World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. He received the award from British King George V at Buckingham Palace in London, England on October 5, 1915 for his actions as a British Royal Navy lieutenant in command of submarine HMS B11 on December 13, 1914 at the Dardanelles, Turkey. He had the distinction of being the first submariner to be awarded the Victoria Cross and it was the first naval Victoria Cross gazetted in World War I. Born in Southsea, Hampshire, England, his father was a newspaper publisher. After completing his education, he enrolled in the officer training establishment Britannia Royal Naval College in 1903 and was appointed midshipman in January 1905. In April 1911 he joined the submarine depot ship HMS Bonaventure and served in submarines HMS F3, HMS V4 and HMS E41 before taking command of HMS B11 in December 1913 and saw action in naval engagements during World War I. His Victoria Cross Citation reads: "For most conspicuous bravery on the 13th December 1914, when in command of the Submarine B-11, he entered the Dardanelles, and, notwithstanding the very difficult current, dived his vessel under five rows of mines and torpedoed the Turkish battleship "Messudiyeh" which was guarding the minefield. Lieutenant Holbrook succeeded in bringing the B-11 safely back, although assailed by gun-fire and torpedo boats, having been submerged on one occasion for nine hours." In addition to the Victoria Cross, he also received the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal (1914-20), the Victory Medal (1914-19 with MiD Oak leaf clasp), the Defence Medal (1939-45), the War Medal (1939-45), the King George VI Coronation Medal (1937), the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal (1953), and the French Legion of Honor (Knight). He later achieved the rank of commander and retired from the British Navy in 1920 and devoted his life to farming and serving as chairman of the family publishing firm. He died in Midhurst, Sussex, England at the age of 87. As of December 2009, his Victoria Cross and other medals were on loan for display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. (bio by: William Bjornstad)
Burial: St James Churchyard Stedham Chichester District West Sussex, England Plot: North East corner behind the church.
Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Apr 04, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 10721299