The King's Shropshire Light Infantry

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Victoria Cross

Sgt D Dynon
at Chota Behar, India 2.10.1857
Lieut A K French   at Lucknow (Secundra Bagh)   16.11.1857
Pte J Kenny   at Lucknow (Secundra Bagh)   16.11.1857
Pte C Irwin   at Lucknow (Secundra Bagh)   16.11.1857
Sgt-Maj C C Pye   at Lucknow   17.11.1857
Acting Assistant Commissary J L Dalton   Rorke's Drift (Zululand)   22/23.1.1879
Pte H Whitfield   Burj el Lisaneh (Palestine)   10.3.1918
Capt G Meynell MC   Point 4080 N W Frontier, India   29.9.1935
Sgt G H Eardley MM   E of Overloon, N W Europe   16.10.1944
Pte James Stokes   Kervenheim (The Rhineland)   1.3.1945

Pte James Stokes:

Won VC at Kervenheim (The Rhineland) - Died on Thursday, 1st March 1945. Age 30. 

Citation: The citation in the London Gazette for 13th April, 1945, contains the following details: In Holland, on 1st March, 1945, during an attack on Kerbenheim, Private Stokes was a member of the leading section of a platoon pinned down by heavy fire from a farm building. Without waiting for orders Private Stokes dashed through the enemy fire, to disappear inside this building. The fire stopped, and he reappeared, wounded in the neck. This valiant action enabled the platoon to advance to the next objective. Private Stokes was ordered back to a Regimental Aid Post, but refused to go. The platoon then encountered heavy fire from a house on the left. Again without waiting for orders, Private Stokes rushed the house by himself and all firing from it ceased. His gallantry enabled his platoon, which he subsequently rejoined bringing five prisoners, to continue the advance. In the final assault Private Stokes, now severely wounded, once more dashed to the objective through intense fire. He finally fell, firing his rifle to the last. It was found that he had been wounded eight times in the upper part of the body. Private Stokes's one object throughout this action was to kill the enemy, at whatever personal risk. His magnificent courage, devotion to duty, and splendid example inspired all around him, and ensured the success of the attack at a critical moment; moreover, his self-sacrifice saved his Platoon and Company heavy casualties.

Cemetery: REICHSWALD FOREST WAR CEMETERY, Germany - Grave Reference/Panel Number: 62. E. 14.

From page 171 of "The Battle for Germany" by H. Essame.

On the same day (1st March), the British 3rd Division on the inter-corps boundary made a three-mile advance and, reaching the town of Kurvenheim, found it strongly held. Here the 2nd Battalion the King's Shropshire Light Infantry found themselves faced by a 7oyard gap swept by a hail of bullets. A white goat followed them into action.

The leading platoon was pinned down by intense fire. Whereupon Private Stokes, armed only with a rifle, dashed forward against a hail of bullets and although he was wounded captured single handed a small building and twelve prisoners. The platoon advanced, but again came under heavy fire. Once more Stokes dashed forward receiving more wounds, but again silencing the enemy. He refused to leave his comrades and later, while forming up to attack the final objective, the platoon was subjected to intense enemy fire. Although severely wounded and suffering from loss of blood, Stokes advanced again, firing from the hip, but 20 yards from the objective he was swept by a hail of bullets and fell mortally wounded. As his platoon dashed past him in the final charge, he raised his arm and shouted Goodbye!

George Cross

Capt R Deedes Chittagong, Bengal   7.1.1934


Monday, 19 December, 2005 18:05

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