BANKS, ARTHUR Rank: Sergeant Service No: 1607992 Date of Death: 20/12/1944 Age: 22 Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 112 Sqdn. Awards: G C Grave Reference III, A, 7. Cemetery ARGENTA GAP WAR CEMETERY Additional Information:
Son of Charles Chaplin Banks and Harriet Margaret Banks, of Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
The following details are taken from the citation in the London Gazette of 5th November, 1946, announcing the posthumous award of the George Cross: On 29th August 1944, Sgt. Banks took part in an armed reconnaissance of the Ravenna and Ferrara areas. Making a forced landing when his aircraft was damaged, he decided, after the aircraft had been destroyed, to try and reach the Allied lines. He made contact with a group of partisans, among whom he became an outstanding figure for his advice and encouragement in action against the Germans. Early in December, a crossing by boat into Allied territory was planned, but the whole party was captured. Sgt. Banks was cruelly tortured at his interrogation, which was presided over by the German district commander. Getting hold of a machine gun, he might have killed most of his captors His conduct was in all times in keeping with the highest traditions of the service, even in the face of brutal and inhuman treatment.