Frank Jefferson : biography
Francis Arthur Jefferson VC (18 August 1921 – 4 September 1982) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. It was awarded for his actions during the Battle of Monte Cassino in World War II.
Jefferson was 22 years old, and a fusilier in the 2nd Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 16 May 1944, during an attack on the Gustav Line, Monte Cassino, Italy, the leading company of Fusilier Jefferson’s battalion had to dig in without protection. The enemy counter-attacked opening fire at short range, and Fusilier Jefferson on his own initiative seized a PIAT gun and, running forward under a hail of bullets, fired on the leading tank. It burst into flames and its crew were killed. The fusilier then reloaded and went towards the second tank which withdrew before he could get within range. By this time, British tanks had arrived and the enemy counter-attack was smashed.
Jefferson’s VC was stolen from his mother’s home in 1982 and has not been recovered.
Jefferson later achieved the rank of lance-corporal.