26 July 2009

Victoria Cross: G. H. Eardley


Private (Acting Sergeant), 4th Battalion The King's Shropshire Light Infantry

Born: 6 May 1912, Congleton, Cheshire
Died: 11 September 1991, Congleton, Cheshire

Citation: In North-West Europe, on 16th October, 1944, during an attack on the wooded area East of Overloon [Holland], strong opposition was met from well sited defensive positions in orchards. The enemy were paratroops and well equipped with machine guns.
A platoon of the King's Shropshire Light Infantry was ordered to clear these orchards and so restore the momentum of the advance, but was halted some 80 yards from its objective by automatic fire from enemy machine gun posts. This fire was so heavy that it appeared impossible for any man to expose himself and remain unscathed.
Notwithstanding this, Sergeant Eardley, who had spotted one machine gun post, moved forward, firing his Sten gun, and killed the occupants of the post with a grenade. A second machine gun post beyond the first immediately opened up, spraying the area with fire. Sergeant Eardley, who was in a most exposed position, at once charged over 30 yards of open ground and silenced both the enemy gunners.
The attack was continued by the Platoon but was again held up by a third machine gun post, and a section sent in to dispose of it, was beaten back, losing four casualties. Sergeant Eardley, ordering the section he was with to lie down, then crawled forward alone and silenced the occupants of the post with a grenade.
The destruction of these three machine gun posts singlehanded by Sergeant Eardley, carried out under fire so heavy that it daunted those who were with him, enabled his Platoon to achieve its objective, and in so doing, ensured the success of the whole attack.
His outstanding initiative and magnificent bravery were the admiration of all who saw his gallant actions.

(London Gazette Issue 36870 dated 2 Jan 1945, published 29 Dec 1944.)


Anonymous said...

this picture shows MY DAD's MEDAL COLLECTION wrongly including THE ITALY STAR.:: He never served in Italy there-fore No 'Italy Star'. Should be displayed. Check my email address I wrote 4 books about him and worked many years to have a Bronze Life Size Statue built in his home town = Congleton: royheardley@uwclub.net (Prestatyn)

clifford charlesworth said...

I served with Sgt. Eardley as an A/Sgt. at Arborfield Army Apprentice School, Arborfield . in 1948-9.
Sgt. Eardley was a fine man who never spoke or boasted of his award for bravery although I questioned him on numerous occasions and pressed him to tell me of his exploit and his feelings at the time . He was cheerful at all times and much to be admired.
Cliff Charlesworth. (Now 80yrs. old.)

Nicola Kellam said...

I am the great niece of George Eardley. I live in Gravesend, Kent and am scanning the Internet to find out as much as possible about George's life in the Army. I was a young teenager when he died, and I can remember him showing me his medals but can't remember much that he said about them. Mr. Charlesworth - I would love to hear more! Roy, it would be good to hear from you, if you would like to get in touch. Please post a comment if you would like my details.

Anonymous said...

g h eardley would be turning in his grave if he new how his son roy was carring on parading th vc like he was the one who won it

clifford charlesworth said...

Niocola ,
I was an A/Sgt at Arborfield Army Apprentice School, in Berkshire and your great uncle was posted ti us as a regimental instructor. I liked him & we had many a laugh together. He had been a regimental instructor at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst before coming to us.
He never talked or boasted of his action which gained him the highest military honour for bravery on the field of combat. May God rest his soul.
Iam proud to have known him and to be able to call him my friend & colleague.
My e-mail is paulcliff2@yahoo.com if you would like to communicate with me . I am now 81yrs. old and a retired male nurse.Regards,
Cliff Charlesworth

Ian Hatton said...

He can't parade something that is only a replica, as the real VC is in the hand of a private collector and has being for 20 years , The original one dose get displayed on a regular basis in the imperial war museum in London .
I'm his grandson so I know this is correct & yeh parading around like the way it is being done is just pathetic.
The rest of the family still miss him so much but we don't make a living from his name !!