Heroe’s Portraits: Captain Charles Upham.

Captain Charles Upham is one of the three men who were awarded the Victoria Cross twice.   Both his awards were won during World War II, the first in the Battle for Crete in 1941 and the second at the Battle of El Alamein in 1942.   He was captured in the action that earned him the second VC and spent the remainder of the war as POW in Colditz prison.   He retired to New Zealand after the war and bought a farm.   He died in 1994 at the age of 86 in a Christchurch, New Zealand.   His VC and Bar are on display at the Queen Elizabeth II Army Memorial Museum in New Zealand.   There was a book written about his exploits titled Mark of the lion, the story of Capt. Charles Upham.

 The citation for his first VC reads as ollows:

22-30 May 1941 (Second Lieutenant), he displayed outstanding gallantry in close-quarter fighting, when blown up by two mortar shells and badly wounded. In spite of this and an attack of dysentry which reduced him to skeletal appearance, he refused hospital treatment and carried a wounded man to safety when forced to retire. Eight days later he beat off an attack at Sphakia, 22 Germans falling to his accurate fire.

The second citation reads as follows:

15 July 1942. When leading his company attacking an enemy held ridge overlooking El Alamein battlefield, he was wounded twice but took the objective after fierce fighting. He personally destroyed a German tank, several guns and vehicles with grenades, despite a broken arm. After his wounds were dressed, he returned to his men but was again severely wounded and unable to move.

This is his obituary from the Times of London and a bio can be found here.