William Mariner VC

William Mariner (29/05/1882 – 01/07/1916) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of: Supplement: 29202, Page: 6116, reads: 

“No. 2052 Private William Mariner, 2nd Battalion, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps,

During a violent thunderstorm on the night of 22nd May, 1915, he left his trench near Cambrin, and crept out through the German wire entanglements till he reached the emplacement of a German machine gun which had been damaging our parapets and hindering our working parties.

After climbing on the top of the German parapet he threw a bomb in under the roof of the gun emplacement and- heard some groaning and the enemy running away. After about a quarter of an hour he heard some of them coming back again, and climbed up on the other side of the emplacement and threw another bomb among them left-handed. He then lay still while the Germans opened a heavy fire on the wire entanglement behind him, and it was only after about an hour that he was able to crawl back to his own trench.

Before starting out he had requested a serjeant to open fire on the enemy’s trenches as soon as he had thrown his bombs. Rifleman Mariner was out alone for one and a half hours carrying out this gallant work.

He went missing during The Battle of the Somme, and is presumed to been killed in action in France on 1 July 1916.  His name is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in the Somme in France. Pier 13, Face A-B

Thiepval Memorial to the Missing. Image courtesy of Ralph McLean and the South African War Graves Project

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 01/03/2017. Commemoration Image courtesy of Mark Green, Cigarette card by Card Promotions © 2001, first issued 1915. 

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