Ordinary SeamanSOUTHWELL, BENNETT

Service Number P/JX204557

Died 17/10/1940

Aged 27

H.M.S. Vernon
Royal Navy

G C

Husband of Marion Southwell, of Leicester.

Inscription

WHY WAS HE CHOSEN? LOVING WIFE MADGE, SON MICHAEL AND FAMILY

Citation

The following details are given in the London Gazette of January 23rd, 1941

"The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the George Cross, for great gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty."

Seaman Southwell, together with Sub-Lt. J.M.C. Easton, R.N.V.R. were employed in bomb disposal work and had visited a house in Hoxton, in London's East End. A bomb had entered through the roof and was hanging inches from the floor and was being worked on by Easton in the room assisted by Southweel from the cover of the adjoining passageway. Suddenly the bomb dropped to the floor and became live, realising that there were only 12 seconds to escape they both ran for cover. Easton was buried by rubble and eventually dug out alive with a broken back, Southwell was decapitated by the blast, which destroyed six entire streets, and was not found until six weeks later, buried among the rubble.

Buried at LEICESTER (GILROES) CEMETERY

Location: Leicestershire, United Kingdom
Number of casualties: 272

Cemetery/memorial reference: Sec. K. Grave 286.


Cemetery details

CWGC Archives

DISCLAIMER:
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.
DISCLAIMER:
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.