Victoria_Cross_of_canada

THE

 

TO THE VICTORIA & GEORGE CROSS

COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE

victoria_cross george cross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NO IMAGE AVAILABLE

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b. 28/06/1901 Galashiels, Scotland.  d. 23/04/1940 Narvik, Norway

 

DATE OF EM ACTION: 13/05/1937 off Almeria, Spain.

 

James was born on 28th June 1901 in Galashiels, Scotland, the son of Alexander and Mary Smail (nee Crozier). He married Jane Forsyth Morrison in Dundee on 30th December 1930 and they had a daughter Jean, and was awarded the EGM for his actions aboard the HMS Hunter off the coast of Almeria, Spain on 13th May 1937.  He was killed during the sinking of the HMS Hunter at the Battle of Narvik on 23rd April 1940. His body was lost at sea and he is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

 

EGM CITATION:

 

An  explosion  caused  by  the  mining  occurred underneath   the    Stoker   Petty   Officers'    and Torpedomen's   Mess   Decks.     To   reach   the ratings  on these  mess  decks,  this  party  had  to jump   down   8   feet,   the   ladder   being  blown away,  into  3  feet  of  oil  fuel  and  on  to  a  deck which  might   not   have   been  intact. During this  period  they  remained  in  imminent  risk of falling   through   the   shattered   deck  into   the water  and  oil fuel.   Moreover,  they  were  under the   impression   that  the   ship   was  about  to founder.    Their  exertions  to  save  life  consisted in  dragging  living  and  dead  men  from  under wreckage  and  out  of  the  oil  fuel   and  passing them  up  on  deck.    This  operation  lasted  from 5  to  10  minutes.    The  rescued  were  in  very severe  danger  from  having  swallowed  oil   fuel and  had  they  been left  would undoubtedly have died.    Others  were  severely  burnt  and  immersion  of  their  wounds  in  oil  fuel,   if  prolonged,would  undoubtedly have caused death.

 

BURIAL LOCATION: PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL, PLYMOUTH, DEVON.

PANEL 36 COLUMN 3.

LOCATION OF MEDAL: UNKNOWN.

 

 

 

James Smail EGM

SMAIL MEMORIAL smail citation