Thomas Steele VC

Name: Thomas Steele

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: June 8, 1917

Service: Army

Thomas Steele VC
Thomas Steele Medals
Medal group

Place/date of birth: Springhead, Oldham, Lancashire/February 6, 1891

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

Date of bravery: February 22, 1917

London Gazette citation:

No. 811L./Sjt. Thomas Steele, Sea. Highrs.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.

At a critical moment when a strong enemy counter-attack had temporarily regained some of the captured trenches, Sjt. Steele rushed forward and assisted a comrade to carry a machine gun into position. He kept the gun in action till relieved, being mainly instrumental in keeping the remainder of the line intact.

Some hours later another strong attack enabled the enemy to reoccupy a portion of the captured trenches. Again Sjt. Steele showed the greatest bravery, and by personal valour and example was able to rally troops who were wavering. He encouraged them to remain in their trenches and led a number of them forward, thus greatly helping to re-establish our line. On this occasion he was severely wounded.

These acts of valour were performed under heavy artillery and rifle fire.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death: Springhead, Oldham, Greater Manchester/July 11, 1978

Grave/memorials: Hollinwood Crematorium, Oldham, Greater Manchester

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2009

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