Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1940, Company Sergeant Major George Gristock V.C., 2nd Battalion, the Royal Norfolk Regiment, died of wounds received in the action which won him the Victoria Cross.
The eldest of six children, C.S.M. Gristock was born in Pretoria, South Africa, and raised in England. He joined the Royal Norfolk Regiment after school. On the 21st of May in 1940. during the fighting south of Tournai in Belgium, he took a party of riflemen forward to cover his company’s right flank. They suffered heavy casualties from an enemy machine-gun post, which he intended to put out of action.
Coming under heavy fire, C.S.M. Gristock was grievously wounded in both legs but was able to use rapid fire to kill the machine-gun crew, putting the gun out of action. The citation takes up the story: “He then dragged himself back to the right flank position from which he refused to be evacuated until contact with the battalion had been established and the line once more made good. By his gallant action, the position of the company was secured, and many casualties prevented”.
He was taken home to the Royal County Hospital in Brighton where both his legs had to be amputed, and where he passed away at thirty-five years old. C.S.M. Gristock lies buried in the Bear Road Cemetery in Brighton, and his Victoria Cross is held at the Royal Norfolk Regimental Museum in Norwich Castle.