Norman Augustus Finch

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Norman Augustus Finch
VC MSM
Norman Finch VC.jpg
Born 26 December 1890
Birmingham, England
Died 15 March 1966 (aged 75)
Portsmouth, Hampshire
Buried at Portchester Crematorium
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Marines
Years of service 1908 - 1929, 1938 - 1945
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Royal Marine Artillery
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross
Meritorious Service Medal
Other work Yeoman of the Guard

Norman Augustus Finch VC MSM (26 December 1890 – 15 March 1966) was an Sergeant in the Royal Marines who was an English 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.

Biography[edit]

Finch was born 26 December 1890 in Birmingham. He signed on to the Royal Marines in January 1908 and received basic training at Eastney. For the next four years he served on various ships and shore stations and in June 1913 was promoted to Bombardier and this was soon followed by further rises to Corporal in 1915 and Sergeant in 1917. He joined the 4th Battalion on 23 March 1918.

He was 27 years old, and a sergeant in the Royal Marine Artillery, Royal Marines during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 22/23 April 1918 at Zeebrugge, Belgium, Sergeant Finch was second in command of the pom-poms and Lewis gun in the foretop of HMS Vindictive. At one period Vindictive was being hit every few seconds, but Sergeant Finch and the officer in command kept up a continuous fire, until two heavy shells made direct hits on the foretop killing or disabling everyone except Sergeant Finch who was, however, severely wounded. Nevertheless he remained in his battered and exposed position, harassing the enemy on the Mole until the foretop received another direct hit, putting the remainder of the armament completely out of action. His award was by virtue of ballot. He retired with the rank of Quartermaster Sergeant in December 1929

World War II brought Quartermaster Finch back to the Portsmouth Division in 1938. He appears to have spent most of the war as Quarter Master, serving as a Storekeeper Officer (Lieutenant) at 104 (Training) RM Brigade, R.M. Training Group Dalditch, then Devon. On 15 August 1945 he was released from service and in 1964 was made Divisional Sergeant-Major of HM Bodyguard of the Yeoman of the Guard. He died 15 March 1966.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Royal Marines Museum in Southsea.

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