John Henry Carless VC (11/11/1896 – 17/11/1917) is immortalised in a statue in Walsall, Staffordshire. He was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his actions during the Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1914 while serving on aboard HMS Caledon.
The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30687, Page: 5857, reads:
“Action in the Heligoland Bight on the 11th November, 1917.
Posthumous award of the Victoria Cross. Ord. Sea. John Henry Carless, O.N. J.43703 (Po.) (killed in action).
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Although mortally wounded in the abdomen, he still went on serving the gun at which he was acting as rammer, lifting a projectile and helping to clear away the other casualties. He collapsed once, but got up, tried again, and cheered on the new gun’s crew. He then fell and died. He not only set a very inspiring and memorable example, but he also, whilst mortally wounded, continued to do effective work against the King’s enemies. “
A Plaque inside the Hall in the Municipal Offices lists the three Victoria Cross recipients from Walsall.
He is also mentioned on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, plaque 25, column 2.
And he is commemorated on the War Memorial outside St Mary The Mount Roman Catholic Church in Walsall.
DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 09/08/2015, edited 03/05/2017