14 December 2009

( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Captain George Henderson,
2nd Bn, The Manchester Regiment

  • Victoria Cross
  • Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ) & Bar
  • Military Cross ( MC )
  • 1914 Star + clasp "5th Aug-22nd Nov 1914"
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) + MiD Oakleaf
  • General Service Medal ( 1908-56 ) & MiD Oakleaf
    • 1 clasp: "Iraq"

The family of Captain George Stuart Henderson, 2nd Bn, The Manchester Regiment, have decided to loan his Victoria Cross medal group to The Manchester Regiment Museum located in Ashton-under-Lyne.

The VC group had previously been on loan to the The King's Regiment which was formed in 1968 from the amalgamation of the King's ( Liverpool ) Regiment and The Manchester Regiment. The Regimental Museum now displays six of the regiment's Victoria Cross groups.

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 29 October 1920 ], Near Hillah, Mesopotamia ( Iraq ), 24 July 1920, Captain George Stuart Henderson DSO & Bar, MC, 2nd Bn, The Manchester Regiment.

For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice.

On the evening of the 24th July 1920, when about fifteen miles from Hillah ( Mesopotamia ), the Company under his command was ordered to retire. After proceeding about 500 yards a large party of Arabs suddenly opened fire from the flank, causing the Company to split up and waver. Regardless of all danger, Capt. Henderson at once reorganised the Company, led them gallantly to the attack and drove off the enemy.

On two further occasions this officer led his men to charge the Arabs with the bayonet and forced them to retire. At one time, when the situation was extremely critical and the troops and transport were getting out of hand, Capt. Henderson by sheer pluck and coolness, steadied his command, prevented the Company from being cut up, and saved the situation.

During the second charge he fell wounded, but refused to leave his command, and just as the Company reached the trench they were making for he was again wounded. Realising that he could do no more, he asked one of his N.C.O.'s to hold him up on the embankment, saying "I'm done now, don't let them beat you". He died fighting.

George Henderson's body was not recovered from the action and his name is engraved on the Basra Memorial, Iraq. Panel 31 / 64.

For the award of the Military Cross ( MC )

[ London Gazette, 3 July 1915 ], Near Ypres, Belgium, 26 April 1915, Lieutenant George Stuart Henderson, 1st Bn, The Manchester Regiment.

Near Ypres on 26th April 1915, after his Company Commander had been wounded, he led his company up to within yards of the enemy's trenches with great gallantry and determination, and held on through several hours of daylight, and finally established himself there. Throughout the operations he set a fine example, after most of the senior officers had become casualties.

Created a Companion to the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )

[ London Gazette, 31 May 1916 ], 8 March 1916, Lieutenant ( Temp. Captain ) George Stuart Henderson MC, 1st Bn, The Manchester Regiment.

For conspicuous gallantry and determination in an attack on an enemy redoubt. On entering the redoubt he organised and led bombing parties which cleared out the enemy, of whom he personally shot five. He subsequently covered out withdrawal, and was one of the last to leave the redoubt.

Awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )

[ London Gazette, 25 August 1917 ], Captain George Stuart Henderson DSO, MC, 1st Bn, The Manchester Regiment.

For action on 9th January 1917


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Iain Stewart, 14 December 2009