Edward Colquhoun Charlton, V.C. (1920-1945)

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Edward Colquhoun Charlton, V.C. (1920-1945)


Edward Colquhoun Charlton was born on 15 June 1920 in Gateshead, County Durham. Edward moved to Stretford aged 5 attending St Hilda’s Church of England Primary School and Old Trafford Secondary Boy’s School.

Edward enlisted in the Irish Guards, completing his training at Caterham Depot, Surrey. He was called up to the 2nd Battalion Irish Guards on 19 September 1940. Known as both “Eddie” and “Ed”, he was popular with his fellow Guardsmen. In 1942 he joined the 2nd (Armoured) Battalion, Irish Guards and shortly after D Day (6 June 1944) he was sent to the Guards Armoured Division 1st Squadron as a Tank Co-Driver. 

On 21 April 1945, he was co-driver of a tank which, with a platoon of infantry, seized the village of Wistedt, Germany. When attacked by the enemy Edward, on his own initiative, decided to counter attack, advancing in full view of the enemy and inflicting heavy casualties. Despite having been wounded several times in his arm Edward mounted his gun on a fence and continued firing until finally collapsing from his injuries. 

Edward was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC)
posthumously, which was received by his family at Buckingham Palace. Edward’s remains were exhumed from their original burial place and finally laid to rest with military honours at Becklingen British War Cemetery at Soltau, Germany in February 1947.

Extract from Military Honours and Awards citation card dated 2 May 1946.

"The heroism and determination of this Guardsman in his self-imposed task were beyond all praise. Even his German captors were amazed at his valour. Guardsman Charlton’s courageous and self sacrificing action not only inflicted extremely heavy casualties on the enemy and retrieved his comrades from a desperate situation, but also enabled the position to be speedily recaptured.”

Blue Plaque was officially unveiled to the people of Trafford on 21 April 2023 at 12 Basford Road, Stretford M16 OGE.


Trafford Local Studies Centre




Trafford Local Studies Centre, “Edward Colquhoun Charlton, V.C. (1920-1945),” Exploring Trafford's Heritage , accessed July 15, 2024, https://exploringtraffordsheritage.omeka.net/items/show/3488.