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Elliott, Keith

Date of birth:
April 25th, 1916 (Apiti, New Zealand)
Date of death:
October 7th, 1989 (Raumati, New Zealand)
Nationality:
New Zealander

Biography

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Sergeant
Unit:
22nd Battalion, New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Awarded on:
September 24th, 1942
Action:
Citation:
At dawn on 15 July 1942 the battalion to which Sergeant Elliot belonged was attacked on three flanks by tanks. Under heavy tank, machine-gun and shell fire, Sergeant Elliott led the platoon he was commanding to the cover of a ridge three hundred yards away, during which he sustained a chest wound. Here he re-formed his men and led them to a dominating ridge a further five hundred yards away, where they came under heavy enemy machine-gun and mortar fire. He located enemy machine-gun posts to his front and right flank, and while one section attacked on the right flank, Sergeant Elliott led seven men in a bayonet charge across five hundred yards of open ground in the face of heavy fire and captured four enemy machine-gun posts and an anti-tank gun, killing a number of the enemy and taking fifty prisoners. His section then came under fire from a machine-gun post on the left flank. He immediately charged this post single-handed and succeeded in capturing it, killing several of the enemy and taking fifteen prisoners. During these two assaults he sustained three more wounds in the back and legs. Although badly wounded in four places, Sergeant Elliott refused to leave his men until he had reformed them, handed over his prisoners, which were now increased to one hundred and thirty, and arranged for his men to rejoin the battalion. Owing to Sergeant Elliott's quick grasp of the situation, great personal courage and leadership, nineteen men, who were the only survivors of B Company of his battalion, captured and destroyed five machine-guns, one anti-tank gun, killed a great number of the enemy and captured one hundred and thirty prisoners. Sergeant Elliott sustained only one casualty amongst his men, and brought him back to the nearest advanced dressing station."
Details:
Sergeant Elliott’s Victoria Cross is publicly displayed at the QEII Army Memorial Museum, Waiouru in New Zealand.
Keith Elliott is buried at the Paraparaumu Cemetery, Lower Hutt, Wellington, New Zealand.
Victoria Cross (VC)

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