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. A soldier with the Seaforth Highlanders during the First World War, he was awarded the VC for his actions on 22 February 1917, during the Mesopotamian campaign.

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.

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]

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]

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References

  1. "Victoria Cross winner Sergeant Thomas Steele, 1st Seaforth Highlanders, Sanniyat, Mesopotamia, 22nd February 1917".
  2. "No. 30122". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 April 1917. p. 5704.
  3. Yorkshire Post: For Valour – VC heroes game forgot