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On-line Exhibition

Local Heroes – The Men Behind the Medals

The Crimean War (1853-1856) was the first to be covered by regular war correspondents and the reports sent back home were evidence of the horrors and carnage of this conflict. As well as reporting on the progress of the campaign the correspondents reported on the conditions – shortages of equipment and clothing, disease and heavy losses – and also the courage and bravery of the ordinary soldier. Out of this campaign emerged the desire for these brave men to receive an award, and for that award to be given regardless of rank, for exceptional acts of bravery in the face of the enemy. In June 1857, many months after the conflict ended, the first investiture of the Victoria Cross took place. It was for courageous acts in the Crimea and in New Zealand that the first 3 of 11 Crosses awarded to the Regiment were received.

Following on from the earlier look at the World War One local heroes the second in the series of short on-line 'exhibitions' tells the story of two local Durham men awarded the Victoria Cross during the conflict of World War Two.

Second Lieutenant Richard Wallace Annand, 2nd Battalion The Durham Light Infantry

  • Born: 5th November 1914, South Shields, County Durham.
  • Action: 15th - 16th May 1940, La Tombe, River Dyle, Belgium.
  • Citation: London Gazette, 23rd August 1940.
  • Died: 24th December 2004, Durham City
  • Medals: Medals on loan to the DLI Museum, Durham City.
  • Notes: The tenth Victoria Cross awarded to the Regiment. The first awarded to the British Army during the Second World War.

4270383 Private Adam Herbert Wakenshaw, 9th Battalion The Durham Light Infantry.

  • Born: 14th June 1914, Newcastle upon Tyne.
  • Action: 27th June 1942, Mersa Matruh, Egypt.
  • Citation: London Gazette, 11th September 1942.
  • Died: 27th June 1942, Mersa Matruh, Egypt.
  • Buried: El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.
  • Medals: Victoria Cross only on display at the DLI Museum, Durham City.
  • Notes: The eleventh and last Victoria Cross awarded to the Regiment.
Text and images Courtesy of the DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery Further information about the many other Local Heroes from County Durham can be obtained from the Museum's website and by visiting the Medal Room which has over 3,000 medals on display.