Skip to content


Lieut-Commander (A)
Date of Death:
Royal Navy
H.M.S. Daedalus (825 Sqdn.)
V C, D S O
Grave Reference:
Naval Reservation. Grave 187. R.C.
Additional Information:
Son of John Joseph and Eily Esmonde, of Drominagh, Co. Tipperary, Irish Republic.


The following details are given in the London Gazette of 3rd March, 1942 : The King has been graciously pleased to approve the grant of the Victoria Cross, for valour and resolution in action against the enemy, to Lieut.-Comdr. Eugene Esmonde, D.S.O., R.N. On 12th February, 1942, Lieut.-Comdr. Esmonde was in command of a squadron of six Swordfish ordered to attack the German battle-cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the cruiser Prinz Eugene, which were entering the Straits of Dover strongly escorted by some thirty surface craft. After ten minutes'' flight his squadron was attacked by a strong force of enemy fighters. Touch was lost with his fighter escort and all his aircraft were damaged. Nevertheless, cool and resolute, challenging hopeless odds, he flew on towards the target through the deadly fire of the battle-cruisers and their escorts. The port wing of his aircraft was shattered, but still he led his squadron on, only to be quickly shot down. His high courage and splendid resolution will live in the traditions of the Royal Navy and remain for many generations a fine and stirring memory.

Commemorative Certificate

This is a PDF file and requires Adobe Reader to view.

Download Certificate

CWGC Archive Online (3)

Grave Registration Reports (GRRs) are standard forms which detail graves for which the Commission is responsible within a particular burial ground. They provide basic details of the individuals, such as name, service number, rank, regiment, unit and date of death, and are listed in Plot, Row and Grave order.
These documents provide details of what was actually inscribed on an individual’s headstone. Their main purpose was to help manage the enormous programme of headstone production and engraving embarked on by the Commission.


This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.

Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.




Having trouble finding documents? Do you need some help?

Read our FAQs
Casualty Record Detail


United Kingdom

Find out more about this Cemetery including, visiting information, reports and plans and any emergency notices.

Find out more

You may also be interested in...

Our Partners - with links to many different organisations who can help you to better understand the two world wars.

(Please note: CWGC is not responsible for the content of External Sites)


Having Problems? Please see our help pages...