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Lieutenant The Lord Lyell

Discussion in 'British WWII Medals and Awards' started by Jim, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Lieutenant (temporary Captain) The Lord Lyell (57781), Scots Guards (Kirriemuir, Angus) 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 counter attack on 22nd April, led it again under heavy fire 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 sprit 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.


    Lieutenant (temporary Captain) The Lord Lyell

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    At about 1800 hours on 27th April, 1943, this officer's Company was taking part in the Battalion's attack on Dj Bou Arada The Company was held up in the foothills by heavy fire from an enemy post on the left this post consisted of an 88 millimetre gun and a heavy machine gun in separate pits. Realising 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-corporal and 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 Lord Lyell who had run straight on towards the 88 millimetre 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 killed a number of them before being overwhelmed 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 88 millimetre gun were silenced. The Company was then able to advance and take its objective. There is no doubt that Lord Lyell's outstanding 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.


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    In The Gun-Pit Where He Fell, Lieut. Lord Lyell, first peer to be awarded the V.C. during WWII, was buried with honours. A simple cross and his helmet mark the last resting place of a great hero. In the background is the German 88mm gun which he put out of action at the cost of his life.

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