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.