09 September 2007

Victoria Cross: C. Bushell


Captain (Temporary Lieutenant Colonel), commanding 7th Battalion The Royal West Surrey Regiment

Born: 31 October 1888, Neston, Cheshire

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in command of his battalion.
Lt.-Col. Bushell personally led "C" Company of his battalion, who were co-operating with an Allied Regiment in a counter-attack [on 23rd March, 1918, west of St Quentin's Canal and north of Tergnier, France], in face of very heavy machine-gun fire. In the course of this attack he was severely wounded in the head, but he continued to carry on, walking in front of both English and Allied troops encouraging and re-organising them. He refused even to have his wound attended to until he had placed the whole line in a sound position and formed a defensive flank to meet a turning movement by the enemy. He then went to brigade headquarters and reported the situation, had his wound dressed, and returned to the firing line, which had come back a short distance. He visited every portion of the line, both English and Allied, in the face of terrific machine-gun and rifle fire, exhorting the troops to remain where they were, and to kill the enemy.
In spite of his wounds this gallant officer refused to go to the rear and had eventually to be removed to the dressing station in a fainting condition.
To the magnificent example of energy, devotion and courage shown by their Commanding Officer is attributed the fine spirit displayed and the keen fight put up by his battalion not only on the day in question but on each succeeding day of the withdrawal.

(London Gazette Issue 30667 dated 3 May 1918, published 30 Apr 1918.)

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