“Assisted Commander Unwin at the work of securing the lighters under heavy rifle and maxim fire. He was wounded in the head, but continued his work and twice subsequently attempted to swim from lighter to lighter with a line.”
Lewis Pugh Evans(03/01/1881 – 30/11/1962) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions near Zonnebek in Belgium during the First World War whilst in command of the 1st Battalion, The Lincolnshire Regiment.
Maj. (A./Lt.-Cfol.) Lewis Pugh Evans, D.S.O., B. Highrs., comdg. a Battalions Line. K. For most conspicuous bravery and leadership. Lt.-Col. Evans took his battalion in perfect order through a terrific enemy barrage, personally formed up all units, and led them to the assault. While a strong machine gun emplacement was causing casualties, and the troops were working round the flank, Lt.-Col. Evans rushed at it himself and by firing his revolver through the loophole forced the garrison to capitulate.
After capturing the first objective he was severely wounded in the shoulder, but refused to be bandaged, and re-formed the troops, pointed out all future objectives, and again led his battalion forward. Again badly wounded, he nevertheless continued to command until the second objective was won, and, after consolidation, collapsed from loss of blood. As there were numerous casualties, he refused assistance, and by his own efforts ultimately reached the Dressing Station.
His example of cool bravery stimulated in all ranks the highest valour and determination to win.
He was also awarded the CB, CMG, DSO & Bar, DL as well as a number of other decorations.
He is buried in Llanbadarn Fawr Cemetery, Ceredigion, Wales.
“No. 370995 Sjt. Alfred Joseph Knight, Lond.R. (Nottingham).
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion ..to duty during the operations against the enemy positions. Sjt. Knight did extraordinary good work, and showed exceptional bravery and initiative when his platoon was attacking an enemy strong point, and came under very heavy fire from an enemy machine gun. He rushed through our own barrage, bayonetted the enemy gunner, and. captured the position single-handed.
Later, twelve of the enemy with a machine gun, were encountered in a shellhole. He again rushed forward by himself bayonetted two and shot a third and caused the remainder to scatter.
Subsequently, during the attack on a fortified farm, when entangled up to his waist in mud, and seeing a number of the enemy firing on our troops, he immediately opened fire on them without waiting to extricate himself from the mud, killing six of the enemy.
Again, noticing the company on his right flank being held up in their attack on another farm, Sjt. Knight collected some men and took up a position on the flank of this farm, from where he brought a heavy fire to bear on the farm as a result of which the farm was captured.
All the platoon officers of the company had become casualties before the first objective was reached, and this gallant N.C.O. took command of all the men of his own platoon, and of the platoons without officers. His energy in consolidating and reorganising was untiring.
His several single-handed actions showed exceptional bravery, and saved a great number of casualties in the company. They were performed under heavy machine gun and rifle fire, and without regard to personal risk, and were the direct cause of the objectives being captured.”
He is buried in Oscott Road Catholic Cemetery, New Oscott, Sutton Coldfield.
Alfred Wilcox (16/12/1884 – 30/03/1954) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War.
The Citation reads:
“On 12 September 1918 near Laventie, France, when his company was held up by enemy machine-gun fire at short range, Lance-Corporal Wilcox rushed to the nearest enemy gun, bombing it and killing the gunner. Being then attacked by an enemy bombing party, the corporal picked up enemy stick bombs and led his company against the next gun, finally capturing and destroying it. Then, left with only one man he continued bombing and captured a third gun. Going up the trench, bombing as he went, he captured a fourth gun and then returned to his platoon.”
He is buried in St Peter and St Paul Cemetery, Aston, Birmingham.
“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.”
George Onions (02/03/1883 – 02/04/1944) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War in 1918.
The Citation reads:
“On 22 August 1918 south of Achiet-le-Petit, France, Lance-Corporal Onions, having been sent out with one man to get in touch with the battalion on the right flank, saw the enemy advancing in large numbers. Seizing his opportunity, he boldly placed himself and his comrade on the flank of the advancing enemy and opened fire. When the enemy were about 100 yards from him the line wavered and some hands were thrown up, whereupon the lance-corporal rushed forward and helped by his comrade, took about 200 of the enemy prisoners and marched them back to his company commander”
He is buried in Quinton Cemetery in Birmingham.
George Onions VC.
02/03/1883 – 02/04/1944
Quinton Cemetery, Birmingham
“On 8 August 1917 in the Bay of Biscay, Atlantic, Lieutenant Bonner was with HMS Dunraven (one of the ‘Q’ or ‘mystery’ ships playing the part of an unobservant merchantman) when she was shelled by an enemy submarine. The lieutenant was in the thick of the fighting and throughout the whole of the action his pluck and determination had a considerable influence on the crew. Ernest Herbert Pitcher was also awarded the Victoria Cross in this action”.
He was cremated at Warriston Crematorium, Edinburgh, and his ashes were interred at St Mary’s Churchyard, Aldridge, Staffordshire.
“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
“Able Seaman Albert Edward McKenzie, O.N. J31736 (Ch.).
For most conspicuous gallantry.
This rating belonged to B Company of seaman storming party. On the night of the operation he landed on the mole with his machine-gun in the face of great difficulties and did very good work, using his gun to the utmost advantage. He advanced down the mole with Lieutenant-Commander Harrison, who with most of his party was killed, and accounted for several of the enemy running from a shelter to a destroyer alongside the mole. This very gallant seaman was severely wounded whilst working his gun in an exposed position.
Able Seaman McKenzie was selected by the men of the “Vindictive,” “Iris II,” and ” Daffodil'” and of the naval assaulting force to receive the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Royal Warrant dated 29th January 1896.”