12 June 2008

( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Colonel Patrick Porteous,
Royal Artillery & No. 4 Commando

  • Victoria Cross
  • 1939-45 Star
  • France & Germany Star
  • Defence Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • War Medal ( 1939-45 )
  • General Service Medal ( 1918-62 )
    • 2 clasps:
    • 'Palestine 1945-48' - 'Malaya'
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal ( 1977 )

The campaign medals awarded to Colonel Patrick Porteous, Royal Artillery and No. 4 Commando, have been sold at auction by Gorringes of Lewes, East Sussex, for a hammer price of £14,000.

It is believed that sometime during his lifetime Pat Porteous sold his Victoria Cross privately to an unidentified purchaser, replacing it with a 'copy'. Although attempts have been made to trace the buyer of the original Victoria Cross these have proved unsuccessful.

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 2 October 1942 ], Dieppe, France, 19 August 1942, T / Major Patrick Anthony Porteous, Royal Regiment of Artillery & No. 4 Commando.

At Dieppe on the 19th August 1942, Major Porteous was detailed to act as Liaison Officer between the two detachments whose task was to assault the heavy coast defence guns.

In the initial assault Major Porteous, working with the smaller of the two detachments, was shot at close range through the hand, the bullet passing through his palm and entering his upper arm. Undaunted, Major Porteous closed with his assailant, succeeded in disarming him and killed him with his own bayonet thereby saving the life of a British Sergeant on whom the German had turned his aim.

In the meantime the larger detachment was held up, and the officer leading this detachment was killed and the Troop Sergeant- Major fell seriously wounded. Almost immediately afterwards the only other officer of the detachment was also killed. Major Porteous, without hesitation and in the face of a withering fire, dashed across the open ground to take over the command of this detachment.

Rallying them, he led them in a charge which carried the German position at the point of the bayonet, and was severely wounded for the second time. Though shot through the thigh he continued to the final objective where he eventually collapsed from loss of blood after the last of the guns had been destroyed.

Major Porteous's most gallant conduct, his brilliant leadership and tenacious devotion to a duty which was supplementary to the role originally assigned to him, was an inspiration to the whole detachment.

Patrick Porteous was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George VI at Buckingham Palace on the 27th October 1942.

After the landing force had withdrawn from Dieppe, Captain Pat Porteous received news of the award of his Victoria Cross from his mother while in hospital recovering from his wounds.


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Iain Stewart, 12 June 2008