Gilbert Stuart Martin Insall and Thomas Ham Donald ["Tales of the V.C. "]



    • Article with annotations.
    • Gilbert Stuart Martin Insall VC MC (14 May 1894 – 17 February 1972) was a 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. Insall was 21 years old, and a Second Lieutenant in the 11 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps during the First World War when he won the VC. Citation: On 7 November 1915 near Achiet-le-Grand, France, Second Lieutenant Insall, on patrol in Vickers F.B.5 Gunbus No. 5074 with 1st Class Air Mechanic T. H. Donald, engaged an Aviatik two-seter and forced the German pilot to make a rough landing in a plowed field. Seeing the air crew scramble out and prepare to fire, Insall dove to 500 ft and his gunner opened fire, whereupon the Germans fled. After dropping an incendiary bomb on the downed German aircraft, Insall flew through heavy fire at 2000 ft over enemy trenches. The Vickers' petrol tank was hit, but Insall brought the plane 500 yards back inside Allied lines for an emergency landing. Insall and Donald stayed by the Gunbus through a bombardment of about 150 shells while awaiting nightfall. After dark, they then set to work by torch light to salvage their plane. After they repaired the machine overnight, Insall flew them back to base at dawn Insall was later captured, finding out about his award while a prisoner of war. His treatment in captivity is mentioned, including solitary confinement, and his escape. The attached account of their actions was written by James Price Lloyd of the Welsh Regiment, who served with Military Intelligence. After the war, the government to destroyed all the archives relating to this propaganda (section MI 7b (1)). They were regarded as being too sensitive to risk being made public. Remarkably these documents have survived in the personal records of Captain Lloyd. Many of these papers are officially stamped, and one can trace the development of many individual articles from the notes based on an idea, to the pencil draft which is then followed by the hand-written submission and the typescript. The archive "Tales of the VC" comprises 94 individual accounts of the heroism that earned the highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross. These are recounted deferentially and economically, yet they still manage to move the reader. Date stamp: 22 March 1918.




  • Date:

    • 1915-11-07
  • Temporal:

    • 2013-05-02 17:21:40 UTC
  • Place/Time:

    • Aerial Warfare
    • Western Front



  • Rights:

    • http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

References and relations


  • Location:

    • Achiet
    • #50.1319835,2.7843359999999393
  • Place/Time:

    • Aerial Warfare
    • Western Front
Longitude: "2.784336"
Latitude: "50.131985"

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