Lieutenant William Basil Weston VC

Lieutenant William Basil Weston fought in the Burma campaign. His self-sacrifice helped to free Burma from Japanese occupation.

On the 3rd March 1945, Weston took part in the attack on south-east Meiktila. The surviving Japanese troops were hidden in strong points amid the ruins and concealed in bunkers.  As the advance progressed, enemy opposition increased.

Every bunker position had to be dealt with individually and at times the fighting was hand to hand with knives and bayonets. Weston, with complete disregard for his own safety, personally led his men into position after position.  For more than four hours he inspired his men with his leadership. He seemed invincible.

At 5pm, with the light fading, Weston realised that a last effort must be made to destroy an enemy bunker. At the entrance to the bunker, he was hit and fell forward, wounded.  Removing the pin from the grenade in his hand, Weston let it roll forward into the bunker.  By doing this he killed himself and the Japanese soldiers defending the bunker.

For his leadership and self-sacrifice Lieutenant Weston was recommended for a Victoria Cross. The medal was presented to his brother and aunt by H M King George VI on the 18th December 1945.

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