1. ITV Report

Extraordinary story of Stanley Hollis, the only British soldier to earn Victoria Cross on D-Day

There were countless heroic deeds performed on D-Day – but only one British soldier earned a Victoria Cross with his actions.

He was Company Sergeant-Major Stanley Hollis who served with Yorkshire's Green Howards, and now his medal and story have been given new prominence at the regiment's museum in Richmond in North Yorkshire.

In his citation, Hollis was praised for "displaying the utmost gallantry".

"In Normandy, on 6 June 1944, Company Sergeant-Major Hollis went with his company commander to investigate two German pill-boxes which had been bypassed as the company moved inland from the beaches.

"Hollis instantly rushed straight at the pillbox, firing his Sten gun into the first pill-box. He jumped on top of the pillbox, re-charged his magazine, threw a grenade in through the door and fired his Sten gun into it, killing two Germans and taking the remainder prisoners.

"Later the same day […] CSM Hollis pushed right forward to engage the gun with a PIAT [anti-tank weapon] from a house at 50 yards range.

"He later found that two of his men had stayed behind in the house.

"In full view of the enemy, who were continually firing at him, he went forward alone, distracting their attention from the other men. Under cover of his diversion, the two men were able to get back.

"Wherever the fighting was heaviest [he] appeared, displaying the utmost gallantry. "It was largely through his heroism and resource that the Company's objectives were gained and casualties were not heavier. […] He saved the lives of many of his men."

– Citation for CSM Hollis's Victoria Cross