Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1944, Sergeant Hanson Victor Turner V.C., 1st Battalion, The West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Own), was killed in action at Ningthoukhong, in the state of Manipur in India.
One of a family of nine children, after leaving school he worked as a bus conductor. His father had served as a sergeant with the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment during the Great War, and so he followed his father into that regiment in 1940. In 1943 he was sent to the Far East. By the time of the action for which he won the Victoria Cross, he had achieved the rank of Acting Sergeant, and had been serving with the West Yorkshire Regiment for two months.
On the day before his death he had been one of the section commanders of a platoon which came under attack by the Japanese, who were equipped with medium and light machine guns and grenades. The platoon lost three machine guns and had to give ground. The citation takes up the story: “Serjeant Turner with coolness and fine leadership reorganised his party and with a doggedness and spirit of endurance of the highest order repelled all attacks. The position was held throughout the night. When it was clear that the Japanese were attempting to outflank the position, Serjeant Turner, armed with grenades, boldly and fearlessly attacked them single handed. He went back five times for more grenades; and on the sixth occasion, still singlehanded, he was killed while throwing a grenade among the enemy. His conduct on that night will ever be remembered by the Regiment. His superb leadership and undaunted will to win in the early stages of the attack was undoubtedly instrumental in preventing the enemy plan from succeeding. The number of enemy found dead the next morning was ample evidence of the effect his grenade throwing had had.” Sergeant Turner’s body was recovered and he is buried in the Imphal War Cemetery in India.
Hanson, from Andover in Hampshire, was 33 years old and married with a daughter.