Here's a fascinating story about a Victoria Cross medal awarded to a British soldier following the recommendation of the German commander he valiantly fought to his death.
A Victoria Cross awarded to a sergeant after he was recommended for it by a German commander, is displayed in the Royal Engineers Museum in Gillingham.
Sgt Thomas Frank Durrant, 23, was awarded the Victoria Cross after his efforts in a raid on St Nazaire, France, on 28 March, 1942.
Sgt Durrant was part of the No 1 Commando unit which was tasked with the destruction of a Normandie dry dock. This would force any large German warships in need of repair to
return to home waters, rather than seek safe haven on the Atlantic coast.
While positioned by the Lewis gun on board the HM Motor Launch 306 during the raid, Sgt Durrant refused to leave his post, despite being shot in the arm. En route to St Nazaire
on the River Loire, his vessel was attacked by the German torpedo boat, Jaguar.
Sgt Durrant drew enemy fire to himself after the searchlight fell on the Launch, sustaining further severe wounds to the arms, legs and chest. By this point, the only way he
could support himself was by leaning on his gun.
When the German commander demanded the ship's surrender, Sgt Durrant again refused to leave his post, even after the Motor Launch was boarded and captured.
Sgt Durrant died from his wounds several days after the raid. However, the German commander came across the captured British commander a week later and mentioned Sgt
Durrant's actions during the raid, suggesting that he should be put forward for the Victoria Cross.
The medal was presented by King George VI to Sgt Durrant's mother at Buckingham Palace on October 29, 1946.
Danielle Sellers, 41, collections manager at the Royal Engineers Museum, said: "The medal was loaned to the Royal Engineers Museum in the 1950s and eventually got gifted
to the museum in 2009. This was given to the museum as Durrant was a Royal Engineer, so his family thought it would be a good home for his medal."
To read the complete article, see:
Royal Engineers Museum displays unique Victoria Cross from British
Wayne Homren, Editor
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