01 June 2006

( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Lance Sergeant Frederick Palmer,
22nd ( Kensington ) Bn, Royal Fusiliers ( City of London Regiment )

  • Victoria Cross
  • Military Medal ( MM )
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • Defence Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 ) + MiD Oakleaf
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )

On Thursday, 1st June 2006, a ceremony took place at the Royal Fusiliers Museum, Tower of London, where the Victoria Cross and campaign medals awarded to Lance Sergeant Frederick Palmer were placed on permanent loan to the regimental museum of the Royal Fusiliers by members of the Palmer family.

For the award of the Victoria Cross.

[ London Gazette, 3 April 1917 ], Near Courcelette, France, 17 February 1917, Lance Sergeant Frederick William Palmer, 22nd Bn, Royal Fusiliers ( City of London Regiment )

For most conspicuous bravery, control and determination.

During the progress of certain operations, all the Officers of his Company having been shot down, Sjt. Palmer assumed command, and, having cut his way under point blank machine gun fire, through the wire entanglements, he rushed the enemy’s trench with six of his men, dislodged the hostile machine gun which had been hampering our advance, and established a block. He then collected men detached from other regiments, and held the barricade for nearly three hours against seven determined counter-attacks, under an incessant barrage of bombs and rifle grenades from his flank and front.

During his temporary absence in search of more bombs an eighth counter-attack was delivered by the enemy, who succeeded in driving in his party, and threatened the defences of the whole flank. At this critical moment, although he had been blown off his feet by a bomb, and was greatly exhausted, he rallied his men, drove back the enemy and maintained his position.

The very conspicuous bravery displayed by this Non-commissioned Officer cannot be overstated, and his splendid determination and devotion to duty undoubtedly averted what might have proved a serious disaster in this sector of the line.

Frederick Palmer was invested with his Victoria Cross, and presented with his Military Medal, by King George V in Hyde Park, London, on the 2nd June 1917.

For the award of the Military Medal.

[ London Gazette, 19 February 1917 ], Redan Ridge, France, 13th - 15th November 1916, Lance Sergeant Frederick William Palmer, 22nd Bn, Royal Fusiliers ( City of London Regiment )

For actions on Redan Ridge on the Somme, 13th - 15th November 1916. The specific circumstances leading to the award of the Military Medal are not known.

After demobilization Palmer lived in Singapore and became a director of several companies. In 1942 the family home was destroyed when Singapore fell to the Japanese; his Chinese wife, a magistrate's daughter who had worked as a nurse in Singapore, and the Palmer's two young children were driven north and placed in a refugee camp for four years. During this time Palmer had no news of them, but when the war was over the family was reunited and they moved to Hordle in Hampshire.

Frederick Palmer died in Lymington Hospital on 10th September 1955, aged 63, was cremated at Bournemouth Crematorium, and his ashes buried in All Saints' Churchyard, Hordle.


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Iain Stewart, 01 June 2006