Personal info

  • Name: Julian Royds GRIBBLE
  • D.O.B: 5th January, 1897
  • D.O.A: 23rd March, 1918
  • D.O.D: 25th November, 1918
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Temporary Captain, 10th Battalion The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 154th Brigade, 51st Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Vélu Wood, France 23 March 1918

23 March 1918

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The First World War 1918 

In the fighting to try and stem the German advance south of the Cambrai to Bapaume road, following the opening of the German Spring offensive on 21 March 1918, 10th Battalion The Royal Warwickshire Regiment, together with 8th Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment, (see Temporary Captain M A James VC, 21-23 Mar 1918), were detailed on 23 March 1918 to prevent the enemy advancing west from Vélu Wood and Vélu until the safe withdrawal of British forces was completed. When some of the Warwickshire Regiment were driven back, Temporary Captain J R Gribble, in command of D company, was ordered to hold on at all costs. He gallantly continued fighting until he and his men were surrounded and captured.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Capt. Gribble was in command of the right company of the battalion when the enemy attacked, and his orders were to “hold on to the last.” His company was eventually entirely isolated though he could easily have withdrawn them at one period when the rest of the battalion on his left were driven back to a secondary position. His right flank was “in the air” owing to the withdrawal of all troops of a neighbouring division. By means of a runner to the company on his left rear he intimated his determination to hold on until other orders were received from battalion headquarters – and this he inspired his command to accomplish. His company was eventually surrounded by the enemy at close range, and he was seen fighting to the last. His subsequent fate is unknown. By his splendid example of grit Capt. Gribble was materially instrumental in preventing for some hours the enemy obtaining a complete mastery of the crest of ridge, and by his magnificent self-sacrifice he enabled the remainder of his own brigade to be withdrawn, as well as another garrison and three batteries of field artillery. 

Sixth Supplement to The London Gazette of 25 June 1918. 28 June 1918, Numb. 30770, p. 7617

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