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Sir Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley
Birth: Nov. 2, 1893
Death: Jan. 24, 1986

British Navy Admiral, World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. A veteran of World Wars I and II, he received the award from British King George V on September 11, 1918 at Buckingham Palace in London, England for his actions as a lieutenant on the cruiser HMS Vindictive on April 22, 1918 and again on May 9-10, 1918 at Ostend Harbor, Belgium during the final year of World War I. Born into a prestigious family at Chelsea, London, England, he was a godchild of British Queen Victoria. In 1906 he joined the British Royal Navy and attended the Royal Navy College at Osborne, Isle of Wight, England. In September 1915, following the outbreak of World War I, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and served on the Grand Fleet battleship HMS Centurion that participated in the Battle of Jutland in the North Sea. In April 1918 he was chosen for the Zeebrugge Raid, an attempt by the British Royal Navy to block the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge at Ostend Harbor, where he won the Victoria Cross for gallantry. Following World War I, he served in a number of sea duty assignments, including New Zealand, Cyprus, and Alexandria, Egypt. When World War II broke out in September 1939, he returned to England and in April 1940 he participated in the naval engagement at Narvik, Norway. The following month he was promoted to the rank or commodore, 2nd class, and was appointed commander of the Royal Navy Barracks at Devonport, Plymouth, Devon, England. In February 1942 he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral and transferred to the Royal Australian Navy for service in the South West Pacific Area where he participated in the Guadalcanal campaign, and remained in theater until the end of hostilities in the Pacific. In August 1945 he was promoted to the rank of vice admiral and his final command was the Flag Officer Commanding Gibraltar. He retired in 1947 with 41 years of continued military service. In addition to the Victoria Cross, his awards and decorations include the Knight Commander, Order of the Bath, the Distinguished Service Cross, the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal (1914-20), the Victory Medal (1914-19, with Mentioned in Despatches oak leaf), the 1939-45 Star, the Atlantic Star, the Pacific Star, the Defence Medal (1939-45), the War Medal (1939-45), the Australia Service Medal (1939-45), the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal (1935), the King George VI Coronation Medal (1937), the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953), the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977), the Polish Order of Polonia Restituta (Commander), the US Army Chief Commander, Legion of Merit, and the French Croix de Guerre. In 1949 he was elevated to the rank of admiral on the retired list. He died in Nettlecombe, Dorset, England at the age of 92. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officers in recognition of their gallantry and devotion to duty as described in the foregoing despatch. Lieutenant Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley DSC - Royal Navy. This officer was in 'Brilliant' in the unsuccessful attempt to block Ostend on the night of 22nd / 23rd April 1918, and at once volunteered for a further effort. Crutchley acted as 1st Lieutenant of HMS 'Vindictive' and worked with untiring energy fitting out that ship for further service. On the night of 9th / 10th May 1918, after his commanding officer had been killed and the second in command severely wounded, Lieutenant Crutchley took command of 'Vindictive' and did his utmost by manoeuvring the engines to place that ship in an effective position. He displayed great bravery both in the 'Vindictive' and in 'ML254', which rescued the crew after the charges had been blown and the former vessel sunk between the piers of Ostend harbour, and did not himself leave the 'Vindictive' until he had made a thorough search with an electric torch for survivors under a very heavy fire. Lieutenant Crutchley took command of 'ML254' when the commanding officer sank exhausted from his wounds, the second in command having been killed. The vessel was full of wounded and very seriously damaged by shell fire, the fore part being flooded. With indomitable energy and by dint of baling with buckets and shifting weight aft, Lieutenant Crutchley and the unwounded kept her afloat, but the leaks could not be kept under, and she was in a sinking condition, with her forecastle nearly awash when picked up by HMS 'Warwick'. The bearing of this very gallant officer and fine seaman throughout these operations off the Belgian coast was altogether admirable and an inspiring example to all thrown in contact with him." His Victoria Cross and other medals are on loan to the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth, Hampshire, England. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
St Mary the Virgin Churchyard
West Dorset District
Dorset, England
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: K
Record added: Jul 01, 2004
Find A Grave Memorial# 9021312
Sir Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley
Added by: Erik Skytte
Sir Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley
Added by: Dave Blyth
Sir Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley
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Thank you for your military service in the British Navy and for your courage and valor in time of battle. May you rest in peace.
- William Bjornstad
 Added: Oct. 5, 2015

- James Snow
 Added: Jan. 24, 2015

 Added: Nov. 2, 2014
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