The Tank Museum | Recipient

Hugh Martin Stephens

Capt. H.M. Stephens

21st December 1945 at Churchill Hospital Oxford, Ca[pt. Hugh Martin Stephens died of wounds.

Commissioned from Sandhurst in January 1940 as a regular officer. He served in Africa with the 4th and 7th Battalions and for a short spell with the Special Boat Section, R.N. He was taken prisoner at Gazala in June 1942 and spent 14 months in Italy. In prison he was an active member of the "Escaping Club" and finally made his escape through a tunnel in September 1943 for which he was mentioned in despatches.

Subsequently posted to 1st Royal Tank Regiment in Normandy. He was twice recommended for the Military Cross. Later as a Captain he commanded both "B" and "C" Squadrons.

On the night of 30th March, west of Ahaus in Germany, he was firing a Bren gun from the top of his tank at German infantry when he was severely wounded in the spine and evacuated to England.

He is buried at St. Ishmael Church, Ferryside, Carmarthen.

Tales of valour

Military Cross

Captain Stephens has been commanding a troop of tanks in this Regiment since 'D' Day, and has taken part in every action of the Regiment from that day until he was very seriously wounded on 30th March.

On every single occasion in action this officer has displayed gallantry, determination and leadership of a very high order. He has had five tanks shot from under him during the campaign and has never failed to show a fine aggressive spirit and cheerful leadership, however exhausted and strained he has been.

On two separate occasions he has commanded the squadron in action for several days at a time and both times he has led the squadron with the same gallantry and enthusiasm as he has always led his troop.

This officer's conduct has been a very large factor in maintaining the fighting spirit of the whole Regiment especially during the dark days round Caen in July 1944.


1939-45 STAR