Thomas Steele (VC)

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Thomas Steele
Thomas Steele VC.jpg
Born(1891-02-06)6 February 1891
Springhead, Yorkshire, England
Died11 July 1978(1978-07-11) (aged 87)
Springhead, Greater Manchester, England
AllegianceFlag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Service/branchFlag of the British Army.svg  British Army
RankSergeant
Unit The Seaforth Highlanders
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross
Other work Rugby league player

Thomas Steele VC (6 February 1891 – 11 July 1978) was an English recipient of 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.

Victoria Cross highest military decoration awarded for valour in armed forces of various Commonwealth countries

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest and most prestigious award of the British honours system. It is awarded for gallantry "in the presence of the enemy" to members of the British Armed Forces. It may be awarded posthumously. It was previously awarded to Commonwealth countries, most of which have established their own honours systems and no longer recommend British honours. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command although no civilian has received the award since 1879. Since the first awards were presented by Queen Victoria in 1857, two-thirds of all awards have been personally presented by the British monarch. These investitures are usually held at Buckingham Palace.

England Country in north-west Europe, part of the United Kingdom

England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north-northwest. The Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south. The country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, and includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state‍—‌the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Contents

VC action

He was 26 years old, and a sergeant in the 1st Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders [1] (Ross-shire Buffs, Duke of Albany's), British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

Sergeant military rank

Sergeant is a rank in many uniformed organizations, principally military and policing forces. The alternate spelling, "serjeant", is used in The Rifles and other units that draw their heritage from the British Light Infantry. Its origin is the Latin "serviens", "one who serves", through the French term "sergent".

Seaforth Highlanders military unit

The Seaforth Highlanders was a historic line infantry regiment of the British Army, mainly associated with large areas of the northern Highlands of Scotland. The regiment existed from 1881 to 1961, and saw service in World War I and World War II, along with many numerous smaller conflicts. In 1961 the regiment was amalgamated with the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders to form the Queen's Own Highlanders, which merged, in 1994, with the Gordon Highlanders to form the Highlanders. This, however, later joined the Royal Scots Borderers, the Black Watch, the Royal Highland Fusiliers and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders to create the present Royal Regiment of Scotland.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

On 22 February 1917 near Sanna-y-Yat, Mesopotamia, at a critical moment when a strong enemy counter-attack had temporarily regained some of the captured trenches, Sergeant Steele helped a comrade to carry a machine-gun into position. He kept this gun in action until relieved and was mainly instrumental in keeping the rest of the line intact. Some hours later another counter-attack enabled the enemy to reoccupy a portion of the captured trenches and Sergeant Steele rallied the troops, encouraging them to remain in their trenches and leading a number of them forward, helped to re-establish our line. On this occasion he was severely wounded. [2]

Mesopotamia area of the Tigris–Euphrates river system

Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in modern days roughly corresponding to most of Iraq, Kuwait, parts of Northern Saudi Arabia, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the Turkish–Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders.

Rugby league

Steele played three matches as a professional for Broughton Rangers, one of rugby league's founding clubs, and enjoyed a distinguished career as an amateur with his local club, Healey Street. [3]

Broughton Rangers were founded in 1877. They were one of the twenty-one clubs to meet at the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 29 August 1895 to form the Northern Rugby Football Union. They were originally based in Broughton, Salford. In 1933, they moved out of Salford and into the Manchester district of Gorton and were renamed Belle Vue Rangers in 1946. The original club folded in 1955. In 2005, local businessman, Stefan Hopewell attempted to resurrect the club and now owns the intellectual property to Broughton Rangers and Belle Vue Rangers.

Rugby league team sport, code of rugby football

Rugby league football is a full-contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular field. One of the two codes of rugby, it originated in Northern England in 1895 as a split from the Rugby Football Union over the issue of payments to players. Its rules progressively changed with the aim of producing a faster, more entertaining game for spectators.

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References

  1. http://www.qohldrs.co.uk/html/l_sgt_thomas_steele.htm
  2. "No. 30122". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 April 1917. p. 5704.
  3. Yorkshire Post: For Valour – VC heroes game forgot

The Register of the Victoria Cross is a reference work that provides brief information on every Victoria Cross awarded until the publication date. Each entry provides a summary of the deed, along with a photograph of the recipient and the following details where applicable or available - rank, unit, other decorations, date of gazette, place/date of birth, place/date of death, memorials, town/county connections, and any remarks. The book was first published by the quarterly magazine, This England in 1981, a revised and enlarged edition in 1988 and a third edition in 1997. There is no editor noted on the cover page or the title page but Nora Buzzell is acknowledged in all three edition specially in the 1988 and 1997 editions as compiled and researched for This England by Nora Buzzell.