b. 09/06/1914 Newcastle upon Tyne. d. 27/06/1942 Mersa Matruh, Egypt.
Wakenshaw was 28 years old, and a private in the 9th Battalion, The Durham Light Infantry, British Army during the Second World War, and was awarded a Victoria Cross for his actions on 27 June 1942 in Mersa Matruh, Egypt, where he was killed in combat.
On the 27th June, 1942, south of Mersa Matruh, Private Wakenshaw was a member of the crew of a 2-pounder anti-tank gun. An enemy tracked vehicle towing a light gun came within short range. The gun crew opened fire and succeeded in immobilising the enemy vehicle. Another mobile gun came into action, killed or seriously wounded the crew manning the 2-pounder, including Private Wakenshaw, and silenced the 2-pounder. Under intense fire, Private Wakenshaw crawled back to his gun. Although his left arm was blown off, he loaded the gun with one arm and fired five more rounds, setting the tractor on fire and damaging the light gun. A direct hit on the ammunition finally killed him and destroyed the gun. This act of conspicuous gallantry prevented the enemy from using their light gun on the infantry Company which was only 200 yards away. It was through the self sacrifice and courageous devotion to duty of this infantry anti-tank gunner that the Company was enabled to withdraw and to embus in safety.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY, DURHAM.
BURIAL PLACE: EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY, EL ALAMEIN, EGYPT.
Lilian Wakensahw, Adam's daughter with his VC which is held by the Durham Light Infantry Museum.
Adam Wakenshaw's grave at El Alamein War Cemetery
(Picture courtesy of Iain Tidey).
Adam Wakenshaw's VC on display at the Durham Light Infantry Museum. Picture - Thomas Stewart.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
PLOT XXXII, ROW D, GRAVE 9
St Mary's RC Church, Newcastle
Discovery Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne (Andy Swan)