Edward Bamford was born in Sherborne, Dorset on 28 May 1887 as the middle child of three boys. His younger brother Arthur was also in the military, serving with the Grenadier Guards. He was killed in World War One.
In 1905 Edward joined the Royal Marines, serving on many ships during his service. By the time World War One came around, he was 30 years old and had worked his way up to the rank of captain.
Bamford was the recipient of many awards earned his Victoria Cross for his actions at the Zeebrugge Raid, where Allied forces were attempting to block the Belgian port to prevent German light ships and U-boats from leaving and causing more trouble for the Royal Navy.
The Official Citation
The London Gazette published the official citation for his Victoria Cross citation on 23 July 1918:
For conspicuous gallantry at Zeebrugge. April 1918. This officer landed on the Mole from “Vindictive” with Nos. 5, 7 & 8 platoons of the Marine Storming Force in the face of great difficulties. When on the Mole under heavy fire, he displayed the greatest initiative in the command of his company, and by his total disregard of danger, showed a magnificent example to his men. He first established a strong point on the right of the disembarkation, and when that was safe, led an assault on a battery to the left with the utmost coolness and valour. Captain Bamford was selected by the officers of the R.M.A & R.M.L.I detachments to receive the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Royal Warrant, dated 26 January 1856.
Bamford survived another ten years before he died of pneumonia in September 1928, en route to Hong Kong via HMS Cumberland. He was buried in Shanghai. In the Royal Marines Museum, Bamford’s Victoria Cross is on display to this day.
The Victoria Cross was his greatest award but Bamford also received a Distinguished Service Order along with the Russian Order of St. Anna, 3rd Class with Swords on 5 June 1917, French Legion of Honour in May 1919, Japanese Order of the Rising Sun 4th Class in August 1921, 1914/15 Star (MID), British War Medal and Victory Medal.
He wasn’t scared of picking up a few medals for his work. An all-around legend, hero and top bloke.