Thomas Mottershead VC

Name: Thomas Mottershead

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: February 12, 1917

Service: Royal Flying Corps

Thomas Mottershead VC
Thomas Mottershead Medals
Medal group

Place/date of birth: Widnes, Lancashire/January 17, 1892

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Sergeant

Date of bravery: January 7, 1917

London Gazette citation:

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Victoria Cross to No. 1396 Sjt. Thomas Mottershead, late R.F.C.

For most conspicuous bravery, endurance and skill when, attacked at an altitude of 9,000 feet, the petrol tank was pierced and the machine set on fire.

Enveloped in flames, which his observer, Lt. Gower was unable to subdue, this very gallant soldier succeeded in bringing his aeroplane back to our lines, and though he made a successful landing, the machine collapsed on touching the ground, pinning him beneath wreckage from which he was subsequently rescued.

Though suffering extreme torture from burns, Sjt. Mottershead showed the most conspicuous presence of mind in the careful selection of a landing place, and his wonderful endurance and fortitude undoubtedly saved the life of his observer.

He has since succumbed to his injuries.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: DCM

Place/date of death: Bailleul, France/January 12, 1917

Grave/memorials: Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, France; Widnes War Memorial, Lancashire; RAF Memorial, St Clement Danes, London;

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 1994

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