Personal info

  • Name: Thomas George TURRALL
  • D.O.B: 5th July, 1886
  • D.O.A: 3rd July, 1916
  • D.O.D: 21st February, 1964
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 10th Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment, 57th Brigade, 19th Division

La Boisselle, France 3-5 July 1916

3-5 July 1916

More details about:
The Somme, France 1-2 July 1916 

La Boisselle lies on the Bapaume Road about two miles north-east of Albert. On 1 July, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, the attack there on the German line by the 34th Division failed to make headway and the 19th Division was brought up. On 2 July the 58th Brigade established itself south of La Boisselle and the 57th Brigade was ordered to continue the assault. The brigade attacked at 3.15am on the 3rd but the capture of the village was not completed before the end of 4 July and fierce fighting continued the following day, when the 23rd Division’s objective was Horseshoe Trench, on high ground between La Boisselle and Mametz to the south-east, just beyond Fricourt. Despite heavy casualties progress was made and Horseshoe Trench was taken. It was here that T/Lieutenant T O L Wilkinson, 7th Battalion The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, and Temporary Second Lieutenant D S Bell, 9th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, distinguished themselves. Corporal Colwill and Private Batey, who assisted Bell, were each awarded the DCM. In the fighting on the 3rd Temporary Lieutenant Colonel A P Carton de Wiart, commanding 8th Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment, had taken charge of 8th Battalion The North Staffordshire Regiment, 10th Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment and 10th Battalion The Warwickshire Regiment, when their commanders became casualties. It was due to his courage and determination under heavy fire that the British managed to maintain their positions. In the course of that day Lt W Jennings, 10th Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment, was wounded in the leg. Private T G Turrall dragged him to a shell-hole and used part of an entrenching tool as a splint. He had to fight off German attacks and at one point, during a German counter-attack, feign death. Turrall remained with Jennings for three hours and finally brought him back to British lines. Jennings died a few hours later.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. During a bombing attack by a small party against the enemy the officer in charge was badly wounded, and the party having penetrated the position to a great depth was compelled to retire. Private Turrall remained with the wounded officer for three hours, under continuous and very heavy fire from machine guns and bombs, and, notwithstanding that both himself and the officer were at one time completely cut off from our troops, he held to his ground with determination, and finally carried the officer into our lines after our counter-attacks had made this possible. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 8 September 1916. 9 September 1916, Numb. 29740, p. 8871

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