Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Honored Allies Wednesday: Charles Antony Lyell, 2nd Baron Lyell (United Kingdom)

"From the 22nd April, 1943, to 27th April,1943, Captain The Lord Lyell commanded his Company, which had been placed under the orders of a Battalion of the Grenadier Guards, with great gallantry, ability and cheerfulness he led it down a slope under heavy mortar fire to repel a German counterattack on 22nd April, led it again under heavy through the Battalion's first objective on 23rd April in order to capture and consolidate a high point, and held this point through a very trying period of shelling, heat and shortage of water.  During this period, through his energy and cheerfulness, he not only kept up the fighting spirit of his Company but also managed through Radio Telephony, which he worked himself from an exposed position, to bring most effective artillery file to bear on enemy tanks,vehicles and infantry positions.  At about 18 oo hours on 27th April, 1943, this officer's Company was taking part in the Battalion's attack on Dj Bou Arara.  The Company was held up in the foothills by heavy fire from an enemy post on the left this post consisted of an 88mm gun and a heavy machine gun in separate pits.  Realizing that until this post was destroyed the advance could not proceed, Lord Lyell collected the only available men not pinned down by fire—a sergeant, a lance-corpora land two guardsmen—and led them to attack it.  He was a long way in advance of the others and lobbed a hand grenade into the machine gun pit destroying the crew.  At this point his sergeant was killed and both the guardsmen were wounded the lance-corporal got down to give covering fire to Loid Lyell who had run straight on towards the 88mm gun pit and was working his way round to the left of it.  So quickly had this officer acted that he was in among the crew with the bayonet before they had time to fire more than one shot.  He lulled a number of them before being over whelmed and killed himself.  The few survivors of the gun crew then left the pit, some of them being killed while they were retiring, and both the heavy machine gun and 88mm gun were silenced.  The Company was then able to advance and take its objective.  There is no doubt that Lord Lyell's out-standing leadership, gallantry and self-sacrifice enabled his Company to carry out its task which had an important bearing on the success of the Battalion and of the Brigade."

From Capt. Lyell's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on 10 August 1943.
May you be at peace,

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