2nd Lieutenant Tom Edwin Adlam V.C.
Rank or Title
Date of Birth
21 Oct 1893
Date of Death
28 May 1975
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
Soldier or Civilian
Tom Edwin Adlam was born at Waterloo Gardens in Salisbury, on the 21st October 1893, the son of John and Evangeline Adlam. Following his education at Bishop Wordsworth's School, Salisbury, he joined the Territorial Force in September 1912, and in November 1915 was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Bedfordshire Regiment.
The 7th battalion served with distinction on the Western Front and had suffered heavy losses since the opening day of the battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916. They had been in the front assaulting waves on that notorious day, which saw them storm and hold the German positions on the southern edges of the battlefield. Not only had they been one of the few British battalions to successfully get into the German trenches, but they had taken the front three lines of enemy trenches as well as the heavily fortified and stubborn Pommiers Redoubt that bristled with machine guns.
He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions as described in the citation below.
"Second Lieutenant 7th Bn, Bedfordshire Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery. A portion of a village which had defied capture had to be taken at all costs, to permit subsequent operations to develop. This minor operation came under very heavy machine-gun and rifle fire. Second Lieutenant Adlam, realising that time was all-important, rushed from shell-hole to shell-hole under heavy fire, collecting men for a sudden rush, and for this purpose also collected many enemy grenades. At this stage he was wounded in the leg, but nevertheless he was able to out-throw the enemy, and then seizing his opportunity, and in spite of his wound, he led a rush, captured the position and killed the occupants."
Second Lieutenant Adlam's Victoria Cross Citation
“The London Gazette” dated 25th November 1916.
Further information can be found on the Bedfordshire Regiment page.