Percy Thompson Dean VC

Name: Percy Thompson Dean

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: July 23, 1918

Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

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Percy Thompson Dean VC
Percy Thompson Dean Medals
Medal group

Place/date of birth: Blackburn, Lancashire/July 20, 1877

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Lieutenant (later Lieutenant Commander)

Date of bravery: April 22/23, 1918

London Gazette citation:

Lieutenant Percy Thompson Dean, R.N.V.R. (Motor Launch 282).

For most conspicuous gallantry.

Lieutenant Dean handled his boat in a most magnificent and heroic manner when embarking the officers and men from the blockships at Zeebrugge. He followed the blockships in and closed “Intrepid” and “Iphigenia” under a constant and deadly fire from machine and heavy guns at point blank range, embarking over 100 officers and men. This completed, he was proceeding out of the canal, when he heard that an officer was in the water. He returned, rescued him, and then proceeded, handling his boat throughout as calmly as if engaged in a practice manoeuvre. Three men were shot down at his side whilst he conned his ship. On clearing the entrance to the canal the steering gear broke down. He manoeuvred his boat by the engines, and avoided complete destruction by steering so close in under the mole that the guns in the batteries could not depress sufficiently to fire on the boat. The whole of this operation was carried out under a constant machine-gun fire at a few yards range. It was solely due to this officer’s courage and daring that M.L.282 succeeded in saving so many valuable lives.

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Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death: London/March 20, 1939

Grave/memorials: Golders Green Crematorium, London; Blackburn Old Town Hall, Lancashire; Bromsgrove School, Worcestershire; The Mole, Zeebrugge

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased at auction, Glendining’s, London, 1992

Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum