Robert Sherbrooke

Rear-Admiral Robert St Vincent Sherbrooke, VC, CB, DSO, DL (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(1901-01-08)8 January 1901
Oxton, Nottinghamshire
Died13 June 1972(1972-06-13) (aged 71)
Oxton, Nottinghamshire
St Peter and St Paul's churchyard, Oxton
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Navy
Years of service1917–1954
Commands heldFlag 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/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsVictoria Cross
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
King Haakon VII Freedom Cross (Norway)
RelationsDione Digby, Lady Digby (daughter)
Other workLord 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.

VC action

Sherbrooke was 41 years old, and a captain in the Royal Navy during the Second World War when the following deed took place during the Battle of the Barents Sea for which he was awarded the VC.

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.[1]

Later life

From July 1945 to mid-1946 Sherbrooke was CO cruiser HMS Aurora. He later achieved the rank of rear-admiral.

He was appointed High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire for 1958–59.[2] His daughter is Dione Digby, Lady Digby.

He died in his home town of Oxton, aged 71.


  1. "No. 35859". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 January 1943. pp. 283–284.
  2. "No. 41340". The London Gazette. 18 March 1958. p. 1779.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.