CBC Digital Archives

Major C.F. Hoey wins the Victoria Cross

In 1944, Canadian Major Charles Ferguson Hoey leads a brave charge against heavy Japanese gunfire in Burma. Wounded three times, including once in the head, Major Hoey storms through enemy fire and single-handedly takes an enemy stronghold. He is killed in combat. But for his brave and determined action, Major Hoey is posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the highest award for bravery for a soldier of the British Empire. In this 1945 broadcast, the CBC Radio program For Valour retells the story of Hoey's charge into history.
• Charles Ferguson Hoey was born in Duncan, Vancouver Island, BC, on March 29, 1914.
  • Hoey moved to England in 1933 to start his military career. He attended the Royal Military College at Sandhurst and was commissioned as an officer in 1936.

• In addition to his Victoria Cross, Hoey also won a Military Cross for bravery in battle. In 1943, he led a raid on a Japanese position in Maungdaw, Burma (now known as Myanmar), the same area where he would earn his VC the next year. His MC citation praised his "skilful handling of his force," which sustained only three casualties while inflicting 22 on the Japanese. The end of his citation reads, "Major Hoey's determination, courage and skill during the whole of the operation were beyond praise."

• Charles Ferguson Hoey is buried in Taukkyan Cemetery, Rangoon, Burma. His mother received both his VC and MC in a ceremony on Vancouver Island in January 1945.

•Charles Hoey's brother Trevor also fought in the Second World War. He was killed in Caen, France in July 1944, just five months after his brother.

• Of the sixteen VCs won by Canadians in the Second World War, only three were won in Asia, and Hoey's was the only one from Burma. 

Medium: Radio
Program: For Valour
Broadcast Date: May 8, 1945
Duration: 2:20

Last updated: June 12, 2013

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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