Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley [1893-1986]
Victoria CrossOn 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.

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