William Frederick “Billy” McFadzean VC

William Frederick “Billy” McFadzean VC (09/10/1895 – 01/07/1916) was awarded the Victoria Cross  during the Battle of the Somme near Thiepval Wood, France.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29740, Page: 8871, reads:

“No. 14/18278 Pte. William Frederick McFadzean, late R. Ir. Rif.

For most conspicuous bravery. While in a concentration trench and opening a box of bombs for distribution prior to an attack, the box slipped down into the trench, which was crowded with men, and two of the safety pins fell out. Private McFadzean, instantly realising the danger to his comrades, with heroic courage threw himself on the top of the Bombs.

The bombs exploded blowing him to pieces, but only one other man was injured. He well knew his danger, being himself a bomber, but without a moment’s hesitation he gave his life for his comrades.”

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing in the Somme in France. Pier 15, 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, Gallaher cigarette card first issued 1917, reproduced by Card Promotions © 2003

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