85th anniversary of the award of the Victoria Cross to Sgt A.J Knight in 1917 FDC, with matching postmark, stamp and illustration signed by Eric Wilson VC
Lieutenant Colonel Eric Charles Twelves Wilson VC (2 October 1912 – 23 December 2008) was an English army officer and colonial administrator. He received the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. At the time of his death, he was last surviving British Army recipient of the Victoria Cross in World War II, and the earliest and oldest recipient.
The formal citation for Wilson's VC, published in the London Gazette in October 1940 when he was still presumed dead, reads:
The KING has been pleased to approve of the award of The Victoria Cross to :
Lieutenant (acting Captain) Eric Charles Twelves Wilson, The East Surrey Regiment (attached Somaliland Camel Corps).
For most conspicuous gallantry on active service in Somaliland. Captain Wilson was in command of machine-gun posts manned by Somali soldiers in the key position of Observation Hill, a defended post in the defensive organisation of the Tug Argan Gap in British Somaliland. The enemy attacked Observation Hill on August 11th, 1940. Captain Wilson and Somali gunners under his command beat off the attack and opened fire on the enemy troops attacking Mill Hill, another post within his range. He inflicted such heavy casualties that the enemy, determined to put his guns out of action, brought up a pack battery to within seven hundred yards, and scored two direct hits through the loopholes of his defences, which, bursting within the post, wounded Captain Wilson severely in the right shoulder and in the left eye, several of his team being also wounded. His guns were blown off their stands but he repaired and replaced them and, regardless of his wounds, carried on, whilst his Somali sergeant was killed beside him. On August 12th and 14th the enemy again concentrated field artillery fire on Captain Wilson's guns, but he continued, with his wounds untended, to man them. On August 15th two of his machine-gun posts were blown to pieces, yet Captain Wilson, now suffering from malaria in addition to wounds, still kept his own post in action.
Victoria Cross anniversary cover signed Eric Wilson VC
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