Guardsman Edward Colquhoun Charlton V.C., 2nd Battalion, the Irish Guards, Guards Armoured Division

April 21, 2019

 

Remembering the Fallen:  on this day in 1945, Guardsman Edward Colquhoun Charlton V.C., 2nd Battalion, the Irish Guards, Guards Armoured Division, died of wounds received during the fighting at Wistedt in Germany.

On the day of his death he was a co-driver of a tank belonging to a troop supporting an infantry platoon. They were occupying the village of Wistedt which the German army were attempting to re-take.  His tank was one of three which had been disabled, leaving one remaining against the more experienced and larger German force, he was then ordered to dismount the Browning machine gun in order to support the infantry.  He advanced in full view of the enemy, firing the gun from his hip, causing many casualties.  His left arm was wounded, so he balanced the machine-gun on a fence to continue the attack, before his left arm was hit once more and shattered.  He nevertheless continued the attack until wounded for a third time, the blood-loss from his wounds causing him to collapse. 

Guardsman Charlton was captured and taken to hospital, but later died of his wounds.  The reports of his courage came from the German officers, as none of his colleagues witnessed his selfless courage which had allowed them to escape.  For his actions that day he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.  He is buried in the Becklingen War Cemetery, at Soltau in Germany.

Edward, from Rowlands Gill, County Durham, was 24 years old.

 

 

 

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December 11, 2018

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