Captain Lionel Ernest Queripel, VC
10th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment.
At Arnhem on 19th September 1944 Captain Queripel was acting as company commander of a composite company composed of men of three parachute
battalions. At 1400 hours on that day his company were advancing along a main road which runs on an embankment towards Arnhem. The advance was conducted under continuous machine-gun fire, which at one period became so heavy that the company became split up on either side of the road and suffered considerable loss. Captain Queripel at once proceeded to reorganise his force, crossing and
re-crossing the road whilst doing so under extremely heavy and accurate fire. During this period he carried a wounded sergeant to the Regimental Aid Post under fire and was himself wounded in the face.
Having reorganised his force, Captain Queripel personally led a party of men against a strong point holding up the advance. This strong point consisted of a captured British anti-tank gun, and two machine guns. Despite the extremely heavy fire directed at him, Captain Queripel succeeded in killing the crews of the machine-guns and recapturing the anti-tank gun. As a result of this the advance was able to continue.
Later in the same day Captain Queripel found himself cut off with a small party of men and took up a position in a ditch. By this time he had received further wounds in both arms. Regardless of his wounds and the very heavy mortar and Spandau fire, he continued to inspire his men to resist with hand grenades, pistols and the few remaining rifles. On at least one occasion he picked up and threw back at the enemy a stick grenade, which had landed in the ditch.
As however, the enemy pressure increased, Captain Queripel decided it was impossible to hold the position longer and ordered his men to withdraw. Despite their protests, he insisted on remaining behind to cover their withdrawal with his automatic pistol and a few remaining hand grenades. This is the last occasion on which he was seen.
During the whole of the period of nine hours of confused and bitter fighting Captain Queripel displayed the highest standard of gallantry under most difficult and trying circumstances. His courage, leadership and devotion to duty were an inspiration to all.
Killed 19th September 1944, age 24.
Son of Leslie Herbert and Sybil Queripel, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
Date of Death: 19/09/1944
Service No: 108181
Grave/Memorial Reference: 5. D. 8.
Cemetery: ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK WAR CEMETERY