Tom Adlam

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Tom Edwin Adlam
Lieutenant Tom Edwin Adlam.jpg
Born (1893-10-21)21 October 1893
Salisbury, Wiltshire, England
Died 28 May 1975(1975-05-28) (aged 81)
Hayling Island, Hampshire, England
Buried St Matthew's Churchyard, Blackmoor
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1912–1945
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Unit 7th Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment
Royal Engineers

World War I

World War II
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross
Silver Medal of Military Valor (Italy)
Other work Teacher

Lieutenant Colonel Tom Edwin Adlam VC (21 October 1893 – 28 May 1975) 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.

Adlam was twenty two years old, and a temporary second lieutenant in the 7th Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place on 27 September 1916 at Thiepval, France, for which he was awarded the VC.

A portion of a village which had defied capture on the previous day had to be captured at all costs to permit subsequent operations to develop. This minor operation came under very heavy machine gun and rifle fire. Second Lieutenant Adlam realising that time was all important, rushed from shell hole to shell hole under heavy fire collecting men for a sudden rush, and for this purpose also collected many enemy grenades. At this stage he was wounded in the leg, but nevertheless he was able to outthrow the enemy and then seizing his opportunity, and in spite of his wound, he led a rush, captured the position and killed the occupants. Throughout the day he continued to lead his men in bombing attacks. On the following day he again displayed courage of the highest order, and though again wounded and unable to throw bombs, he continued to lead his men. His magnificent example and valour, coupled with the skilful handling of the situation, produced far-reaching results.[1]

In civilian life, Adlam was a teacher at Brook Street School in Basingstoke and a member of the National Union of Teachers.[2]

Adlam served in the Second World War with the Royal Engineers (Movement Control Section), and achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at Salisbury Guild Hall.[3]


  1. ^ "No. 29836". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 November 1916. pp. 11525–11526. 
  2. ^ National Union of Teachers War Record, 1914–1919
  3. ^ News Item Adlam's Victoria Cross loaned to Salisbury Guild Hall


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