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- Warburton-Lee Bernard Armitage Warburton. Capt. (d.10th April 1940)
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Capt. Bernard Armitage Warburton Warburton-Lee VC. HMS Hardy (d.10th April 1940)Captain Bernard Armitage Warburton Warburton-Lee was 44 years old, and a captain in the Royal Navy when was awarded the VC.
"On 10th of April 1940 in Ofotfjord, Narvik, Norway, in the First Battle of Narvik, Captain Warburton-Lee of HMS Hardy commanded the British 2nd Destroyer Flotilla consisting of five destroyers, HMS Hardy, Havock, Hostile, Hotspur and Hunter, in a surprise attack on German destroyers and merchant ships in a blinding snowstorm. This was successful, and was almost immediately followed by an engagement with five more German destroyers, during which Captain Warburton-Lee was mortally wounded by a shell which hit Hardy's bridge. He was awarded the Victoria Cross, posthumously. His citation reads as follows:
"For gallantry, enterprise and daring in command of the force engaged in the First Battle of Narvik, on 10th April, 1940. On being ordered to carry out an attack on Narvik, Captain Warburton-Lee learned that the enemy was holding the place in much greater force than had been thought. He signalled to the Admiralty that six German destroyers and one submarine were there, that the channel might be mined, and that he intended to attack at dawn. The Admiralty replied that he alone could judge whether to attack, and that whatever decision he made would have full support. Captain Warburton led his flotilla of five destroyers up the fjord in heavy snow-storms, arriving off Narvik just after daybreak. He took the enemy completely by surprise and made three successful attacks on warships and merchantmen in the harbour. As the flotilla withdrew, five enemy destroyers of superior gunpower were encountered and engaged. The captain was mortally wounded by a shell which hit the bridge of H.M.S. Hardy. His last signal was "Continue to engage the enemy"." His was the first VC to be gazetted in the Second World War.S. Flynn
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