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|Francis Arthur Jefferson
Frank Jefferson with his parents after receiving his medal.
18 August 1921|
|Died||4 September 1982
|Years of service||1942–46
|Battles/wars||Second World War|
Francis Arthur Jefferson VC (18 August 1921 – 4 September 1982) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. It was awarded for his actions at the Battle of Monte Cassino during the Italian Campaign of the Second World War.
On 16 May 1944, during an attack on the Gustav Line, Monte Cassino, Italy, the leading company of Fusilier Jefferson's battalion had to dig in without protection. The enemy counter-attacked opening fire at short range, and Fusilier Jefferson on his own initiative seized a PIAT gun and, running forward under a hail of bullets, fired on the leading tank. It burst into flames and its crew were killed. The fusilier then reloaded and went towards the second tank which withdrew before he could get within range. By this time, British tanks had arrived and the enemy counter-attack was smashed.
Jefferson later achieved the rank of lance-corporal.
Jefferson's VC was stolen from his mother's home in 1982 and has not been recovered.
- Harvey, David. Monuments to Courage, 1999.
- Laffin, John. British VCs of World War 2, 1997.
- The Register of the Victoria Cross, This England, 1997.