HARDEN, LCpl. Henry Eric, VC
Royal Army Medical Corps
Honours & Awards:
Friday, February 23, 1912
Tuesday, January 23, 1945
Killed in action or died of wounds
Lance Corporal Henry Eric Harden died during operations in the Brachterbeek area of Holland. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
London Gazette of 9th March, 1945.
In North-West Europe on 23rd January, 1945 the leading section of a Royal Marine Commando Troop having come under intense machine-gun fire was ordered to make for some houses close by. Four of the section had been wounded and were left lying in the open. Under continuous fire Lance Corporal Harden at once went forward and with great coolness and bravery attended to the four casualties. He then carried one of them back to cover. He was ordered not to go forward again and an attempt was made to bring in the remaining casualties with the aid of tanks, but this proved unsuccessful owing to the heavy and accurate fire of anti-tank guns. A second attempt under a smoke-screen also proving unsuccessful, Lance Corporal Harden insisted in going forward with a volunteer stretcher party and succeeded in bringing back another badly wounded man. He went out a third time, and whilst returning with the stretcher party, he was killed. Throughout this long period Lance-Corporal Harden displayed superb devotion to duty and personal courage of the highest order. His action was directly responsible for saving the lives of the wounded brought in, while his complete contempt for all personal danger, and the magnificent example he set of cool courage and determination to continue with his work, whatever the odds, was an inspiration to his comrades and will never be forgotten by those who saw it.
Amongst the wounded he went forward for were Lieutenant Cory, Marine Wales and Marine Wheeler, all from 'A' Troop.
View images of his grave and others here [Nederweert War Cemetery].
London Gazette 36972.
The Story of 45RM Commando (published 1946 for those who served).
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