Welcome to the WWII Forums! Log in or Sign up to interact with the community.

Eric Charles Twelves Wilson VC

Discussion in 'History of Britain during World War II' started by Jim, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    Likes Received:
    via War44
    Born at Sandown, Isle of Wight, on 2nd October 1912, he was educated at Marlborough and Sandhurst.

    Commissioned into The East Surrey Regiment on 2nd February 1933, he was seconded to The King’s African Rifles in 1937 and The Somaliland Camel Corps in 1939.

    He served in the Western Desert with the Long Range Desert Group and in Burma, between 1941 and 1944 with 11th (Kenya) Bn The Kings African Rifles. He was seconded to The Northern Rhodesian Regiment in 1946. He retired from the Army in 1949. He was decorated with his Victoria Cross by King George VI at Buckingham Palace in July 1942.

    Eric Charles Twelves Wilson VC


    His Citation reads:-

    “For most conspicuous gallantry on active service in Somaliland. Captain Wilson was in command of machinegun 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 11th August 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 also being wounded. His guns were blown off their stands but he repaired and replaced them and, regardless of his wounds, carried on, while his Somali sergeant was killed beside him.

    On 12th and 14th August, the enemy again concentrated field artillery fire on Captain Wilson’s guns, but he continued, with his wounds untended, to man them. On 15th August two of his machine-gun posts were blown to pieces, yet Captain Wilson, now suffering from malaria in addition to his wounds, still kept his own post in action. The enemy finally over-ran the post at 5pm on the 15th August when Captain Wilson, fighting to the last, was killed”.

    Dates of Acts of Bravery
    11th-15th August 1940
    Tug Argan Gap, British Somaliland
    London Gazette
    14th October 1940

    Colonel D Dean VC and Lieutenant Colonel E C T Wilson VC


    Or was he? In fact, Wilson had surrendered when his post was overrun and became a prisoner of war. He was released at the end of the war and Is still living in Sherborne, Dorset, aged ninety-three.
    In 2005, the trust reached an agreement with Eric Wilson and his family whereby it purchased his VC. However, under the conditions of the deal that the trust is more than happy to honour, it will remain with this wonderful, courageous man for the rest of his days.
  2. Kelly War44

    Kelly War44 New Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    Likes Received:
    via War44
    What a brave, brave man, as are all soldiers who go to War. We may write and read about his Heroics but I'm sure he'd say he was just doing his job. That's what marks these men out from the rest of us. HUMILITY:thumb:
  3. Spitfire XIV-E

    Spitfire XIV-E New Member

    Jul 26, 2007
    Likes Received:
    via War44
    Agreed +1. I was watching "The lost evidence" on History Channel the other night. It was the one about Peleleu in the Palau Islands. They interviewed one of the Marines who won a Congressional Medal of Honor there and he said said that he didn't consider himself a hero but that he had served amongst heroes. Humility indeed ...

Share This Page