Sergeant Albert Gill VC (8th September 1879 – 27th July 1916) from Birmingham, Warwickshire was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
[London Gazette, 26 October 1916] - On 27th July 1916 at Delville Wood, France, the enemy made a very strong counter-attack on the right flank of the battalion, and rushed the bombing post after killing all the company bombers. Sergeant Gill at once rallied the remnants of his platoon, none of whom were skilled bombers, and reorganised his defences, a most difficult and dangerous task, the trench being very shallow and much damaged. Soon afterwards the enemy nearly surrounded his men by creeping up through the thick undergrowth, and commenced sniping at about twenty yards range. Although it was almost certain death, Serjeant Gill stood boldly up in order to direct the fire of his men. He was killed almost at once, but not before he had shown his men where the enemy were, and thus enabled them to hold up their advance. By his supreme devotion to duty and self-sacrifice he saved a very dangerous situation.
Albert Gill now rests in the Delville Wood Cemetery, Albert, France.
The widow of Albert Gill was presented with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 29th November, 1916 and it was later sold at auction on 29th March, 2000 for a hammer price of £60,000. The VC group was purchased on behalf of the Michael Ashcroft Trust, and is on display at the Lord Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London.
Discover more of the Battle of Delville Wood from our WW1 Troop Movements and ORBATS feature HERE