Bennett Southwell


Bennett Southwell

Infobox Military Person
name=Bennett Southwell


caption=
born=21 March 1913
died=17 October 1940
placeofbirth=Rotherham, England
placeofdeath=Hoxton, London
nickname=
allegiance=United Kingdom
branch=Royal Navy
serviceyears=1939-1941
rank=Ordinary Seaman
unit=HMS Vernon
commands=
battles=World War II bomb disposal
awards=
relations=
laterwork=

Ordinary Seaman Bennett Southwell GC (1913-1940) was a member of a Royal Navy team carrying out bomb disposal when he was killed during the London blitz. He was awarded a posthumous George Cross. [ [http://www.naval-history.net/WW2MedalsBr-GC.htm#east The George Cross at Sea, 1939-1945] . Accessed 20 November 2007]

Southwell was born on 21 March 1913 and enlisted into the Royal Navy in 1939. He was posted to HMS Vernon, the Navy establishment for bomb and mine clearance work. He was part of a team tackling an unexploded parachute mine on the 17 October 1940 during the height of the blitz in Hoxton in the East End of London.

Southwell and his companion, Sub-Lieutenant Jack Easton, were called to a mine in Clifton Street, Shoreditch. The street was deserted and the 1,500lb mine could be seen dangling from its parachute, wrapped round the chimney of a terraced house. The pair had to climb through a window into the bedroom, as the mine was blocking the door wedged between a bedstead and the collapsing chimney. Easton set about defusing the mine with Southwell passing him tools through the window. They were working in this way when the rest of the chimney collapsed, setting off the fuse which began to tick. They ran for cover in a nearby air raid shelter but the mine exploded, destroying six surrounding streets and killing Southwell instantly. Such was the damage that his body was undiscovered for a further six weeks. [ [http://publishing.yudu.com/A2txg/navynewsoct07/resources/12.htm "Heroes of the Royal Navy", Navy News, October 2007, page 12.] Accessed 20 November 2007.] Sub-Lieutenant Easton survived and both men were awarded the George Cross.cite web
url=http://www.gc-database.co.uk/recipients/SouthwellB.htm
title=Bennett Southwell, GC
publisher=George Cross database
accessdate=2007-11-18
] Southwell's citation reads:LondonGazette
issue= 35051
date=21 January 1941
startpage= 463
notarchive=
accessdate= 2007-11-20
]

"The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the GEORGE CROSS for great gallantry and undaunted devotion to duty, to Ordinary Seaman Bennett Southwell."

References

ee also

List of George Cross recipients


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