Richard Douglas Sandford

Richard Douglas Sandford

Richard Douglas Sandford VC (11 May 1891-23 November 1918) was a Royal Navy officer and a English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was a son of the Venerable Ernest Grey Sandford, Archdeacon of Exeter; his grandfather was The Right Rev. Daniel Sandford (1766-1830), Bishop of Edinburgh. Richard attended Clifton College and from there joined the Royal Navy. He was the brother of Brigadier Daniel Sandford.

At 26 years old, he was a Lieutenant commanding a submarine, HMS C3 in the Royal Navy during the First World War when he took part in the Zeebrugge Raid.

"On 22/23 April 1918 at Zeebrugge, Belgium, Lieutenant Sandford commanding HM Submarine "C.3", skilfully placed the vessel between the piles of the viaduct which connected the Mole with the shore, before laying his fuse and abandoning her. He disdained to use the gyro steering which would have enabled him and his crew to abandon the submarine at a safe distance, but preferred to make sure that his mission would be successful."

Sandford's Victoria Cross is displayed at the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. He died of typhoid fever 12 days after the signing of the armistice, and the day after his last command, HMS "G11", had been wrecked on rocks off Howick, Northumberland.


*Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
*The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
*VCs of the First World War - The Naval VCs (Stephen Snelling, 2002)

External links

* [ Location of grave and VC medal] "(Cleveland)"
* [ Sandford VC] "(action details & citation)"

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