NameAdam Herbert WAKENSHAW [150]
Birth9 Jun 1914, Newcastle On Tyne, Northumberland, England [150]
Death27 Jun 1942, Mersa Matruh, Egypt Age: 28
Burial,, Egypt
Burial MemoEl Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt. Grave ref. panel # XXXII. D. 9.
Cause of deathEnemy Fire During World War II
Misc. Notes
1. Private (4270383) 9th Bn., Durham Light Infantry

2. From the London Gazette, 8 Sep 1942: “On the 27th of June, 1942, south of Mersa Matruh, Private Wakenshaw was a member of a crew of a 2-pounder anti-tank gun. An enemy tracked vehicle towing a light gun came within short range. The gun crew opened fire and succeeded in immobilising the enemy vehicle. another mobile gun came into action, and killed or seriously wounded the crew manning the 2-pounder, including Private Wakenshaw and the silenced 2-pounder. Under intense fire, Private Wakenshaw crawled back to his gun. Although his left arm was blown off, he loaded the gun with one arm and fired five more rounds, setting the enemy tractor on fire and damaging the light gun. A direct hit on the ammunition finally killed him and destroyed the gun. This act of conspicuous gallantry prevented the enemy from using their light gun on the infantry Company which was only 200 yards away. It was through the self sacrifice and courageous devotion to duty of his infantry anti-tank gunner that the Company was enabled to withdraw and to embus in safety.”

3. From the BBC News online; 27 June, 2002, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK

“Extraordinary war hero remembered”

A young miner from Newcastle who won the city's only Victoria Cross in the Second World War is being honoured. Private Adam Wakenshaw, 28, was the last survivor of an anti- tank unit in the Durham Light Infantry (DLI). After losing part of his arm, he dragged himself back to his gun twice, managing to stave off a German attack before he was fatally wounded in North Africa. On Thursday - the 60th anniversary of Private Wakenshaw's act of bravery - a replica of his VC is being presented to his 63-year-old daughter Lillian. His battalion was caught up in rearguard action in June 1942 as Rommel advanced towards Egypt. His medal and gun, now rests in the DLI Musuem. The museum has invited members of Private Adam Wakenshaw's family to help commemorate the events of 27 June 1942. His daughter Lillian, who was three when her father was killed, is disappointed more has not been done to recognise his deeds. She said: "Nobody bothered me until a couple of years ago when a crossroads was named after my father. But personally I think it should have been a bridge or something which would have stood out better. I do feel a little bit angry, but who do you blame?" Major Randall Cross, regimental secretary of the DLI, said: "This is the most distinguished medal of the lot. "It is a postumous victoria cross, which recognises Adam's conspicuous galantry, self-sacrifice and courage. "He was an extraordinary man." Thursday's events include a concert at St Mary`s Cathedral in Newcastle, to raise funds for a stain glass window to mark Private Wakenshaw`s bravery.

4. “Born in Duke Street, Newcastle upon Tyne on 9 June 1914, Adam Wakenshaw was the youngest of thirteen children. Aged 14, he left St Aloysius' Roman Catholic School in Newcastle to work underground at Elswick pit. Later he worked at Hazelrigg and as a general labourer. In 1939 he enlisted at Gateshead as a Private in the 9th Battalion DLI. He fought in Belgium and northern France in 1940 with the British Expeditionary Force and was wounded, before returning home after Dunkirk. He was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his actions at Mersa Matruh in North Africa on 27 June 1942. Adam Wakenshaw was 28 years old when he was killed and he is buried at the El Alamein War Cemetery in Egypt. Mrs Dorothy Wakenshaw and her eight year old son went to Buckingham Palace on 4 March 1943 to receive her husband's Victoria Cross. King George VI pinned the Cross on her son's chest.” [151]
Marriage1932 [150]
ChildrenJohn (~1934-1941)
Last Modified 28 Sep 2006Created 7 Mar 2011 Mark C. Wakenshaw