Captain JR Gribble, VC
Julian Royds Gribble was born into a wealthy family in London on the 5th January 1897. From the age of 13 he attended Eton. Having earlier been turned down by an admiralty board for the Royal Navy in December 1914 he enrolled at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in May 1915. He went to the Front with the 10th Battalion in May 1916.
He won his Victoria Cross at Beaumetz in France on the 23rd March 1918, during the German spring offensive.
The citation says “On 21st March 1918 the 10 Battalion was near Velu with orders to hold on in face of heavy German attacks. On the 23rd the Germans broke through on a wide front, but Captain Gribble and his Company would not yield. His orders were to hold on to the last, and he sent back a runner to say that he would stay until ordered to retire. This resolution he inspired his men to accomplish. When last seen he was still fighting, surrounded by the enemy. By his courage and determination the Germans were unable to obtain mastery of the ridge for some hours, and the rest of his Brigade was able to be withdrawn. He was wounded and taken prisoner.”
He was wounded and lost consciousness, but was resuscitated by the Germans and taken prisoner. He was held in a camp at Mainz, Germany where he gradually recovered his health. On the news of winning the Victoria Cross his fellow prisoners of war celebrated by carrying him around the camp on their shoulders.
Sadly he never saw his medal. Whilst waiting to be repatriated at the end of the War he caught pneumonia and died on the 24th November 1918.