Guernsey

Le Patourel brothers could be set for Guernsey blue plaque honour

Former home of John and Herbert Le Patourel
Image caption John Herbert Le Patourel is best known for his work on Anglo-Norman history

The achievements of two brothers could be marked by Guernsey's fifth blue plaque.

Plans to place the plaque at their former home in the Fosse Andre, in St Peter Port, have been submitted.

John Herbert Le Patourel was a leader in the field of medieval studies, a professor at the University of Leeds and a fellow of the British Academy.

His younger brother Herbert was serving in Tunisia in 1942 when he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions.

Helen Glencross, secretary to the blue plaque panel, said of John Herbert Le Patourel: "He was an eminent professor in medieval history archivist, he wrote about Guernsey and its history and was also archivist to the Royal Court [of Guernsey] and one of the founding members of the Guernsey Society."

Image caption Herbert Wallace Le Patourel is one of four Victoria Cross recipients who attended Elizabeth College

Born in 1909, John Herbert Le Patourel attended Elizabeth College and Jesus College in Oxford before becoming a lecturer.

His most well-known work, The Norman Empire, published in 1976, has been called a major landmark in Anglo-Norman studies.

He also wrote about many aspects of the history of the Channel Islands including flora and fauna as well as political, economic and administrative history.

Herbert Wallace Le Patourel was born in 1916 and after attending Elizabeth College worked in banking for four years, during which time he served as a lieutenant in the Royal Guernsey Militia before joining the regular army.

On 9 March 1943 was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for "conspicuous gallantry" after he led four volunteers to silence several machine gun posts, continuing the attack on his own after the others had been killed or injured.

Later on he was found to be alive as a prisoner of war in Italy and he was repatriated in 1943.

Later promoted to Lieutenant Colonel he was given an official welcome to the island in 1948.

A public consultation on the plans runs until 16 January with a decision due to be taken after that date.


Victoria Cross citation

Herbert Wallace Le Patourel, Captain (temporary Major) 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment

"On the afternoon of the 3rd December 1942, the enemy had occupied an important high feature on the left of the company commanded by this officer. Counter attacks by a company of another Battalion and detachments of Major Le Patourel's company had been unable to regain the position.

This officer then personally led four volunteers under heavy fire to the top in a last attempt to dislodge several enemy machine guns. The party was then heavily engaged by machine gun fire, and Major Le Patourel rallied his men several times and engaged the enemy, silencing several machine-gun posts.

Finally, when the remainder of his party were all killed or wounded, he went forward alone with a pistol and some grenades to attack enemy machine guns at close quarters and from this action did not return. From reports received from wounded men, this officer died of wounds.

Major Le Patourel's most gallant conduct and self sacrifice, his brilliant leadership and tenacious devotion to duty in the face of a determined enemy were beyond praise."


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