10 November 2010

The Victoria Cross, Orders, decorations and campaign medals awarded to Rear Admiral Sir Anthony Miers, Royal Navy ( HM Submarine 'Torbay' ), have been acquired by the Michael Ashcroft Trust, the holding institution for Lord Ashcroft's VC Collection. The VC group is on display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery in the Imperial War Museum, London.

( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Rear Admiral Sir Anthony Miers,
Royal Navy ( HM Submarine 'Torbay' )

  • Victoria Cross
  • Knight Commander, Order of the British Empire ( KBE )
  • Companion, Order of the Bath ( CB )
  • Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ) & Bar
  • 1939-45 Star
  • Atlantic Star
  • Africa Star + clasp "North Africa 1942-43"
  • Pacific Star + clasp "Burma"
  • Defence Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 ) + MiD Oakleaf
  • Naval General Service Medal ( 1915-1962 )
    • 2 clasps:
    • "Cyprus" - "Near East"
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ( 1977 )
  • Officer, Legion of Merit ( USA )

Commander Anthony Miers had been specialising in submarines since 1929 so by the time war broke out in 1939 he was an immensely experienced submariner. Miers was an early awardee of the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ) in October 1941 and was awarded a Bar to his DSO in April 1942 for his part in sinking eleven ships in the Mediterranean.

In March 1942 HM submarine 'Torbay', commanded by Anthony Miers, followed three Italian destroyers and a convoy of ships into Corfu Harbour. This was a dangerous, delicate and slow manoeuvre and as night fell Miers knew he could not attack until the morning. There was a further problem: the batteries had to be recharged or 'Torbay' would not get out of the harbour next day. Miers' VC citation sets out much of what happened next.

[ London Gazette, 7 July 1942 ], for the award of the Victoria Cross. Corfu Harbour, Ionian Sea, 4 March 1942, Commander Anthony Cecil Capel Miers, Royal Navy ( HM Submarine 'Torbay' ).

For valour in command of H.M. Submarine 'Torbay' in a daring and successful raid on shipping in a defended enemy harbour, planned with full knowledge of the great hazards to be expected during seventeen hours in waters closely patrolled by the enemy.

On arriving in the harbour he had to charge his batteries lying on the surface in full moonlight, under the guns of the enemy. As he could not see his target he waited several hours and attacked in full daylight in a glassy calm. When he had fired his torpedoes he was heavily counter-attacked and had to withdraw through a long channel with anti-submarine craft all round and continuous air patrols overhead.

Anthony Miers was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George VI at Buckingham Palace on the 28th July 1942.

[ London Gazette, 7 October 1941 ], Created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ), Lieutenant Commander Anthony Cecil Capel Miers, Royal Navy ( HM Submarine 'Torbay' )

For courage, enterprise and devotion to duty in successful submarine patrols.

[ London Gazette, 7 April 1942 ], Awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ), Commander Anthony Cecil Capel Miers, Royal Navy ( HM Submarine 'Torbay' )

For courage, skill and coolness in successfull submarine patrols.

Sir Anthon Miers died on the 30th June 1985, aged 78, in Inverness, and is buried in the Tomnahurich Cemetery.


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Iain Stewart, 10 November 2010