Captain Lionel Queripel.

Victoria Cross: Lionel Queripel

in General information/Oosterbeek/September 19

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 died in the evening on Tuesday, September 19, near Wolfheze, after a day in which he repeatedly demonstrated exceptional courage.

The text below is taken from the notes accompanying the award of the Victoria Cross.

“At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 19, the Queripel company reached a main road that ran over a dike towards Arnhem. The advance was under continuous machine gun, which at one point became so heavy that the company was split on both sides of the road, and suffered significant losses.

Captain Queripel immediately continued to reorganize his fighting force, crossing the road several times under extremely heavy and precise fire. During this period he carried an injured sergeant to the Regiment Post while they were being shot at. He was injured in the face himself.

After organizing his fighting force, Captain Queripel personally led the attack against an enemy strongpoint. The enemy position consisted of a captured British anti-tank gun and two machine guns. Despite the fire aimed at him, Captain Queripel managed to kill the machine gun crew and recapture the anti-tank guns. As a result, the advance could continue. “

The above action took place at Dreijenseweg, which runs from Oosterbeek station to Amsterdamseweg. The British tried to break through here in the direction of Arnhem, but were thrown back by strong German resistance. At the end of the day, the entire 4th Parachute Brigade withdrew behind the railway, between Wolfheze and Oosterbeek.

“Later the same day, Captain Queripel noticed that he had been cut off with a small group of men and took a position in a ditch. By this time, he also had wounds in both arms. Without heeding his wounds amid the very heavy mortar and gunfire, he continued to inspire his men to resist with hand grenades, pistols, and the few surviving guns.

However, as the pressure of the enemy increased, Captain Queripel decided it was impossible to hold the position longer. He ordered his men to withdraw. Despite their protests, he insisted on being left behind to cover their retreat with his automatic pistol and a few leftover hand grenades.

This was the last time he was seen.

Throughout the nine-hour period of confused and bitter combat, Captain Queripel showed the highest standard of prowess in the most difficult conditions. His courage, leadership and dedication have been wonderful and an inspiration to everyone. “

The five Victoria Crosses during the Battle of Arnhem were awarded to:
Lieutenant John Hollington Grayburn
Flight Lieutenant David Samuel Anthony Lord
Lance Sergeant John Baskeyfield
Captain Lionel Queripel
Major Robert Henry Cain .

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