Personal info

  • Name: Basil Arthur HORSFALL
  • D.O.B: 4th October, 1887
  • D.O.A: 27th March, 1918
  • D.O.D: 27th March, 1918
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Second Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion The East Lancashire Regiment, attached 11th Battalion, 92nd Brigade, 31st Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Between Moyenneville and Ablainzevelle near Ayette, France 27 March 1918

27 March 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

By 27 March 1918, the German advance was beginning to slow down but the British were still under heavy pressure. North-west of Bapaume the Germans had taken Moyenneville, west of Hamelincourt, on the 26th. 11th Battalion East Lancashire Regiment was in the line between Moyeneville and Ablainzevelle to the south-west. On 27 March Ablainzeville itself fell and the 11th East Lancashires came under sustained attack. After fighting to maintain their position they eventually withdrew north to Ayette.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. 2nd Lt. Horsfall was in command of the centre platoon during an attack on our positions. When the enemy first attacked his three forward sections were driven back and he was wounded in the head. Nevertheless, he immediately organised the remainder of his men and made a counter-attack, which recovered his original positions. On hearing that out of the remaining three officers of his company two were killed and one wounded, he refused to go to the dressing station, although his wound was severe. Later his platoon had to be withdrawn to escape very heavy shell fire, but immediately the shelling lifted he made a second counterattack and again recovered his positions. When the order to withdraw was given he was the last to leave his position, and, although exhausted, said he could have held on if it had been necessary. His conduct was a splendid example to his men, and he showed throughout the utmost disregard of danger. This very gallant officer was killed when retiring to the positions in the rear. 

Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 21 May 1918. 22 May 1918, Numb. 30697, p. 6058

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