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VC hero's daughter horrified by cuts
ONE of the most heroic of all Green Howards would have fought his regiment’s disbandment “with every bone in his body,” his daughter said yesterday.
Pauline Armistead, 74, whose late father, Stan Hollis, became the only person to be awarded a Victoria Cross (VC) on D-Day, said he would have been very upset at the decision to axe the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards).
“The authorities would have had a heck of a job doing this if he were alive,” she said.
“He’d have fought this disbandment with every bone in his body and I’m sure many locals and veterans will do the same.
“The least the Ministry of Defence should do is keep a company of Green Howards to preserve the name.”
Sergeant Major Hollis, who was born in Loftus, east Cleveland, had already fought through Dunkirk, El- Alamein and Sicily before he was awarded a VC for his exceptional bravery on the Normandy beaches in June, 1944.
After landing on Gold Beach, Sgt Maj Hollis cleared an enemy stronghold while he and his men were under fire from German soldiers, killing two and capturing the remainder.
Later the same day, he attacked a field gun, and was grazed on the right cheek by a sniper’s bullet before he destroyed the gun position.
Then, again under fire, he diverted the enemy while two of his men, who were trapped by the Germans, escaped.
After the war, Sgt Maj Hollis returned to his parents’ fish shop in North Ormesby, before becoming a sandblaster in a nearby steelworks.
For a couple of years he worked in a garage in Darlington, before running a pub called The Green Howard in North Ormesby.
The father-of-two, who died in 1972, kept his VC in a drawer along with his collection of bottle-tops.