DELVILLE WOOD

LONGUEVAL - SOMME - FRANCE

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Two South African Victoria Crosses won  during the Second World War.

Sergeant

Quentin George Murray SMYTHE, V.C.

(1916-1997)

Royal Natal Carabineers

Alem Hamza, Cyrenaica, on the 5th June 1942.

During an attack on an ennemy strong point in which his officer was severely wounded, Sergeant Smythe took command of the platoon although he was himself wounded in the head. When our troops came under enfilade fire from an enemy machine-gun nest he attacked it with hand grenades, capturing the crew. Although weak from less of blood, he continued to lead the advance and stalking an anti-tank position, he again attacked and captured it single-handed killing several of the enemy.


Captain

Edwin SWALES

(1915-1945)

S.A.A.F., serving with 582nd Squadron, Royal Air Force

23rd February 1945 Pforzheim, Germany

Captain Swales was leading the raid when he was attacked by an ennemy fighter, one engine, fuel tanks and the rear gun turret being badly damaged. Unperturbed, he carried on, but was again attacked and his port engine was put out of action. Nevertheless he still remained over the target until satisfied that the attack had achieved its purpose. He finally managed to get his crippled Lancaster back to Allied-occupied territory before ordering his crew to bail out but as the last crew-member jumped, the aircraft plunged to earth. Captain Swales was found dead at the controls.