Charles Ferguson Hoey was born on 29 March 1914, son of Ferguson Hoey of Duncan, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada and his wife Mary Rudyerd, daughter of Major General Charles Rudyerd Simpson CB, who had been Colonel of The Lincolnshire Regiment. He began his education at Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan, before attended Duncan Grammar School and, latterly, Duncan High School. Sailing to England in April 1933 with the intention of making a career for himself in the British Army, he enlisted as a private soldier in the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, before being awarded a cadetship at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, which he entered in September 1935. Having passed out in December 1936, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Lincolnshire Regiment (later the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment) on 28 January 1937. After a brief period with the 1st Battalion, he was posted to the 2nd Battalion and embarked for India in September 1937. He accompanied his Battalion to Burma in 1942 and was awarded the Military Cross in July 1943 (gazetted on 30 September 1943) for his outstanding leadership during a raid on a Japanese position at Maungdaw.
Supplement to The London Gazette of Tuesday, the 16th of May, 1944
War Office, 18th May, 1944
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:
Captain (temporary Major) Charles Ferguson Hoey, M.C. (71106), The Lincolnshire Regiment (Vancouver).
In Burma, on the 16th February, 1944, Major Hoey’s company formed part of a force which was ordered to capture a position at all costs. After a night march through enemy-held territory, the force was met at the foot of the position by machine-gun fire. Major Hoey personally led his company under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire up to the objective. Although wounded at least twice in the leg and head, he seized a Bren gun from one of his men and, firing from the hip, led his company into the objective. In spite of his wounds the company had difficulty in keeping up with him, and Major Hoey reached the enemy strong post first, where he killed all the occupants before being mortally wounded. Major Hoey’s outstanding gallantry and leadership, his total disregard of personal safety and his grim determination to reach the objective resulted in the capture of this vital position.
Charles Hoey’s younger brother, Trevor, landed in Normandy on D-Day with the Canadian Scottish and was killed in action at Caen on 21 July 1944. ‘Charles Hoey V.C Memorial Park’ in Duncan, British Columbia was dedicated on 12 August 1991, in the presence of representatives from The Burma Star Association. There is a memorial cairn, modelled on the 2nd Division Memorial at Kohima, at Stolz Pool, Arakan Park, Vancouver Island, a few miles north of Duncan.