a working party in a trench near Hill 60. One of his men accidentally dislodged a grenade, activating its fuse. Sergeant Carmichael shouted a warning and placed his steel helmet over the grenade and stood on it. He was wounded but saved his soldiers.

Thomas
Sergeant John Thomas
VC
The Great War 1914-18
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On 30th November 1917 at Bourlon Wood Sergeant Thomas, 2nd/5th Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment, went forward under enemy fire to ascertain German intentions. Shooting three snipers en route, he reached a building used by the enemy as a night listening post. He observed enemy preparations and returned after three hours, providing information which enabled artillery to break up the German attack.

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Lieutenant Alan Jerrard, VC
The Great War 1914-18
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On 30th March 1918 Lieutenant Jerrard, South Staffordshire Regiment attached Royal Flying Corps, was flying a Sopwith Camel on patrol near Mansue, Italy. During a lengthy action he shot down at least three enemy aircraft, attacked others on the ground and assisted a fellow pilot. During his patrol’s withdrawal he continued to fight off pursuing enemy aircraft until he was overwhelmed by numbers and driven to the ground, where he was captured.

coltman
Lance Corporal William Harold Coltman, VC, DCM, MM.
The Great War 1914-18
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In October 1918 during the assault on the Hindenburg line, and in the face of a German counter-attack, he three times went out into the open to give first aid to wounded men and carry them back to safety. Due to his heroic actions William Coltman has become the most decorated other rank in the British Army.

Cairns
Lieutenant George Albert Cairns, VC
World War II
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On 12th March 1944 during the second Chindit operation in Burma, Lieutenant Cairns, 1st Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment, led his men in an attack on ‘Pagoda Hill’. A Japanese officer hacked off his left arm with a sword and, although severely wounded. continued to lead his men, personally killing several of the enemy before collapsing and dying.

 

Cain
Major Robert Henry Cain
VC
World War II
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From 19th September 1944 over a period of several days Major Cain, 2nd Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment, led the defence of part of the Oosterbeek perimeter near Arnhem. On several occasions he successfully attacked enemy tanks using a PIAT. Although suffering multiple wounds he encouraged his men by his daring leadership and fearless example, refusing rest and medical attention.

Baskeyfield
Lance Sergeant John (Jack) Daniel Baskeyfield, VC
World War II
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On 20th September 1944 at Oosterbeek, near Arnhem, Sergeant Baskeyfield commanded two 6-pounder antitank guns. His section destroyed two German tanks and a self-propelled gun. Baskeyfield and his men were all wounded but he refused all aid. When his gun was knocked out he crawled to another gun and scored a direct hit on another self-propelled gun. He was then killed by an enemy tank round.

The awards issued to Lance Sergeant Baskeyfield and Major Cain was the only occasion during the Second World War when two Victoria Crosses were awarded to a single army unit for the same battle.