Lieutenant G H T Paton VC MC

George Henry Tatham Paton was born in Innellan, Argyllshire on 3 Oct 1895. His father was George William Paton, Deputy Chairman and MD of Bryant and May, manufacturers of matches. He was educated at Rottingdean and Clifton College, and lived in Argyllshire, and at Hallingbury, Essex. He is buried at Metz-en-Couture Communal Cemetery, France following his death on 1 Dec 1917 at the age of 22.

On 1 Dec 1917 at Gonnelieu, France, a unit on Captain Paton's left was driven back, thus leaving his flank exposed, and his company, of the 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards, practically surrounded. He walked up and down adjusting the line, within 50 yards of the enemy, under withering fire. He personally removed several wounded men and was the last to leave the village. Later he again adjusted the line, and when the enemy attacked 4 times, each time he sprang to the parapet, deliberately risking his life, in order to inspire his men. He was eventually shot and mortally wounded. His award of the VC was gazetted on 13 Feb 1918.

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by Stephen Luscombe