Private Thomas George Turrall VC (20572)
(3rd July 1916)

10th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
(at the storming of La Boisselle)

The strongly fortified village of La Boisselle, France was captured in a night attack, but with very heavy loss. All the senior officers were killed or wounded, and control was very difficult. Small parties, one of which was led by Lieutenant Jennings, pushed forward through the village, bombing, taking prisoners and picking up stragglers. Private Turrall, one of the Battalion bombers, joined the party; a hidden machine gun opened fire, and Private Turrall flung himself flat, escaping injury. All the rest of the party was killed, except Lieutenant Jennings, whose leg was shattered. Turrall dragged him to a shell hole, bandaging his leg with one of his puttees, and using the halve of his entrenching tool as a splint. They were bombed from behind a hedge by a party of Germans; Turrall shot two of them dead through a gap, and the others retired. Later in the day the Germans made an unsuccessful counter-attack on the village; the officer had fainted, so Turrall shammed dead successfully, although the Germans prodded him with their bayonets as they passed. 
At night he managed to make his way back to the trenches, carrying the wounded officer. Lieutenant Jennings, who was very tall, had his arms round Turrall's neck, and the sentry at first was on the point of shooting him for not putting up his hands. The officer died within two hours, but not before he had time to dictate an account of Turrall's action, which merited and received the Victoria Cross.

The above painting by Gilbert Holiday shows Private Turrall firing on the bombers

Tom Turrall with his daughter going to collect his V.C. at Buckingham Palace
(30th December 1916)


Tom Turrall V.C. (1964)


Thomas George Turrall V.C. was born in Birmingham on 5th July 1885. He won his VC at the age of 30. He died on the 21st February 1964, Birmingham and is buried at the Robin Hood Cemetery, Solihull. His VC is on display at the Worcestershire Regiment Museum, Worcester.

Thomas George Turrall V.C. gravestone at Robin Hood Cemetery, Solihull
(photo provided by Mark Rogers)

Thomas George Turrall V.C. medal group

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