Rear-Admiral Robert St Vincent Sherbrooke, (8 January 1901 – 13 June 1972) was a senior officer in the Royal Navy and 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.
Robert St Vincent Sherbrooke
|Born||8 January 1901|
|Died||13 June 1972 71) (aged|
St Peter and St Paul's churchyard, Oxton
|Years of service||1917–1954|
|Commands held||Flag Officer Germany (1951–53)|
HMS Daedalus III (1948–49)
HMS Aurora (1945–46)
HMS Condor (1943)
HMS Onslow (1942–43)
HMS Matabele (1940–41)
HMS Cossack (1939–40)
HMS Wakeful (1939)
|Battles/wars||First World War|
Second World War
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
King Haakon VII Freedom Cross (Norway)
|Relations||Dione Digby, Lady Digby (daughter)|
|Other work||Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire|
Born in Oxton, Nottinghamshire, Sherbrooke attended the Royal Naval Colleges of Osborne and Dartmouth and joined the Royal Navy in 1917 as a midshipman aboard HMS Canada. He was promoted to commander in 1935 and served aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous. His wartime commands were all destroyers.
On 31 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 in Hitler's order to end the use of surface fleet of the Kriegsmarine at the beginning of 1943.
He died in his home town of Oxton, aged 71.