Tasker Watkins - Barking and District Historical Society

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Tasker Watkins

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Tasker Watkins (18th November 1918 - 9th September 2007)


  • Action for which the Victoria Cross was given: north-west Europe,     16 August 1944  (during the Second World war, 1939-1945)

Tasker Waskins was a lieutenant in the Welch Regiment in 1944. His company came under heavy fire as they crossed a cornfield full of traps. There were many casualties and Tasker was the only Officer to  survive.

He charged two machine-gun posts, disabling them, before coming upon an anti-tank gun manned by an enemy soldier. When Tasker’s rifle failed, he threw it in the soldier’s face and shot him with his pistol.

Backed  by 30 men, Watkins charged against 50 enemy infantry.

At dusk they found themselves surrounded, but the order to withdraw had not reached them because their wireless set had been destroyed.

Tasker led his men round the flank and was  soon challenged by an enemy post at close range. He told his men to scatter and charged the post with a Bren gun, taking it out of action.
Tasker lived in Dagenham for 15 years, between 1931 and 1945, at 122 Dagenham Avenue.

He married  at Dagenham Parish Church. Originally from Wales, he later moved his family
back to Cardiff after the war.
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