Brugge - Expo Battle of the North Sea 1914-18

For four years, the German-occupied harbours of Bruges, Ostend and Zeebrugge were used as a base for the impressive U-boat fleet.  These submarines sank no less than 2,554 allied ships and brought the United Kingdom to the brink of famine and surrender.

 

But on Saint George’s Day (23 April) 1918, the Royal Navy struck back and launched a large-scale maritime operation to eliminate the world’s most heavily defended U-boat harbours.

 



As with several World War I actions where so many officers and ranks distinguished themselves, the Royal Marines Zeebrugge VCs were awarded by ballot, whereby those involved in the action voted for whom they deemed to merit the award.

 

Major Edward Bamford VC, DSO (28 May 1887 – 30 Sep 1928)

Rowland Richard Louis Bourke, VC, DSO (28 Nov 1885 – 29 Aug 1958)

Lieutenant Commander George Nicholson Bradford VC (23 Apr 1887 – 23 Apr 1918)

Vice-Admiral Alfred Francis Blakeney Carpenter, VC (17 Sep 1881 – 27 Dec 1955)

Admiral Sir Victor Alexander Charles Crutchley VC, KCB, DSC, DL (2 Nov 1893 – 24 Jan 1986)

Lieutenant-Commander Percy Thompson Dean VC (20 Jul 1877 – 20 Mar 1939)

Lieutenant-Commander Geoffrey Heneage Drummond VC (25 Jan 1886 – 21 Apr 1941)

Norman Augustus Finch VC, MSM (26 Dec 1890 – 15 Mar 1966)

Lieutenant-Commander Arthur Leyland Harrison, VC (3 Feb 1886 – 23 Apr 1918)

Albert Edward McKenzie VC (23 Oct 1898 – 3 Nov 1918)

Richard Douglas Sandford VC (11 May 1891 – 23 Nov 1918)