The courage shown by many British soldiers during the Battle of Arnhem is exceptional. Five of them were rewarded for their bravery after the Battle of Arnhem by being awarded the Victoria Cross.
The British Victoria Cross is the highest military award in the British Army, honoring extraordinary courage and bravery.
The five Victoria Crosses that were awarded after the Battle of Arnhem are unprecedentedly high when compared to the total number of Victoria Crosses that were awarded during the entire Second World War. In total, only 15 Victoria Crosses were awarded between 1939 and 1945.
The articles below highlight the five British heroes who received a Victoria Cross.
Lieutenant John Grayburn was one of five British soldiers to earn a Victoria Cross during the Battle of Arnhem – the highest British military award.
Lieutenant Grayburn was one of the 700 British airbornes to defend the northern ramp of the Rhine Bridge through Wednesday 20 September. On Wednesday, September 20, Grayburn was killed under the Rhine Bridge ramp when he was shot by machine gun fire from a German tank.
Lieutenant David Lord was one of five British soldiers to earn a Victoria Cross during the Battle of Arnhem: the highest British military award.
David Lord, born in Ireland, was a pilot with the 271st Squadron of the Royal Air Force. As a pilot, he flew one of the aircraft that was responsible for supplying the British airbornes in Oosterbeek during the Battle of Arnhem.
Sergeant John “Jack” Baskeyfield was one of five British soldiers to earn a Victoria Cross during the Battle of Arnhem: the highest British military award.
Lance Sergeant Baskeyfield landed on Monday, September 18, the second day of Operation Market Garden, together with the support company of the 2nd Staff of the South Staffords. On Tuesday morning, September 19, the South Staffords, along with three other British battalions, had made an ultimate attempt to reach the Rhine Bridge via the Bovenover and the Onderlang, where the battalion led by Colonel John Frost occupied the north side of the bridge.
After the Battle of Arnhem, five Victoria Crosses were distributed for bravery. The Victoria Cross is the highest British military award. In February 1945, a Victoria Cross was posthumously awarded to Captain Lionel Queripel.
Lionel Queripel was commander of A-Company of the 10th Battalion, which was part of the 4th Parachute Brigade, during the Battle of Arnhem. Queripel was killed in the evening near Wolfheze on Tuesday 19 September, after a day in which he repeatedly demonstrated exceptional courage.
Major Robert Cain was one of five British soldiers to earn a Victoria Cross during the Battle of Arnhem – the highest British military award. Of these five soldiers, Robert Cain is the only one who survived the Battle of Arnhem.
Major Cain and the South Staffords landed on Ginkel Heath on Monday, September 18, 1944. The South Staffords Regiment attempted to fight its way to the bridge on Tuesday, September 19. Due to a force majeure of German tanks, that attack ended at the municipal museum on the Utrechtseweg.