Firing a 2-inch mortar from the hip: the extraordinary story of Lieutenant George Knowland, VC
These people, all of them really, a truly remarkable.
As ever an excellent, informative and interesting article. We had a talk by a general once at the anniversary of the Dancocks VC in WW1. I seem to remember he said part of the criteria for being awarded the VC was you had to stand a 99.9% chance of being killed. Another friend also pointed out that some regiments are far better at writing citations than others and that they get more VC’s. I am not sure how true this is.
Great stuff Robert. My grandfather was on that hill as well, in the same unit as Knowland. If someone wrote that as a film, they wouldn't believe it. Good to hear about the book & Steve Snelling talk next year. Very much looking forward to both.
What makes a VC? Without any doubt whatsoever it is having the correctly specified reporting chain in action when you perform your gallant deed. Many, many VC - level acts of gallantry occur in hard fought retreats or when parachute troops are widely dispersed on a night drop. Even when men sacrifice their lives in such instances in order to protect their comrades and assist in the accomplishment of the mission, a VC is out of the question because the required level of recommendation was not there, or did not survive. If they are lucky such dead heroes may just be recommended for a Mention in Despatches - the only other posthumous award they qualify for. So when we discuss the whole VC situation, let's not be unaware of the phalanx of posthumous awards that were never made.