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Captain Edward Banford RMLI - Victoria Cross - Zeebrugge

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

Unit/ Formation: Victoria Cross

Location: Belgium

Period/ Conflict: World War I

Year: 1918

Date/s: 23 April 1918

Bamford was 30 years old, and a captain in the Royal Marine Light Infantry, Royal Marines during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

Captain Edward Bamford's Victoria Cross citation was published in the London Gazette, 23 July 1918:

For conspicuous gallantry at Zeebrugge. April 1918.

This officer landed on the Mole from "Vindictive" with Nos. 5, 7 & 8 platoons of the Marine Storming Force in the face of great difficulties. When on the Mole under heavy fire, he displayed the greatest initiative in the command of his company, and by his total disregard of danger, showed a magnificent example to his men. He first established a strong point on the right of the disembarkation, and when that was safe, led an assault on a battery to the left with the utmost coolness and valour.

The entire 4th Battalion Royal Marines was awarded the Victoria Cross for the action, triggering Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross warrant stipulating that a ballot must be drawn to select the recipients. Although the Victoria Cross rules specify that four Victoria Crosses should be awarded this way (one to an Officer, one to an NCO, and two to other ranks) they were not observed and only two Victoria Crosses were awarded.

This was the last time that Victoria Crosses were awarded by ballot, although the rule still exists within the Victoria Cross warrant.

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