b. 08/01/1901 Oxton, Nottinghamshire. d. 13/06/1972 Oxton, Nottinghamshire.
Robert St Vincent Sherbrooke (1901-1972) was born in Oxton, Nottinghamshire on 8th January 1901, the son of Henry Graham Sherbrooke DSO of the Royal Navy, and Flora Maud (nee Franklin). he joined the British Royal Navy in 1917 during World War I as a midshipman on the battleship HMS Canada, following his education at the Royal Naval Colleges of Osborne, on the Isle of Wight, and Dartmouth, Devon, England. In April 1921 he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and by December 1935 he had achieved the rank of commander and served on the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.
In June 1942 , during World War II, he was promoted to the rank of captain and commanded the HMS Onslow and six months later, while commanding a group of destroyers during a convoy escort in the Barents Sea, he encountered a German force and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallant leadership.
On 31st December 1942 off North Cape, Norway, in the Barents Sea, Captain Sherbrooke in HMS Onslow was senior officer in command of destroyers escorting an important convoy for North Russia, when he made contact with a vastly superior enemy force-the cruiser Hipper and the pocket battleship Lutzow. Four times the enemy tried to attack the convoy but was forced back each time. Early in the action Captain Sherbrooke was seriously wounded in the face and temporarily blinded. Nevertheless, he continued to direct the ships under his command and even when the next senior officer had assumed control, he insisted on receiving all reports of the action until the convoy was out of danger. His actions-and the Nazi ships’ failure to neutralize the convoy despite its superior force-were pivotal for Hitler’s order to scrap the Kriegsmarine in the beginning of 1943.
He married Rosemary Neville Buckley and they went on to have two children. Following the end of the war, he commanded the cruiser HMS Aurora and in July 1951 he was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral. In March 1954 he retired from the British Navy with 37 years of continuous military service.
Robert died on 13th June 1972 in Oxton, and was buried with full military honours in St Peter and St Paul Churchyard. In addition to the Victoria Cross, he was awarded the Most Honurable Military Order of the Bath, the Companion, Distinguished Service Order, the General Service Medal (1918), the Victory Medal (1914-19), the War Medal (1939-45), the Atlantic Star, the King George VI Coronation Medal (1937) the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953), and the Norwegian King Haakon VII’s Cross of Liberty. His medals are not in public ownership.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: ST PETER/ST PAUL CHURCH, OXTON, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE.
Victoria Cross Trust – Image of the recently cleaned Sherbrooke VC Grave.
Thomas Stewart – Image of the Sherbrooke VC replica medal on display at Aultea Museum, Scotland.