Petty Officer Thomas William Gould VC


Petty Officer Thomas William Gould VC

Admiralty. Whitehall, 9th June 1942.

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS for great valour while serving in HMS Thrasher, to :-

Petty Officer Thomas William Gould, C/ JX. 147945

On February the 16th, in daylight, HM Submarine Thrasher attacked and sank a heavily escorted supply ship. She was at once attacked by depth charges and was bombed by aircraft.The presence of two unexploded bombs in the gun casing was discovered when after dark the submarine surfaced and began to roll.

Lieutenant Roberts and Petty Officer Gould volunteered to remove the bombs, which were of a type unknown to them. The danger in dealing with the second bomb was very great. To reach it they had to go through the casing which was so low that they had to lie at full length to move in it. Through this narrow space, in complete darkness, they pushed and dragged the bomb for a distance of some 20 feet until it could be lowered over the side.

Every time the bomb was moved there was a loud twanging noise as of a broken spring which added nothing to their peace of mind. This deed was more gallant as H.M.S. Thrasher presence was known to the enemy: she was close to the enemy coast, and in waters where his patrols were known to be very to be active day and night.

There was a very great chance, and they knew it, that the submarine might have to crash dive while they were in the casing, at. Had this happened they must have been drowned.

HMS Thrasher Crew

Crew of HM Submarine Thrasher 

VC Medal

Victoria Cross

Extreme Bravery

The Victoria Cross (VC) is one of the highest awards British service personnel can receive. It is awarded in recognition of an act of extreme bravery in the presence of the enemy,

It is only equalled in status by the George Cross (GC) which is awarded for acts of conspicuous bravery not in the enemy's presence.