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Charles Bonner V.C.
of Aldridge, Walsall, WS9, West Midlands UK.

Book about Victoria Cross holder "Charles George BONNER",
known as "Gus", was born in Aldridge.

Charles George Bonner V.C. Copyright protected image reproduced on Aldridge website by kind permission of the Bonner family

The picture of Charles George Bonner V.C. is a Copyright protected image reproduced by kind permission of the Bonner family for publication on Aldridge website.

The book about world war 1 victoria cross holder Charles "Gus" Bonner was written by Sue Satterthwaite and published in November 2008. You can buy a copy in A4 in size, with a dust jacket, 140 pages and 88 illustrations. All profits made from the sale of this book will be donated to the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal.

For more information and order page see the Gus Bonner VC book link

Captain Bonner was in the Royal Naval Reserve forces on HMS Dunraven, which was a 'Q' ship, designed to fight U boats.

These Q ships were converted merchant vessels concealing large deck guns. During World War two, it was common practice to allow the crew of a torpedo damaged ship to disembark before a final torpedo attack and certain sinking. The function of Q ships was to lure the U-boat to the surface following an "engagement with the enemy" at which point the "Q" ship would reveal the true purpose of its design and would launch a new attack on the submarine in the hope it would be sunk before it could retaliate.

While this may have been effective for a while during the war, it only worked when the U-boat was willing to play fair, that is to say before the Germans caught on to the deception. These decoy tactics are largely responsible for the revised German orders to sink ships without warning.

Captain Charles Bonner was awarded the Victoria Cross as a result of action under fire from a U boat in the Atlantic Ocean, on 8th August 1917.

He received his V.C. medal at Sandringham as a guest of the King and Queen.

After the war he was a marine salvage expert in Edinburgh where he died on 7th February 1951.

His memory is served by a headstone in St Mary's Church, Aldridge. Bonner Grove in Aldridge commemorates the Bonner family name, reflecting his fathers work as a councillor of Aldridge.

The Victoria Cross is Britain's higest award for gallantry, yet few people even know about Charles "Gus" Bonner. During January-February 2007, following requests from Aldridge website & local residents for a plaque next to the War memorial located outside St Mary's Church, Walsall Council agreed on a plaque in recognition of a distinquished figure of our community.

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