b. 15/09/1915 Bradford, Yorkshire. d. 06/04/1943 Wadi Akarit, Tunisia.
Eric Anderson (1915-1943) was born on 15th September 1915 in Fagley, Bradford, Yorkshire, the son of George Anderson (1884-1965) and Mary Ann (nee Pitts) (1880-1944). Before joining the Army in 1940, he was a driver fo a firm of building contactors in Idle. It is also known that he also sang in the Eccleshill Church Choir.
In 1940, he enlisted in the 5th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment as a Private. After initial training, the regiment were prepared to be posted out to North Africa and the fighting against the Afrika Korps. In June 1941, whilst on a period of home leave, Eric married Irene Brear, a local Bradford girl who was seven years his junior. Sadly, they would be married for less than two years.
On 6th April 1943, A Company of the East Yorkshire Regiment made a dawn attack on a strong position on the Wadi Akarit in Tunisia, but very heavy enemy fire forced the Yorkshiremen to withdraw temporarily behind the crest of a hill and take shelter. Despite the withering fire, Private Anderson, a stretcher-bearer, went forward alone to rescue wounded men trapped in no-man’s land. On three separate occasions, Anderson brought in his wounded comrades, and was rendering first aid to a fourth man when he was mortally wounded. Anderson’s body was recovered from the battlefield a week later, and he was laid to rest in Sfax War Cemetery.
Anderson was the first stretcher-bearer to be awarded the VC in the Second World War, and the medal was presented to his widow, Irene. His medals are now held by the Prince of Wales’ Own Regiment of Yorkshire Museum, York. There are memorials to him at Beverley Minister and at the St John’s United Reformed Church in Bradford.
LOCATION OF MEDAL:PRINCE OF WALES OWN REGIMENT OF YORKSHIRE, YORK.
BURIAL PLACE: WAR CEMETERY, SFAX, TUNISIA.
Eric Anderson's Vc medal on display at Prince of Wales Own Regimental Museum, York (April 2012)
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
PLOT II, ROW C, GRAVE 14
Bradford War Memorial
Updated medal group courtesy of Terry Hissey (2016)