Lt Robert Vaughan Gorle VC
Robert Vaughan Gorle VC (6 May 1896 – 9 January 1937) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Robert was born in Southsea on 6 May 1896 and educated at Malvern College and Rugby School. Prior to World War 1 he was a farmer in South Africa. Robert was a temporary Lieutenant in "A" Battery, 50th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, British Army at Ledeghem, Belgium, during the First World War when he performed the deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. According to VCs of the First World War: The Final Days 1918 by By Gerald Gliddon, Young Mr Gorle won his award on 1 October.
His citation in the London Gazette of 14 December 1918 reads:
'For most conspicuous bravely, initiative and devotion to duty during the attack on Ledeghem. On 1st October, 1918, when in command of an 18-pdr. Gun working in close conjunction with infantry. He brought his gun into action in the most exposed positions on four separate occasions, and disposed of enemy machine guns by firing over open sights under direct machine-gun fire at 500 to 600 yards' range. Later, seeing that the infantry were being driven back by intense hostile fire, he, without hesitation, galloped his gun in front of the leading infantry, and on two occasions knocked out enemy machine guns which were causing the trouble. His disregard of personal safety and dash were a magnificent example to the wavering line, which rallied and re-took the northern end of the village.'
After the war Gorle returned to Africa, eventually settling in Southern Rhodesia where he was appointed as Sergeant-at-Arms to the Southern Rhodesian Legislative Assembly. He died on 9 January 1937 of TB and was buried in Stellawood Cemetery, Durban, South Africa.
This month members of Robert's family, The Royal Artillery Association and members of 32 (Minden) Bty, 16 Regt RA attended the commemorative laying of a paving stone in Southsea. It was a very moving occasion and a fitting tribute to a true hero of our time.
Robert Gorle's family attedning the laying of the commerative paving stone
Members of 32 Bty, 16 Regt RA and the RAA Standard Bearer
Pictures taken by Mr Jamie Ledwith