b. 13/07/1920 Winterborne, Dorset. d. 19/09/1944 Oosterbeek, Holland.
Lionel Queripel came from a well established and highly decorated military dynasty; his father, Colonel LH Queripel who was a CMG and had been awarded the DSO had served during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 and later in Mesopotamia, France and Russia during the First World War. His grandfather who was awarded a CB and great grandfather were also soldiers. He was born in Winterborne Monkton, Dorset, England. Queripel was 24 years old, and a captain in The Royal Sussex Regiment, British Army, attached 10th Parachute Battalion during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
By 1400 hrs on 19th of September the confusion and heavy casualties saw Captain Queripel acting as commander of a company composed of the men of three parachute battalions. As they advanced along a main road on an embankment towards Arnhem they came under continuous machine-gun fire. At one point, the fire became so heavy that the company was split up on either side of the road and suffered considerable losses. Captain Queripel immediately began to reorganise his troops, crossing and recrossing the road while doing so, under extremely heavy and accurate fire from a strong point consisting of a captured British anti-tank gun and two machine guns. Whilst carrying a wounded sergeant to the regimental aid post under fire he was himself wounded in the face. Having reorganised his force, Captain Queripel personally led a party of men against the strong point holding up the advance. Despite the extremely heavy fire directed at him, Captain Queripel succeeded in killing the crews of the machine-guns and recapturing the anti-tank gun enabling the advance to continue. Later Captain Queripel was ordered to defend some woodland near the Wolfheze level crossing which was vital to the allied advance (Wolfheze is about 12km to the northwest of Arnhem Bridge but only a few hundred metres from the Drop and Landing Zones used). By this time he had received further wounds in both arms, was cut off with a small party of men and took up a position in a ditch. Disregarding his injuries and the heavy mortar and machine gun fire, he continued to inspire his men to resist with hand grenades, pistols, and the few remaining rifles. On at least one occasion he picked up and threw back an enemy stick grenade which had landed in the ditch. As the enemy pressure increased, Captain Queripel decided that it was impossible to hold the position any longer and ordered the men to withdraw. Despite their protests, he insisted on remaining behind to cover their withdrawal with his automatic pistol and a few remaining hand grenades. This was the last occasion on which he was seen.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: PARACHUTE REGIMENT MUSEUM, DUXFORD.
BURIAL PLACE: ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK CEMETERY, HOLLAND.
Lionel Queripel's medals at the Parachute Regiment Museum, Duxford
(Picture -Thomas Stewart).
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
PLOT V, ROW D, GRAVE 8.
Royal Military Academy Sandhurst
Warwick Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Queripel House, Chelsea
VC Grove, Tunbridge Wells (Brian Drummond)