|On 9/10 May 1918
at Ostend, Belgium, Lieutenant Crutchley took command of HMS Vindictive
when the commanding officer had been killed and the second in command
seriously wounded. He displayed great gallantry and seamanship both in
Vindictive and M.L. 254 which rescued the crew after the former vessel
had been sunk between the piers of Ostend harbour. He also took command
of M.L. 254 when the commanding officer of that vessel had collapsed
from his wounds. M.L. 254 was full of wounded and in a sinking
condition, but Lieutenant Crutchley kept her afloat until HMS Warwick
came to the rescue.
Born in London on 2 November 1893, Victor Crutchley was to remain in
the Navy between the wars and commanded the battleship HMS Warspite from
1937 to 1940. He served during the second world war as Commander
at Devonport, Commander of the Australian Squadron and Flag Officer
Gibraltar until his retirement as Admiral Sir Victor Crutchley in 1947.
For four decades he lived in retirement at Mappercombe Manor,
Nettlecombe where he died on 24 January 1986. He is buried in St
Mary's Churchyard, Powerstock beneath a striking wooden cross surmounted
with the "For Valour" insignia of the Victoria Cross.