Donald John Dean

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Donald John Dean
Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
Born 19 April 1897
Herne Hill, London
Died 9 December 1985
Sittingbourne, Kent
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Rank Colonel
Unit London Regiment
The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment
Royal Pioneer Corps
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Victoria Cross
Order of the British Empire
Order of the Dannebrog
Territorial Decoration

Colonel Donald John Dean VC OBE (19 April 1897 – 9 December 1985) 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.

Military career[edit]

Dean served as a private with the 28th London (Artists Rifles) Regiment in the Ypres Salient and during the Battle of the Somme. In October 1916 he was commissioned into the Royal West Kent Regiment and fought at Vimy Ridge and around Givenchy.

He was 21 years old, and a Temporary Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion, The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

During the period 24 September–26 September 1918, north-west of Lens, France, Lieutenant Dean with his platoon held an advance post established in a newly captured enemy trench. The post was ill-prepared for defence and the lieutenant worked unceasingly with his men consolidating the position, under very heavy fire. Five times in all the post was attacked and on each occasion the attack was repulsed. Throughout the whole of this time Lieutenant Dean inspired his command with his own contempt of danger and set the highest example of valour, leadership and devotion to duty.[1]

He later achieved the rank of colonel and served in the Second World War. Dean was among the last to leave the port of Boulogne in 1940.[2] Later he served in Madagascar and Italy, earning two Mentions in Despatches and a promotion to full colonel in 1945. He also served as a Deputy Lieutenant of Kent.

Personal life[edit]

In 1923, Dean married Marjorie Wood. They had one son and one daughter.[3]


  1. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 31067. pp. 14775–14776. 13 December 1918. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  2. ^ *Sebag-Montefiore, Hugh (2007). Dunkirk, Fight to the Last Man. Penguin. p. 199. ISBN 978-0141024370. 
  3. ^ "Col D. J. Dean, VC: Bravery in final battles of World War I". The Times. 11 December 1985. 

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