Frederick William Palmer was born in Hammersmith on 11th Nov 1891. At the age of 25 and as a Lance-Sergeant in the 22nd Battalion, The Royal Fusiliers, during the First World War the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 16/17 February 1917 north of Courcelette, France, Lance-Sergeant Palmer assumed command of his company when all his officers had become casualties. Having cut his way under point-blank fire, through wire entanglements, he dislodged an enemy machine-gun and established a "block". He then collected some other men and held the barricade for nearly three hours against seven determined counter-attacks. While he was fetching more bombs an eighth counter-attack was delivered, threatening the advance of the whole flank. At this critical moment, although suffering from extreme exhaustion, he rallied his men, drove back the enemy and maintained his position.
He later achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant. When his battalion was disbanded, he joined the RFC as an observer. After the war, he went to Malaya, where he set up in business. After the outbreak of the Second World War, he returned to England in 1940, arriving just in time for the Battle of Britain, and re-joined the Royal Air Force. He achieved the rank of Wing-Commander, and was mentioned in dispatches at the end of the war. He then returned to Malaya. He retired to Hordle in Hampshire in 1950, and died on 10th Sep 1955.
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