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Old 04-07-17, 05:42 PM
sriyanj sriyanj is offline
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Default Second Lieutenant Basil Arthur Horsfall, VC

Second Lieutenant Basil Arthur Horsfall, VC
Date of Birth: 04/10/1887 – Date of Death: 27/03/1918
British Army, East Lancashire Regiment



Second Lieutenant Basil Arthur Horsfall, VC (4 October 1887 – 27 March 1918) was a British-Ceyloneserecipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Born on 4 October 1887 in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Horsfall was educated at S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia in Ceylon[1] and at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School,[2] Marlow in England. He left a position with Barclay's Bank, London, to become a rubber planter back in Ceylon, where he also held a civil service position with the Public Works Department and served with the Ceylon Engineers. During World War I, he served as 2nd Lieutenant with the 1st Battalion, attached to the 11th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, of the British Army.

Horsfall was 30 years old, and a second lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, during World War I when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

21 March 1918 (World War I). Between Moyenneville and Ablainzevelle, France, when the enemy attacked Second Lieutenant Horsfall's centre platoon, his three forward sections were driven back and he was wounded in the head by enemy fire. Ignoring the wound, he immediately reorganised what remained of his troops and counterattacked to regain his original position. Despite the severity of his head wound, he refused to go to the dressing station, as the three other officers in his company had been killed. Later, he made another counterattack, but was ordered to withdraw. The last to leave his position, he was shot soon afterwards.[3]



Horsfall's name is on the Arras Memorial in France. It is not known where he is buried.[4]



Horsfall's medal is kept in the Queen's Lancashire Regiment Museum at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, Lancashire.


BIRTH 1888

Basil Arthur Horsfall, VC was born in Kelvin Gerve, Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1888 to Maria Henrietta Layard and Charles William Horsfall.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Casualty Records


COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION "ADDITIONAL INFORMATION" 1918
Son of the late Charles William Horsfall, of Darlington, Polwatta, Colombo, and of Maria Henrietta Horsfall (nee Layard), of Florence, Kandy, Ceylon. Born at Kelvin Gerve, Colombo; educated at St. Thomas's College, Colombo and Sir William Borlase School, Great Marlow, England. From Barclay's Bank, London, took up Rubber planting in Ceylon. Appointed Financial Assistant to the Public Works Department of the Civil Service of Ceylon. Qualified in signalling and search light in the Ceylon Engineer Volunteers.


Shared by Yvonne Fenter
from Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Casualty Records


UNIT 27th March 1918

Second Lieutenant in the British Army, East Lancashire Regiment, 1st Battalion attached 11th Battalion .

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Casualty Records


DEATH 27th March 1918

Basil Arthur Horsfall, VC died in 1918 and was killed in action.

For details, see story with transcription of VC citation.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Casualty Records

VICTORIA CROSS CITATION Known At: 22nd May 1918
An extract from "The London Gazette", dated 22nd May, 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. 2nd Lt. Horsfall was in command of the centre platoon during an attack on our positions. When the enemy first attacked, his three forward sections were driven back and he was wounded in the head. Nevertheless, he immediately organised the remainder of his men and made a counter-attack, which recovered his original positions. On hearing that out of the remaining three officers of his company two were killed and one wounded, he refused to go to the dressing room, although his wound was severe. Later his platoon had to be withdrawn to escape very heavy shell fire, but immediately the shelling lifted he made a second counter-attack and again recovered his positions. When the order to withdraw was given, he was the last to leave his position, and, although exhausted, said he could have held on if it had been necessary. HIs conduct was a splendid example to his men, and he showed throughout the utmost disregard of danger. This very gallant officer was killed when retiring to the positions in rear."

Shared by Yvonne Fenter
from Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) Casualty Records


1906
Barclays Group Archives hold a set of 3 small photograph albums from the early 1900s showing staff of Barclays Bank at 54 Lombard Street “at work and play”. This image is cropped from a photograph from one of the albums. The photo has surnames written above and beneath it, and these have been used in conjunction with information from other Barclays Bank sources to identify the men.

Barclays Group Archives hold a set of 3 small photograph albums from the early 1900s showing staff of Barclays Bank at 54 Lombard Street “at work and play”. This is a photograph from one of the albums, captioned "Pinner 1906". The photo has surnames written above and beneath it, and these have been used in conjunction with information from other Barclays Bank sources to identify the men. The man second from the right in the front row is labelled as Horsfall.


Basil Arthur Horsfall VC. Photograph from Wikipedia.
B A Hosrfall 1906– from Barclays Bank photo albums
Group photo – from Barclays Bank photograph albums
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 220px-Basil_Arthur_Horsfall_VC.jpg (15.7 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg 27916929.jpg (13.8 KB, 1 views)
File Type: jpg 27916911.jpg (60.4 KB, 0 views)

Last edited by sriyanj; 04-07-17 at 06:02 PM.
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