Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 13/09/1895 Wrexham, Wales. d. 10/04/1940 Narvik, Norway.

 

In 1936 due to the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and because there was fear of social unrest in the naval station, the Foreign Office in London, organized a ship to repatriate all the remaining British citizens and on 22 July 1936 HMS Witch, captained by B.A. Warburton-Lee, departed from Ferrol in northwestern Spain back to Britain. Warburton-Lee was 44 years old, and a captain in the Royal Navy during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

 

VC ACTION

 

For gallantry, enterprise and daring in command of the force engaged in the First Battle of Narvik, on 10th April, 1940. On being ordered to carry out an attack on Narvik, Captain Warburton-Lee learned that the enemy was holding the place in much greater force than had been thought. He signalled to the Admiralty that six German destroyers and one submarine were there, that the channel might be mined, and that he intended to attack at dawn. The Admiralty replied that he alone could judge whether to attack, and that whatever decision he made would have full support. Captain Warburton led his flotilla of five destroyers up the fjord in heavy snow-storms, arriving off Narvik just after daybreak. He took the enemy completely by surprise and made three successful attacks on warships and merchantmen in the harbour. As the flotilla withdrew, five enemy destroyers of superior gunpower were encountered and engaged. The captain was mortally wounded by a shell which hit the bridge of H.M.S. Hardy.

 

LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.

BURIAL PLACE: BALLANGEN NEW CEMETERY, BALLANGEN, NORWAY. PLOT IV, ROW B, G. 9

 

warburton lee

Bernard Armitage Warburton-Lee

VC

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"For gallantry, enterprise and daring in command of the force engaged in the First Battle of Narvik, on 10th April, 1940. On being ordered to carry out an attack on Narvik, Captain Warburton-Lee learned that the enemy was holding the place in much greater force than had been thought. He signalled to the Admiralty that six German destroyers and one submarine were there, that the channel might be mined, and that he intended to attack at dawn. The Admiralty replied that he alone could judge whether to attack, and that whatever decision he made would have full support. Captain Warburton-Lee led his flotilla of five destroyers up the fjord in heavy snow-storms, arriving off Narvik just after daybreak. He took the enemy completely by surprise and made three successful attacks on warships and merchantmen in the harbour. As the flotilla withdrew, five enemy destroyers of superior gunpower were encountered and engaged. The Captain was mortally wounded by a shell which hit the bridge of H.M.S. Hardy. His last signal was "Continue to engage the enemy".

7th June 1940

warburton-lee pic warburton-lee pic 3 warburton-lee pic 2 Warburton-Lee VC, Garland VC & Gray VC_resized_resized