Personal info

  • Name: Thomas STEELE
  • D.O.B: 6th Feb, 1891
  • D.O.A: 22nd Feb, 1917
  • D.O.D: 11th Jul, 1978
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders (Ross-shire Buffs, Duke of Albany’s)
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia 22 February 1917

22 February 1917

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

Although the south bank of the Tigris had been mostly cleared by February 1917, the Turks were still strongly entrenched along the northern bank, from Sanna-i-Yat east of Kut-el- Amara to the Shumran peninsula to its west. Lieutenant-General Sir Stanley Maude decided to attack them on both flanks. However, an initial attack on Sanna-i-Yat on 17 February failed. Maude then decided to launch an assault on Sanna-i-Yat to draw Turkish troops from Shumran, while his forces crossed the river there from the south bank. The attack took place on 22 February and the first two lines of Turkish trenches were captured. The Turks counterattacked and, though they managed temporarily to regain some of their trenches, were driven out again.


 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. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 8 June 1917. 8 June 1917, Numb. 30122, p. 5704

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