Frederick William Palmer ["Tales of the V.C."] | Frederick William Palmer
Royal Fusiliers VC
Frederick William Palmer VC MM 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. He was 25 years old, and a Lance-Sergeant in the 22nd Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. On 16/17 February 1917 north of Courcelette, France, Lance-Sergeant Palmer assumed command of his company when all his officers had become casualties - which could have resulted in great confusion. Having cut his way under point-blank enemy fire, through wire entanglements, he was able to dislodge an enemy machine gun and established a "block". He then collected some other men and held the barricade for nearly three hours against seven determined counter attacks. While he was fetching more bombs (grenades)an eighth counter attack was delivered, threatening the advance of the whole flank. At this critical moment, although suffering from extreme exhaustion, he rallied his men, drove back the enemy and maintained his position. He later achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant. When his battalion was disbanded, he joined the RFC as an observer. After the war, he went to Malaya, where he set up in business. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he returned to England in 1940, arriving just in time for the Battle of Britain, and re-joined the Royal Air Force. He achieved the rank of Wing-Commander, and was mentioned in dispatches at the end of the war. He then returned to Malaya. He retired to the south of England in 1950. The attached account of his 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: 13 April 1918.