Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Honored Allies Wednesday: Alfred C. Hulme (New Zealand)

"Sergeant Hulme exhibited most outstanding and inspiring qualities of leadership, initiative, skill, endurance, and most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty from the commencement of the heavy fighting in Crete, on 20th May, 1941, until he was wounded in action 28th May, 1941.  On ground overlooking Maleme Aerodrome on 20th and 21st May he personally led parties of his men from the area held by the forward position and destroyed enemy organized parties who had established themselves out in front of our position, from which they brought heavy rifle, machine-gun and mortar fire to bear on our defensive posts.  Numerous snipers in the area were dealt with by Sergeant Hulme personally; 130 dead were counted here.  On 22nd, 23rd and 24th May, Sergeant Hulme was continually going out alone or with one or two men and destroying enemy snipers.  On 25th May, when Sergeant Hulme had rejoined his battalion, this unit counter-attacked Galatos Village.  The attack was partially held up by a large party of the enemy holding the school, from which they were inflicting heavy casualties on our troops.  Sergeant Hulme went forward alone, threw grenades into the school and so disorganized the defense, that the counter-attack was able to proceed successfully.  On Tuesday, 27th May, when our troops were holding a defensive line at Suda Bay during the final retirement, five enemy snipers had worked into position on the hillside overlooking the flank of the Battalion line. Sergeant Hulme volunteered to deal with the situation, and stalked and killed the snipers in turn.  He continued similar work successfully through the day.  On 28th May at Stylos, when an enemy heavy mortar was severely bombing a very important ridge held by the Battalion rearguard troops, inflicting severe casualties, Sergeant Hulme, on his own initiative, penetrated the enemy lines, killed the mortar crew of four, put the mortar out of action, and thus very materially assisted the withdrawal of the main body through Stylos.  From the enemy mortar position he then worked onto the left flank and killed three snipers who were causing concern to the rearguard.  This made his score of enemy snipers 33 stalked and shot.   Shortly afterwards Sergeant Hulme was severely wounded in the shoulder while stalking another sniper.  When ordered to the rear, in spite of his wound, he directed traffic under fire and organized stragglers of various units into section groups." 

From Sgt. Hulme's Victoria Cross citation, awarded on 10 October 1941.
May you be at peace,

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