John Sherwood Kelly VC CMG DSO

John Sherwood Kelly (13/01/1880 – 18/08/1931) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 20 November 1917 at Marcoing, France during the Battle of Cambrai

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30471, Page: 722, reads:

“Maj. (A./Lt.-Col.) John Sherwood-Kelly, C.M.G., D.S.O., Norf. R., comd. a Bn., R. Innis. Fus.

For most conspicuous bravery and fearless leading when a party of men of another unit detailed to cover the passage of the canal by his battalion were held up on the near side of the’canal by heavy rifle fire directed on the bridge. Lt.-Col. Sherwood-Kelly at once ordered covering fire, personally led the lea-ding company of his battalion across the canal and, after crossing, reconnoitred under heavy rifle and machine gun fire the high ground held by the enemy.

The left flank of his battalion advancing to- the assault of this objective was held up by a thick belt of wire, whereupon he crossed to that flank, and with a Lewis gun team, forced his way under heavy fire through obstacles, got the gun into position on the far side, and covered the advance of his battalion through the wire, thereby enabling them to capture the position.

Later, he personally led a charge against some pits from which a heavy fire was being directed on his men, captured the pits, together with five machine guns and forty six prisoners, and killed a large number of the enemy.

The great gallantry displayed by this officer throughout the day inspired the greatest confidence in his men, and it was mainly due to his example and devotion to duty that his battalion was enabled to capture and hold their objective.”

He is buried in Brookwood Cemetery; Block 86, Grave 196296. Cemetery Pales, Woking, Surrey, England 

The grave of John Sherwood Kelly VC.

The grave of John Sherwood Kelly VC.

Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Brookwood Cemetery.

© DRW 2014-2017. Created 25/11/2014, updated 05/04/2015, edited 15/05/2017. Grave photograph courtesy of Kevin Brazier. 

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