Basil Horsfall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Basil Arthur Horsfall)
Jump to: navigation, search
Basil Arthur Horsfall
Basil Arthur Horsfall VC.jpg
Lt. Basil Arthur Horsfall VC
Born 4 October 1887
Colombo, Ceylon
Died 21 March 1918 (aged 30)
Between Moyenneville and Ablainzevelle, France
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1917 - 1918
Rank Second Lieutenant
Unit Ceylon Engineers
East Lancashire Regiment
Battles/wars World War I 
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross

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.

Early life[edit]

Born on 4 October 1887 in Colombo, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Horsfall was educated at S. Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia in Ceylon[1] and at Sir William Borlase's Grammar School,[2] 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.[3]

Further information[edit]

Horsfall's name is on the Arras Memorial in France. It is not known where he is buried.[4]

The medal[edit]

Horsfall's medal is kept in the Queen's Lancashire Regiment Museum at Fulwood Barracks, Preston, Lancashire.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Well done S. Thomas’ Esto perpetua, By T. D. S. A. Dissanayaka
  2. ^ Dowager Duchess of Devonshire visits childhood home [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "No. 30697". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 May 1918. p. 6058. 
  4. ^ CWGC entry

External links[edit]