21 November 2010

Victoria Cross: G. S. Henderson


Captain, 2nd Battalion The Manchester Regiment

Born: 5 December 1893, East Gordon, Berwick
Died: 24 July 1920, Hillah, Mesopotamia

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice.
On the evening of the 24th July, 1920, when about fifteen miles from Hillah (Mesopotamia), the Company under his command was ordered to retire. After proceeding about 500 yards a large party of Arabs suddenly opened fire from the flank, causing the Company to split up and waver. Regardless of all danger, Capt. Henderson at once reorganised the Company, led them gallantly to the attack and drove off the enemy.
On two further occasions this officer led his men to charge the Arabs with the bayonet and forced them to retire. At one time, when the situation was extremely critical and the troops and transport were getting out of hand, Capt. Henderson, by sheer pluck and coolness, steadied his command, prevented the Company from being cut up, and saved the situation.
During the second charge he fell wounded, but refused to leave his command, and just as the Company reached the trench they were making for he was again wounded. Realising that he could do no more, he asked one of his N.C.O.'s to hold him up on the embankment, saying, "I'm done now, don't let them beat you." He died fighting.

[London Gazette issue 32106 dated 29 Oct 1920, published 29 Oct 1920.]

Note: Henderson's DSO was gazetted on 31 May 1916, with a Bar gazetted on 25 Aug 1917. His MC was gazetted on 3 Jul 1915.
Al-Hillah is in central Iraq, some 60 miles south of Baghdad.

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