OW Alexander Buller Turner Victoria Cross Anniversary

28 September 2018

28th September marks the anniversary of the action in 1915 for which Old Wellingtonian Alexander Buller Turner was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Alexander was in the Hopetoun from 1906 to 1908. He joined the Army just a few weeks after the outbreak of the First World War, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Berkshire Regiment. In September 1915 he was involved in the Battle of Loos, in which British troops were trying to break through German defences. The citation for his VC reads:

For most conspicuous bravery on 28th September 1915, at “Fosse 8,” near Vermelles.

When the regimental bombers could make no headway in Slag Alley, Second Lieutenant Turner volunteered to lead a new bombing attack: He pressed down the communication trench practically alone, throwing bombs incessantly with such dash and determination that he drove back the Germans about 150 yards without a check. His action enabled the reserves to advance with very little loss, and subsequently-covered the flank of his regiment in, its retirement, thus probably averting a loss of some hundreds of men.

Sadly, during this action Alexander was shot in the stomach, and died three days later. He is buried in Chocques Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, and his Victoria Cross is held in the Royal Gloucester, Berkshire & Wiltshire Regiment Museum in Salisbury.