13 January 2008

Victoria Cross: F. W. Palmer


Lance Serjeant, Royal Fusiliers

Born: 11 November 1891, Hammersmith, London
Died: 10 September 1955, Hordle, Hampshire

Citation: His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to No. 731 L./Sjt. (now 2nd Lt.) Frederick William Palmer, R. Fus.
For most conspicuous bravery, control and determination.
During the progress of certain operations [north of Courcelette, France, on 16/17 February 1917], all the Officers of his Company having been shot down, Sjt. Palmer assumed command, and, having cut his way under point blank machine gun fire, through the wire entanglements, he rushed the enemy’s trench with six of his men, dislodged the hostile machine gun which had been hampering our advance, and established a block.
He then collected men detached from other regiments, and held the barricade for nearly three hours against seven determined counter-attacks, under an incessant barrage of bombs and rifle grenades from his flank and front.
During his temporary absence in search of more bombs an eighth counter-attack was delivered by the enemy, who succeeded in driving in his party, and threatened the defences of the whole flank. At this critical moment, although he had been blown off his feet by a bomb and was greatly exhausted, he rallied his men, drove back the enemy and maintained his position.
The very conspicuous bravery displayed by this Non-commissioned Officer cannot be overstated, and his splendid determination and devotion to duty undoubtedly averted what might have proved a serious disaster in this sector of the line.

(London Gazette issue 30008 dated 3 Apr 1917, published 3 Apr 1917.)

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