Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

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b. 23/05/1909 Chelsea, London. d. 05/04/1991 Tonbridge, Kent.

 

He was the younger of two children, and the only son, of William Sidney, 5th Baron De L'Isle and Dudley (19 August 1859 – 18 June 1945) and his wife, Winifred Agneta Yorke Bevan (d. 11 February 1959). The Sidney family was one of England's oldest and most distinguished families. He was educated at Eton and Magdalene College, Cambridge and became a chartered accountant. In 1929 he joined the Grenadier Guards Reserve of Officers. During World War II Sidney served in France and Italy. He led a handful of men in the defence of the Anzio beachhead, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross for action on 9th February 1944.

 

VC ACTION

 

Sidney led a successful attack which drove German troops out of a gully. Later he led another counter-attack and dashed forward, engaging the Germans with his tommy gun at point-blank range, forcing a withdrawal. When the attack was renewed, Sidney and one guardsman were wounded and another killed, but he would not consent to have his wounds dressed until the Germans had been beaten off and the battalion's position had been consolidated. During this time, although extremely weak from loss of blood, he continued to encourage and inspire his men.

 

At a by-election in October 1944 he was elected unopposed to the House of Commons as Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Chelsea. His father died in June 1945 and he succeeded as 6th Baron De L'Isle and Dudley, requiring translation to the House of Lords. He retired from the House of Commons prior to the July 1945 general election. In 1951 he was appointed Secretary of State for Air under Winston Churchill and held that office until 1955. During this time he visited Australia, travelling to Woomera to examine weapons research and meeting the Prime Minister, Robert Menzies. In 1956 he was created 1st Viscount De L'Isle.

 

LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.

BURIAL PLACE: ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH, PENSHURST, KENT. (FAMILY VAULT).

sidney

William Philip Sidney

VC, KG, GCMG, GCVO, KSIJ, PC.

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