27 April 2003

( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Bushell,
comd 7th Bn, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment

  • Victoria Cross
  • Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )
  • 1914 Star + clasp "5th Aug-22nd Nov 1914"
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) + MiD Oakleaf

The descendents of Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Bushell VC, DSO, gathered together as an entire family for the first time to hand over his Victoria Cross group to the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment Museum at Clandon Park, Guildford.

Christopher Bushell was born on the 31st October 1888 at Hinderton Lodge, Neston, Cheshire, and was educated at Moorland House, Heswell, Cheshire; Rugby; and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was called to the Bar in 1912 and also in the same year joined the Army in the Special Reserve of Officers as Second Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment. On the outbreak of WWI, Bushell's regiment was sent to France and during the Retreat from Mons on the 14th September 1914, he was severely wounded.

Returning to France in November 1915, he served there until his death in action on the 8th August 1918. Meanwhile he was A.D.C. to the 33rd Division November 1915 to June 1916; Staff Captain, 100th Brigade through the Battle of the Somme; Temporary Commander 7th Bn, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment December 1916, with whom he served as C.O., Second in Command, and finally permanent C.O. until 8th August 1918.

[ London Gazette, 3 May 1918 ], Near Tergnier, France, 23 March 1918, T / Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Bushell DSO, comd 7th Bn, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment.

"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in command of his battalion. Lieut-Colonel Bushell personally led C Company of his battalion, who were co-operating with an Allied regiment in a counter-attack, in face of very heavy machine-gun fire. In the course of this attack he was severely wounded in the head, but continued to carry on, walking about in front of both English and Allied troops, encouraging and reorganising them. He refused even to have his wound attended to until he had placed the whole line in a sound position, and formed a defensive flank to meet a turning movement by the enemy.

He then went to Brigade Headquarters and reported the situation, had his wound dressed, and returned to the firing line, which had come back a short distance. He visited every portion of the line, both English and Allied, in the face of terrific machine-gun and rifle fire, exhorting the troops to remain where they were and to kill the enemy. In spite of the wounds, this gallant officer refused to go to the rear, and had eventually to be removed to the dressing station in a fainting condition.

To the magnificent example of energy, devotion and courage shown by their commanding officer is attributed the fine spirit displayed and the keen fight put up by his battalion, not only on the day in question, but on each succeeding day of the withdrawal."

Christopher Bushell died on the 8th August 1918 near Morlancourt, leading his men in the opening attack of the last great offensive. He's buried in Querrieu Btitish Cemetery, France, 9 miles SW of Albert.

[ London Gazette, 1st January 1918 ], Created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ), T / Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Bushell, comd 7th Bn, Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment.

"For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on numerous occasions."


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Iain Stewart, 9 June 2003