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  • Christina Drummond

Captain Ian Oswald Liddell VC, 5th Battalion, The Coldstream Guards

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1945, Captain Ian Oswald Liddell VC, 5th Battalion, Coldstream Guards, was killed in action near Rothenburg in Germany. He was hit by a bullet which had already killed another soldier, passing through him to hit Captain Liddell.

Educated at St Andrew's, Eastbourne, and at Harrow, he had enlisted as a private in the King's Shropshire Light Infantry and was later commissioned in the Coldstream Guards. His brother, Major David Liddell, had been involved in the capture of Rudolf Hess, and himself was involved with Hess’ reception in the Tower of London.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions just over a fortnight before his death - his Victoria Cross citation reads: "In Germany on April 3rd, 1945, Captain Liddell was commanding a company of the Coldstream Guards ordered to capture intact a bridge over the river Ems, near Lingen, Germany. The bridge was heavily defended and prepared for demolition. Captain Liddell ran forward alone, scaling a 10ft. high road block, to neutralise the 500 lb. charges. Unprotected, and all the time under intense fire, he crossed and re-crossed the whole length of the bridge, disconnecting the charges at both ends and underneath it. His task completed, he climbed on the road block and signalled to the leading platoon that the way was clear for the advance across the river.The bridge was captured intact, and the way cleared for the advance over the river. Captain Liddell's outstanding gallantry and superb example of courage will never be forgotten by those who saw it. This very brave officer later died of wounds subsequently received in action."

Ian, born in Shanghai due to his father’s business concerns but with family roots in Monmouthshire, was 25 years old and newly-married.

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