The Great War Part 186, March 9th 1918

624 The Great IVar killed. Company-Sergeant-Major Nelson Victor Carter, Royal Sussex Regiment penetrated with a few men into the enemys second line and inflicted heavy casualties with bombs. Forced to retire to the enemys first line he captured a machine-gun and shot the gunner with his revolver. Having carried several wounded men into safety he was wounded and died in a few minutes. Corporal George Sanders West Yorkshire Regiment, was awarded the cross for “the greatest courage deter­mination and good leadership during thirty-six hours under very trying conditions.” After an advance into the enemys trenches he was isolated with thirty other men and organising his defences and detailing a bombing- party he resolved to hold the position at all costs. He repulsed three strong attacks and incidentally rescued some British prisoners who had fallen Deed of “great into the enemys hands before he was military value ”relieved. Private Theodore William Henry Veale Devonshire Regiment went out to a wounded officer who was lying ingrowing corn within fifty yards of the enemy dragged him to a shell-hole, went back for water and returned with it went back again and returned with assistance and after several attempts covered an approaching enemy patrol with a Lewis gutf and finally achieved the rescue of the officer. On September 27th 1916 the name of Captain Eric Norman Frankland Bell Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, appeared among a list of twelve V.C. awards. Captain Bell shot the gunner of a machine-gun which was upholding the front line and later went forward on three occasions and threw trench-mortar bombs amongst the enemy. When he had moreno bombs left he stood on the parapet and used a rifle with great coolness and effect upon the enemy. Sergeant Boulter Northamptonshire Regiment figured in a V.C. list dated October 26th 1916 for having bombed the team of a machine-gun from the position where they were causing heavy casualties. The official statement explained that the deed was of great military value. On the same date was announced the award of the cross to Sergeant Albert Gill Kings Royal Rifle Corps for rallying the remnants of his platoon after the enemy had rushed the bombing-post and reorganising his defences “ a most difficult and ”dangerous task in which he was killed. On November 27th 1916 the award of the Victoria Cross was made to three more single representatives of their regiments. Second-Lieutenant Henry Kelly West Riding Regiment twice rallied his company under intense fire and finally led the only three available men into the enemys trench where they remained bombing until two of them became casualties and reinforcements reached the enemy. Kelly then carried his company-sergeant- major back to the British trenches and subsequently three other soldiers. Sergeant Robert Downie Royal Dublin Fusiliers reorganised an attack when most of his officers had become casualties and “Come on the at the critical moment lie rushed forward Dubs! ”alone shouting “Come on the Dubs !”so stirring the men that the line leaped forward after him. He personally accounted for several of the enemy and in addition captured a machine-gun and killed the team. Sergeant James Young Turnbull, Highland Light Infantry captured an important post, and was subjected to severe counter-attacks. His party was wiped out and replaced several times during the day but Turnbull realised that the loss of the post would be very serious and almost single-handed maintained the position "displaying the highest degree of valour and skill." He was killed later in the day. The Victoria Cross awarded to Sergeant Edward John Mott Border Regiment was stated to be “for most conspicuous gallantry and initiative when in an attack the company to which he belonged was upheld at a strong point by machine-gun fire.” Although wounded in the eye Mott made a rush for the gun and after a fierce struggle seized the gunner took him prisoner and captured the gun. The cross awarded to Lieutenant and Adjutant Robert Edwin Phillips Royal Warwickshire Regiment was earned by “sustained courage in its very highest form.” Under intense fire he went out to his commanding officer who had been mortally wounded and brought him back to the lines. Major (Acting Lieutenant-Colonel) Edward Elers Delavel Henderson North Staffordshire Regiment awarded the Victoria Cross brought his battalion up to the two front­ line trenches which were under intense fire. The battalion had suffered heavily in a counter-attack when the enemy penetrated the inline several places. Lieutenant-Colonel Henderson though shot through the arm jumped onto the parapet and advanced alone some distance in front, of his battalion cheering them on and continuing to lead them though again wounded until they finally captured the position by a bayonet charge. This most gallant and fearless officer was wounded yet twice again and died when he was eventually brought in. On June 28th 1917 award of the cross was made to Company-Sergeant-Major Edward Brooks Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and Lance-Corporal James Welch Royal Berkshire Regiment. The warrant officer on his own initiative rushed forward from the second wave of a force raiding the enemys trenches and killed with his revolver one of the gunners of a machine- gun that was checking the advance and bayoneted another. He then turned the gun on the remainder of its team who made off after which Brooks carried it back into the British lines. Lance-Corporal Welch entered an enemy trench and killed one man after a hand-to-hand struggle. Armed only with an empty revolver he chased four others across the open and captured them single-handed. He also handled a “Let us now machine-gun with utmost fearlessness praise------ ”and effect more than once going into the open under heavy fire to collect ammunition and spare parts in order to keep his gun inaction. This he succeeded in doing for more than five hours until wounded. Lieutenant (Acting Captain) Arthur Henderson M.C., Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders earned the Victoria Cross during an attack on some trenches when though wounded he led his company through the enemy front line to his final objective. He consolidated his position, and by courage and coolness maintained the spirit of his men undermost trying conditions. This gallant officer was killed after he had accomplished his task. The last name to be recorded here is Frank Bernard Wearne second-lieutenant in the Essex Regiment to whom the Victoria Cross was posthumously awarded on August 2nd 1917. He was in command of a small party on the left of a raid on the enemys trenches when "by his tenacity in remaining at his post though severely wounded, and his magnificent fighting spirit Second-Lieutenant Wearne was enabled to hold onto the flank.” “Let us now praise famous men------” The adjuration inevitably comes to mind on reading the summarised account of the deeds of these hundred and forty-five true heroes. Brief and unadorned as the summary is, owing to the exigencies of space and proportion it never­theless stirs that thrill in the heart which responds only to the pure note of the beautiful and the sublime. Com­pleting his task the chronicler inclines to the view that the style of the seemingly unemotional official award is the proper one for the subject. Statement of the facts is sufficient when the facts are exhibitions of courage, endurance devotion self-sacrifice. To apply epithets to these savours of impertinence. It is good to read the story in plain English. It is glorious to know that it is true. END O F VOLUME 10.
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