Reverend Bernard William Vann VC, MC,

Reverend Bernard William Vann VC, MC. (09/07/1887 – 03/10/1918), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 29 September 1918 at Bellenglise and Lehaucourt, France.

The Citation, recorded at the London Gazette of 13 December 1918. Supplement: 31067, Page: 14774, reads:

“Capt. (A./Lt.-Col ) Bernard William Vann, M.C., late I/8th Bn., attd. I/6th Bn., Notts. & Derby. R. (T.F.).

For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty and fine leadership during the attack at Bellenglise and Lehaucourt on September 29th, 1918.

He led his battalion with great skill across the Canal Du Nord through a very thick fog and under heavy fire from field and machine guns.

On reaching the high ground above Bellenglise the whole attack was held up by fire of all descriptions from the front and right flank.

Realising that everything depended on the advance going forward with the barrage, Col. Vann rushed up to the firing line and with the greatest gallantry led the line forward. By his prompt action and absolute contempt for danger the whole situation was changed, the men were encouraged and the line swept forward.

Later, he rushed a field-gun single-handed and knocked out three of the detachment. The success of the day was in no small degree due to the splendid gallantry and fine leadership displayed by this officer.

Lt.-Col. Vann, who had on all occasions set the highest example: of valour, was killed near Ramicourt on 3rd October, 1918, when leading his battalion in attack.”

He was the only ordained clergyman of the Church of England to win the VC in the Great War as a combatant, and was awarded the Military Cross (MC)

“At Kemmel on 24 April 1915 when a small advance trench which he occupied was blown in, and he himself wounded and half buried, he showed the greatest determination in organising the defence and rescuing buried men under heavy fire, although wounded and severely bruised he refused to leave his post until directly ordered to do so. At Ypres on 31 July 1915, and subsequent days, he ably assisted another officer to hold the left trench of the line, setting a fine example to those around him. On various occasions he has led patrols up to the enemy’s trenches and obtained valuable information.”

He was killed in action, shot by a sniper at Ramicourt, France, on 3 October 1918 and is buried in Bellicourt British Cemetery, France.

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Donald Mackintosh VC

Donald Mackintosh (07/02/1896 – 11/04/1917) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 11 April 1917 north of Fampoux, France.

The Citation reads:

“On 11 April 1917 north of Fampoux, France, during the initial advance, Lieutenant Mackintosh was shot through the right leg, but although crippled, continued to lead his men, and captured the trench.

He then collected men of another company who had lost their leader and drove back a counter-attack, when he was again wounded and although unable to stand, nevertheless continued to control the situation.

With only 15 men left he ordered them to be ready to advance to the final objective and with great difficulty got out of the trench, encouraging them to advance. He was wounded yet again and fell

The gallantry and devotion to duty of this officer were beyond all praise.”

Lieutenant Donald Mackintosh was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery and he is buried in Brown’s Copse Cemetery, Roeux, France.

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Eugene Paul Bennett VC MC

Eugene Paul Bennett (04/06/1892 – 06/04/1970) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during in November 1916 during the First World War in France.

The Citation reads:

“Temporary Lieutenant Bennett, of the Worcestershire Regiment, when in command of the second wave of the attack, found that the first wave had suffered heavy casualties. Its commander had been killed and the second line was wavering. Lieutenant Bennett advanced at the head of the second wave and by his personal example of valour and resolution reached his objective with but sixty men. Isolated with his small party, he at once took steps to consolidate his position, under heavy rifle and machine gun fire from both flanks, and although wounded, he remained in command, directing and controlling. He set an example of cheerfulness and resolution beyond all praise, and there is little doubt that, but for his personal example of courage,the attack would have been checked at the outset.”

He was cremated and his ashes are interred in Vicenza Crematorium, Vicenza, Italy. Niche 115. The Commemorative Window in his memory may be found in Worcester Cathdral 

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Francis George Miles VC

Francis George Miles (09/07/1896 – 08/11/1961), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War at Bois-l’Évêque, Landrecies, France.

