V.C. Won in Belgium
Coy. Sergeant-Major G. Gristock
C.S.M. Gristock, of the Norfolk Regiment, was awarded the V.C. for most conspicuous gallantry on May 21, 1940, when his company was holding a position on the line of the River Escaut, south of Tournai. After a prolonged attack, the enemy succeeded in breaking through beyond the company's right flank, which was consequently threatened. Coy. Sergeant-Major Gristock, having organized a party of eight riflemen from company headquarters, went forward to cover the right flank. Realizing that an enemy machine-gun had moved forward to a position from which it was inflicting heavy casualties on his company, C.S.M. Gristock went on, with one man as connecting file, to try to put it out of action. While advancing, became under heave machine-gun fire from the opposite bank, and was severely wounded in both legs, his right knee being badly smashed. He nevertheless gained his fire-position, some 20 yards from the enemy machine-gun post, undetected, and by well-aimed rapid fire killed the machine-gun crew of four and put their gun out of action. He then dragged himself back to the right flank position, from which he refused to be evacuated until contact with the battalion on the right had been established and the line once more made good. He has since died from his wounds.