Gerald Robert O'Sullivan VC


VCCaptain O'Sullivan VCGerald Robert O'Sullivan was born in Frankfield, Co Cork, Ireland on 8 November 1888. He was killed in action at Suvla, Gallipoli on 21 August 1915.

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 1/2 July 1915, during the Battle of Gully Ravine. His award appeared in the Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday 31 August 1915 with an effective date of 1 September 1915.

The Gazette entry stated:

Captain Gerald Robert O'Sullivan, 1st
Battalion, The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

For most conspicuous bravery during
operations south-west of Krithia, on the
Gallipoli Peninsula.

On the night of the lst-2nd July, 1915,
when it was essential that a portion of a
trench which had been lost should be regained,
Captain O'Sullivan, although not
belonging to the troops at this point, volunteered
to lead a party of bomb throwers to
effect the recapture.

He advanced in the open under a very
heavy fire, and, in order to throw his bombs
with greater effect, got up on the parapet
where he was completely exposed to the fire
of the enemy occupying the trench. He was
finally wounded, but not before his inspiring
example had led on his party to make further
efforts, which resulted in the recapture of
the trench.

On the night of 18th-19th June, 1915,
Captain O'Sullivan saved a critical situation
in the same locality by his great personal
gallantry and good leading.

He commanded a company of the 1st Battalion The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers during the landing at X Beach on the Gallipoli peninsula on 25 April 1915 and was involved in the fighting during the early stages. He led his company in a counterattack to regain defensive positions taken during a Turkish attack on 18 June and, at dawn on the following day, leading a party of Inniskillings and South Wales Borderers, he recaptured the position.

He was wounded during the action of 1–2 July and was evacuated to Egypt for medical treatment. Recovering quickly, he returned to his battalion on 11 August 1915. The 29th Division was now at Suvla Bay and preparing for a new offensive. The Inniskillings were tasked with the capture of a feature known as Hill 70 or Scimitar Hill and during this battle on 21 August 1915, he led a charge of some 50 men to the hilltop and was killed.

Gerald O'Sullivan has no known grave, but is remembered on the Helles Memorial to the Missing (PANEL 97-101). Captain Gerald O'Sullivan's Victoria Cross is displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery in the Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, at the Imperial War Museum, London.

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