The Citation reads:

“On 23 October 1918 at Bois-l’Évêque, Landrecies, France, when his company was held up by a line of enemy machine-guns in a sunken road, Private Miles, alone and on his own initiative went forward under exceptionally heavy fire, located a machine-gun, shot the gunner and put the gun out of action. Then seeing another gun nearby, he again went forward alone, shot the gunner and captured the team of eight. Finally he stood up and beckoned to his company who, acting on his signals, were able to capture 16 machine-guns, one officer and 50 other ranks.”

He is buried in St Peter’s Churchyard, Clearwell, Gloucestershire.

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Harry Blanshard Wood VC, MM

Harry Blanshard Wood (21/06/1882-15/08/1924) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 31067, Page: 14777, reads:

“No. 16444 Cpl. (L./Sjt.) Harry Blanshard Wood. MM., 2nd Bri., S. Gds. (Bristol).

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during operations at the village of St. Python, France, on the 13th of October, 1918.

The advance was desperately opposed by machine guns, and the streets were raked by fire. His platoon serjeant was killed, and command of the leading platoon fell to him. The task of the company was to clear the western side of the village and secure the crossing of the River Selle. Command of the ruined bridge had to be gained, though the space in front of it. was commanded by snipers. Cpl. Wood boldly carried a large brick out into the open space, lay down behind it, and fired continually at these snipers, ordering his men to work across while he covered them by his fire. This he continued to do under heavy and well-aimed fire until the whole of his party had reached the objective point.

He showed complete disregard for his personal safety, and his leadership throughout the day was of the highest order. Later, he drove off repeated enemy counter-attacks against his position.

His gallant conduct and initiative shown contributed largely to the success of the day’s operations.”

He is buried in Soldiers’ Corner, grave number 1738, Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol.

Soldiers Corner, Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol..

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Arthur Vickers VC.

Arthur “Titch” Vickers (02/02/1882 – 27/07/1944) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during  the First World War in September 1915 at Hulloch, France.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29371 Page: 11450 reads:

“3719 Private Arthur Vickers, 2nd Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

For most conspicuous .bravery on 25th September, 1915, during operations before Hulluch.

During an attack by his battalion on  the first line German trenches, Private Vickers, on his- own initiative and with the utmost bravery, went forward in front of his company under, very heavy shell, rifle and machine-gun fire, and cut the wires which were holding up a great part of the. battalion. Although it was broad daylight at the time he carried out this work standing up. His gallant action contributed largely to the success of the assault.”

Arthur Vickers VC. 02/02/1882 - 27/07/1944 Witton Cemetery Birmingham.

He is buried in Witton Cemetery in Birmingham.

DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 23/09/2015. Image courtesy of Mark Green. Gallaher cigarette Card by Card Promotions © 2001. First issued 1916.

Arthur Cross VC. MM.

Arthur Henry Cross (13/12/1884 – 23/11/1965) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 25 March 1918 at  Ervillers, France.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30726, Page: 6572, reads:

“No. 62990 Pte. (A./L./Cpl.) Arthur Henry Cross, M.G. Corps (Camberwell).

For most conspicuous bravery and initiative. L./Cpl. Cross volunteered to make a reconnaissance of the position of two machine guns which had been captured by the enemy, He advanced single-Handed to the enemy trench and with his revolver forced seven of the enemy to surrender and carry the machine guns with their tripods and ammunition to our lines. He then handed over his prisoners, collected teams for his guns which he brought into action with exceptional dash and skill, annihilating a very heavy attack by the enemy.

It is impossible to speak too highly of the extreme gallantry, initiative and dash displayed by this N.C.O., who showed throughout four days of operations supreme devotion to duty. “

He is buried in Streatham Park Cemetery in London.

Arthur Henry Cross VC. MM. Streatham Park Cemetery, London

Arthur Henry Cross VC. MM. Streatham Park Cemetery, London

Streatham Park Cemetery, London

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