Awards Records – World War II

£10.00

This booklet is a collection of townsfolk from Ilkley and Ben Rhydding who received awards for gallantry, in the Second World War, published by the Ilkley Gazette.

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Description

This booklet is a collection of townsfolk from Ilkley and Ben Rhydding who received awards for gallantry, in the Second World War, published by the Ilkley Gazette. The contents page has lists all the people by surname and details such as their age, rank, regiment, awards for gallantry, pre-war occupations, cemetery, cause of death, theatre of war and any accounts which were taken from letters from loved ones or other sources given. An account from Lieutenant Commander Crawford is used as an example below:


Crawford, J.H.

Rank:

Lt Cmdr

Regiment:

RN

Awards:

MiD on 21/3/41 for gallant and distinguished service while on destroyer “Inglefield”; DSO for actions in helping to sink the “Scharnhorst”

Pre-war Occupations:

Medical doctor

Experience:

IG 7/1/44; 15/12/44.
In action against “Scharnhorst” as gunnery officer on HMS “Duke of York”.

At dawn 1/1/44 “Duke of York” with cruiser “Jamaica” astern returned to harbour 2 battle insigns – 1 torn – flying proudly – battlescarred with mainmast and foremast damaged where splinters hit them – crew jubilant.

At visibility of 8,000 yards we knew if “Scharnhorst” maintained course would engage her at 5pm. At 4:45pm “Belfast” fired starshells in direction of enemy – then spotted her huge silver grey shape in white light of the starshells at 12,000 yards. I ordered shooting & crash as our 14 inch gun broadside thundered out – greenish glow along the waterline where hit. Turned away at speed making smoke – another 8 rounds fired through smoke. Enemy’s gun flashes – great bursts orange coloured flame. At 6:20pm she slowed to 7 knots. This allowed destroyers to close in. “Scharnhorst’s” gunnery good & shell splinters in our masts. Her gun flashes & tracer fire from close range weapons showed us where she was.

She appeared a converging and diverging mass of gunfire and tracer fire. Opened fire at 10,000 yards broadside went off – great sheet flame and terrific explosion quarter deck.

More broadsides went home – “Scharnhorst” on fire and like a blazing warehouse end to end. Fire checked at 7:39pm. All around here were cruisers / destroyers, “Scharnhorst” was just one flaming wreck low in the water. German gunnery good, but ours was better. Caught her 4 times in first phase & our secondary armament firing all the time.

Only 36 of the crew of the “Scharnhorst” survived out of a crew of nearly 2,000.

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