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 • Acklam Cemetery and Crematorium
 • Middlesbrough
 • Middlesbrough Unitary Authority
 • North Yorkshire
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Stanley Elton Hollis
Birth: Sep. 21, 1912
Death: Feb. 8, 1972

World War II Victoria Cross Recipient. He received the award from British King George VI at Buckingham Palace in London, England on October 10, 1944 for his actions as a company sergeant major in D Company, 6th Battalion, The Green Howards, of the British Army during the D-Day Invasion at Gold Beach, Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. He has the distinction of being the only recipient of the Victoria Cross on that day. Born in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, England, he moved with his family in 1936 to Robin Hood's Bay in North Yorkshire where his father owned and operated a fish and chip shop. In 1929 he became a navigation officer with a shipping company but was forced to give it up a year later when he became ill with blackwater fever and he returned to North Ormesby in North Yorkshire and worked as a truck driver. In 1939 he enlisted in the British Army Reserve and when World War II broke out in September of that year, he was mobilized and transferred to The Green Howards. He saw action during the British evacuation at Dunkirk, France in May 1940 and was sent to the Mediterranean with the British 8th Army and saw action at the Battles of Tunis and El Alamein during the North African Campaign. He was promoted to the rank of company sergeant major and participated in the Invasion of Sicily in 1943 and was wounded at the Battle of Primosole Bridge. Following the Sicily Invasion, his unit returned to England to prepare for the Allied Invasion of Normandy. In September 1944 he was wounded in action and was sent back to England to recuperate and was discharged from the British Army. He returned to North Ormesby and worked various jobs, including a sandblaster, auto mechanic, a ship's engineer, and operated a pub. He died following a stroke in Liverton Mines, North Yorkshire at the age of 59. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the Victoria Cross to No.4390973 Warrant Officer Class II (Company Sergeant Major) Stanley Elton Hollis, The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment) (Middlesbrough). In Normandy on 6 June 1944, during the assault on the beaches of the Mont Fleury Battery, CSM Hollis's company commander noticed that two of the pill-boxes had been bypassed, and went with CSM Hollis to see that they were clear. When they were 20 yards from the pillbox, a machine gun opened fire from the slit and CSM Hollis instantly rushed straight at the pillbox, firing his Sten gun. He jumped on top of the pillbox, re-charged his magazine, threw a grenade in through the door and fired his Sten into it, killing two Germans and making the remainder prisoner. He then cleared several Germans from a neighbouring trench. By this action, he undoubtedly saved his company from being fired on heavily from the rear and enabled them to open the main beach exit. Later the same day, in the village of Crepon, the company encountered a field gun and crew armed with Spandaus at 100 yards range. CSM Hollis was put in command of a party to cover an attack on the gun, but the movement was held up. Seeing this, CSM Hollis pushed right forward to engage the gun with a PIAT from a house at 50 yards range. He was observed by a sniper who fired, and grazed his right cheek, and at the same moment the gun swung round and fired at point-blank range into the house. To avoid the fallen masonry, CSM Hollis moved his party to an alternative position. Two of the enemy gun crew had by this time been killed, and the gun was destroyed shortly afterwards. He later found that two of his men had stayed behind in the house and volunteered to get them out. In full view of the enemy who were continually firing at him. Under cover of his diversion, the two men were able to get back. Wherever fighting was heaviest, CSM Hollis appeared and in the course of a magnificent days work, he displayed the utmost gallantry and on two separate occasions his courage and initiative prevented the enemy from holding up the advance at critical stages. It was largely through his heroism and resource that the company's objectives were gained and casualties were not heavier, and by his own bravery he saved the lives of many of his men." His Victoria Cross is on display at the Green Howards Museum in Richmond, North Yorkshire. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
 
Burial:
Acklam Cemetery and Crematorium
Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough Unitary Authority
North Yorkshire, England
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: K
Record added: Dec 04, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 8153900
Stanley Elton Hollis
Added by: Graham J Parsons
 
Stanley Elton Hollis
Added by: Dave Blyth
 
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Thank you for your courage and valor in time of battle. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Jul. 30, 2015

- R I P
 Added: Feb. 8, 2015

- Sanshl
 Added: Feb. 8, 2015
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