The Great War, I was there - Part 6

Part 7 of THE GREAT WAR: I W^AS THERE!On Sale Everywhere Next Tuesday Leaves from the Editor’s Note-Book (Continued from page ii o f this wrap per) |_E meT renew my invitation, then, to any friend or survivor of the fighting forces who is able to establish the identity of any man from a photograph in our pages, to write tome with such details mayas bethought of interest to our readers. controversy has been ongoing in the columns of our contemporary, the Daily Telegraph, concerning the first V.C. of the Great War. Claims have been made for one soldier in particular, Lieutenant M. J. Dease, but it does not seem to have been noticed that in one sense there was no “first” V.C. at all! It happens that I had already, before this correspond­ence started, said so in page 66 of Part 2 of I Was There, where I think the difficulty is cleared up quite definitely. There were in fact four *'first” V.C.s on the first day of the actual fighting, Sunday, August 23,1914. Their names and gallant deeds are :Lt. M. J. Dease. 4th Royal Fusilier*. for machine-gun action St.at Ghislain L/Cpl. C. A.Jar v is. R.E.. blowing up Jemappes Bridge under fire Pte. S.F. God l ,ye 4tli Royal Fusiliers. assisting Lt. Dease Captain THE O D WORE cir HT R.E., blowing up M ons-Condi canal bridges under fire||S I have instated the page referred to, two of these men, 'Private Godley and Lance-Corporal Jarvis, survived the War. The most reasonable basis for attributing priority is surely the date of the deed which won the Cross, and I suggest therefore it is a case of “bracketed first ”in alphabetical order. If time is considered as well as date, Lt. Dease and Pte. Godley are still bracketed together, their action having been fought about 2 p.m., while the bridges were blown up after 4 p.m. No other basis can establish true priority. The first actual awards by the King (including Lance-Corporal Jarvis) were made on November 17, while notification in the London Gazette was comparatively arbitrary so far as date was concerned, the first in order in the Army List being the V.C. which was won as late as September 3,1914. C RuT T HER there was a fifth V.C. which was won in part on the same day. Corporal C.E. Gai forth of the 15th Hussars cut wire under fire,and so enabled his squadron to escape the enemy. A little later he carried a wounded man out of action, and finally, on September 3rd, saved the life of a sergeant whose horse had been shot. For these gallant actions the King gave him the V.C. on November 17, along with Corporal Jarvis. It was, 1 think, partly because some V.C.s were actually bestowed by the inKing advance of others that the whole muddle about priority has arisen. readers will have noted, no doubt, that the day of publi­cation has been given in these Note-Book pages as Thursday in earlier Parts. At the last moment, owing to the dreadful threat of war at the beginning of October, it was found necessary to change the publishing today Tuesday. J ? 1 To Make Sure of Getting Your Copy Give Your Newsagent a FIRM ORDER FOR THE COMPLETE SERIES NOW Part 7 of The Great War: I Was There !Will Contain: SECTION VII. LAST DAYS OF THE FIRST YEAR BRITISH PLUCK AND LUCK AT THE HARTLEPOOLS: Britain's First Bom­bardment In 250 Years From The Royal Tank Corps Journal I FOUGHT AT YPRES FROM THE SKY Story of the First Ground Strafing Lt.-Col. AL. .Strange, D.S.O. AMAZING ARM ISTICE!-The Historic Christmas Truce of 1914 Capt. Sir Edward H ulse, Bart., Scots Guards SECTION VIU. THE NEUVE CHAPELLE BATTLE THE SERGEANT WHO WENT THE WRONG WAY—The Tragic and the Comic inTrench Life Private Frank Richards I SAW BEATTY TRIUMPH The Blucher Sunk at Dogger Bank By An Officer of H .M.S .Aurora STRIKING Double-Page PLATE: KINGLY MEMORIES of TWENTY YEARS Three British Kings on the Field and at the Cenotaph 61 Illustrations Including Many New and Unpublished Photographs of Scenes of the Battles of Ypres and Neuve Chapelle, and Fighting by Air and Sea EIGHT ART PAGES IN DUOTONE
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