Lieutenant Philip Neame of the Royal Engineers won the Victoria Cross on this day in 1914 at Neuve Chapelle. In the face of very heavy fire, he engaged the Germans in a single-handed bombing attack. He was able to check the enemy advance for enough time "to rescue all the wounded men whom it was possible to move" (source: The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29074. p. 1700. 16 February 1916). It is possible the bombs he used were the Engineers' own design of empty jam tins filled with loose metal. His medal ribbons provide a wonderful test of identification. For example, during the First World War, Neame won further awards: getting Mentioned in Dispatches (MiD, four times - the oak leaf spray on his Victory medal ribbon) and receiving the Distinguished Service Order; he was honoured by the French government with the Legion d'honneur (Croix de Chevalier) and the Croix de guerre, as well as the Belgian Croix de guerre. The Museum of Liverpool has an online interactive guide to many of these medals and their ribbons.
|Philip Neame's Medal Ribbons|
This post is part of our Advent calendar. New stories are published every day from Dec 1 until Christmas.