POST 28th June 2022
My father was born a hundred and one years ago today!! How proud he would have been to have had his remarkable courageous and heroic war time exploits published in the book "More Lives Than A Ship's Cat" in his 100th year! Reading about his narrow escapes, it seems remarkable that he did indeed survive. As Captain A.L. Poland DSO, DSC and bar commented: "Stoke has no regard for his personal safety and has always been to the fore in rescue work during air raids. When a dump of small arms ammunition was set on fire, he immediately set about removing the burning boxes working in the middle of the dump, with ammunition bursting all round him until the fire was brought under control."
He had already been Mentioned in Despatches for rescuing crews of the numerous ships savagely bombed by the Luftwaffe in Tobruk harbour during the dark days of April and May 1941 during the first two months of the Siege of Tobruk.
Following his Mention in Despatches and on the personal recommendations of both Captain A.L. Poland DSO, DSC and bar and the Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet, Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, the Honours and Awards Committee awarded Stoke the Distinguished Service Cross.
This was published in the London Gazette No 35357 dated 25th November 1941
Although he didn't know it, G. A. (Mick) Stoke became The Most Highly Decorated Midshipman in the Second World War, later being awarded a second gallantry medal, the MBE (Military), for gallant and courageous acts during Luftwaffe attacks on the advanced port of Bone, Algeria during the nights of the 4/5th December 1942, three weeks after the start of Operation Torch, the retaking of North Africa.
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