Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1941, Rifleman John Beeley VC, of 1st Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, was killed in action in North Africa during Operation Crusader. On the day of his death an airfield at Sidi Rezegh (20 miles south of Tobruk) was being attacked by his company, which found itself pinned down by heavy fire at point-blank range. All the officers but one and many of the other ranks had been either killed or wounded. On his own initiative with no cover Rifleman Beeley ran forward over open ground, firing his Bren gun, and at 20 yards range put an anti-tank gun and two machine-guns out of action. He was killed almost immediately, shot at least four times. From the V.C. citation: “Rifleman Beeley went to certain death in a gallant and successful attempt to carry the day. His courage and self-sacrifice were a glorious example to his comrades and inspired them to further efforts to reach their objective, which was eventually captured by them, together with 700 prisoners.” He is buried in the Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya. His posthumous Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Green Jackets Museum in Winchester – he was the only member of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps to be awarded a V.C. in the second world war. A street in Manchester was named John Beeley Avenue in his honour, and his nephew described him as “An ordinary man who displayed extraordinary courage.” John, from Manchester, was 23 years old.