Personal info

  • Name: Robert Edwin PHILLIPS
  • D.O.B: 11th April, 1895
  • D.O.A: 11th April, 1895
  • D.O.D: 23rd September, 1968
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Temporary Lieutenant, 13th Battalion The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, attached to the 9th Battalion

River Hai, south of Kut, Mesopotamia 25 January 1917

25 January 1917

More details about:
The First World War Mesopotamia 1915-1918 

On 14 December 1916, Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Maude, who had been appointed British commander in Mesopotamia in July, launched the second phase of the campaign, attacking Turkish positions around Kut-el-Amara. Among other advances British troops reached the Hai, a river which flowed north to join the Tigris opposite Kut. On 25 January 1917 the British attacked the Hai salient, near Kut. On the west bank of the Hai, 39th Brigade met stiff resistance and after initial gains was driven back. An advance by the 9th Warwickshires led by Acting Lieutenant Colonel E E D Henderson for a time regained lost ground but Henderson was mortally wounded. Both he and Temporary Lieutenant R E Phillips, who brought him back to British lines, were awarded the VC for their gallantry. For his part in the rescue attempt Corporal Scott was awarded the DCM.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. After his Commanding Officer had been mortally wounded in leading a counter-attack, Lt. Phillips went out under the most intense fire to his assistance, and eventualy, with the help of a comrade, succeeded in bringing him back to our lines. Lt. Phillips had in the first instance tried to get a telephone wire across the open following the battalion in their counter-attack. This was impossible when the Signallers were killed. His Commanding Officer lay wounded in the open, and as the counter-attack had succeeded, he turned all his energies on getting him in. He showed sustained courage in its very highest form, and throughout he had but little chance of ever getting back alive. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 8 June 1917. 8 June 1917, Numb. 30122, p. 5703

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