1. Book:Beyond The Five PointsPgs 312-314

Awards & Titles:

Victoria Cross
Officer, The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Mentioned in Despatches x2
1939-45 Star
France & Germany Star (1939-45)
Deputy Lieutenant
Territorial Decoration
Coronation Medal (1937)
Coronation Medal (1953)
Legionne d'Honneur
Croix de Guerre (France)

Early Life :

He was born at Buckhurst near Chigwell on 19th August, 1904, the son of Augustus and Margaret Newman. He was educated at Bancroft's School after which he trained as a civil engineers, becoming a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers. He joined the firm of W. & C. French, civil engineers and public works contractors in 1922, retiring as Chairman of the Company in 1958. During that time he was also Chairman of the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors during 1957 and 1958.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.: 4th Battalion The Essex Regiment 

1/4th Battalion August 1914 : in Brentwood. Part of Essex Brigade in East Anglian Division. Moved to Norwich in late 1914 and on to Colchester in April 1915. May 1915 : formation became 161st Brigade in 54th (East Anglian) Division. Moved late in the month to St Albans. 21 July 1915 : sailed from Devonport for Gallipoli, going via Lemnos. Landed at Suvla bay 12 August 1915. 4 December 1915 : evacuated from Gallipoli and moved to Mudros, going on to Alexandria 17 December 1915. Remained in Egypt/Palestine theatre thereafter.

Action : War Survivor 

Although many perished in times of national conflict and in the service of their country, many more survived including those interned as Prisoners of War. Stories of those who did survive are included as part of this site, especially those with high gallantry awards, those included against an external rolls of honour and those who had a distinguished career in wartime and military leaderhip.

Detail :

Augustus Charles Newman was commissioned into the 4th Battalion, The Essex Regiment in 1925 (Territorial) rising to the rank of Major. During the Second World War, he had already seen plenty of action, having been Mentioned in Despatches twice, before being chosen to lead the Number 2 Commando in "Operation Chariot". He was attached to the 2nd Commando unit from the 4th Battalion, The Essex Regiment when he took part in the action which was to lead to him receiving the award of the Victoria Cross (Gazetted 19th June, 1945). The action was 'Operation Chariot': The Raid on Saint Nazaire on Friday 27th-28th March 1942.

The citation in the London Gazette reads:

"The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to: —
Lieutenant-Colonel Augustus Charles NEWMAN (33927), The Essex Regiment (attached Commandos) (Salford, Bucks.).

On the night of 27th/28th March, 1942, Lieutenant-Colonel Newman was in command of the military force detailed to land on enemy occupied territory and destroy the dock installations of the German controlled naval base at St. Nazaire. This important base was known to be heavily defended and bomber support had to be abandoned owing to bad weather. The operation was therefore bound to be exceedingly hazardous, but Lieutenant-Colonel Newman, although empowered to call off the assault at any stage, was determined to carry to a successful conclusion the important task which had been assigned to him. Coolly and calmly he stood on the bridge of the leading craft, as the small force steamed up the estuary of the River Loire, although the ships had been caught in the enemy searchlights and a murderous crossfire opened from both banks, causing heavy casualties.

Although Lieutenant-Colonel Newman need not have landed himself, he was one of the first' ashore and, during the next five hours of bitter fighting, he personally entered several houses and shot up the occupants and supervised the operations in the town, utterly regardless of his own safety, and he never wavered in his resolution to carry through the operation upon which so much depended.

An enemy gun position on the roof of a U-boat pen had been causing heavy casualties to the landing craft and Lieutenant-Colonel Newman directed the fire of a mortar against this position to such effect that the ' gun was silenced. Still fully exposed, he then brought machine gun fire to bear on an armed trawler in the harbour, compelling it to withdraw and thus preventing many casualties in the main demolition area. Under the brilliant leadership of this officer the troops fought magnificently and held vastly superior enemy forces at bay, until the demolition parties had successfully completed their work of destruction. By this time, however, most of the landing craft had been sunk or set on fire and evacuation by sea was no longer possible. Although the main objective had been achieved, Lieutenant-Colonel Newman nevertheless was now determined to try and fight his way out into open country and so give all survivors a chance to escape.

The only way out of the harbour area lay across a narrow iron bridge covered by enemy machine guns and although severely shaken by a German hand grenade, which had burst at his feet, Lieutenant-Colonel Newman personally led the charge which stormed the position and under his inspiring leadership 'the small force fought its way through the streets to a point near the open country, when, all ammunition expended, he and his men were finally overpowered by the enemy.

The outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty of this fearless officer, his brilliant leadership and initiative, were largely responsible for the success of this perilous operation which resulted in heavy damage to the important naval base at St. Nazaire."

Augustus died on Wednesday 26th April, 1972 at Sandwich, Kent. He was cremated and his ashes scattered at Barham Crematorium, Canterbury. He is commemorated by a Plaque in St Peter's Churchyard, Sandwich, Kent.

His medals are on display as part of the Ashcroft Collection of the Imperial War Museum.

See also: VC Online.

London Gazette:
Victoria Cross - London Gazette Supp 37134, page 3171.
OBE - London Gazette Supp. 41856, page 6844.
TD and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Clasps - London Gazettes Supp. 37499. page 1369 and Supp. 39567, page 3172.
MiD - London Gazette Supp. 37396, page 6189.

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : West Essex No. 2561 E.C.Essex
Joined : Bancroftian No. 5619 E.C. London

23rd April 1946
25th February 1947
25th March 1947

Source :

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Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2020-06-07 11:48:24