Basil Arthur Horsfall
|Basil Arthur Horsfall|
Lt. Basil Arthur Horsfall VC
|Born||4 October 1887
|Died||21 March 1918 (aged 30)
Between Moyenneville and Ablainzevelle, France
|Years of service||1917 - 1918|
East Lancashire Regiment
|Battles/wars||World War I †|
Second Lieutenant Basil Arthur Horsfall, VC (4 October 1887 – 27 March 1918) was a British-Ceylonese recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Born on 4 October 1887 in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Horsfall was educated at S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia in Ceylon and at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School, Marlow in England. He left a position with Barclay's Bank, London, to become a rubber planter back in Ceylon, where he also held a civil service position with the Public Works Department and served with the Ceylon Engineers. During World War I, he served as 2nd Lieutenant with the 1st Battalion, attached to the 11th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, of the British Army.
Horsfall was 30 years old, and a second lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, during World War I when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
21 March 1918 (World War I). Between Moyenneville and Ablainzevelle, France, when the enemy attacked Second Lieutenant Horsfall's centre platoon, his three forward sections were driven back and he was wounded in the head by enemy fire. Ignoring the wound, he immediately reorganised what remained of his troops and counterattacked to regain his original position. Despite the severity of his head wound, he refused to go to the dressing station, as the three other officers in his company had been killed. Later, he made another counterattack, but was ordered to withdraw. The last to leave his position, he was shot soon afterwards.
Horsfall's medal is kept in the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment Lancashire Infantry Museum in Fulwood Barracks, Preston, Lancashire.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - Spring Offensive 1918 (Gerald Gliddon, 1997)
- Well done S. Thomas’ Esto perpetua, By T. D. S. A. Dissanayaka
- Dowager Duchess of Devonshire visits childhood home
- CWGC entry