Personal info

  • Name: Sidney Frank GODLEY
  • D.O.B: 14th August, 1889
  • D.O.A: 23rd August, 1914
  • D.O.D: 29th June, 1957
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 4th Battalion The Royal Fusiliers, (City of London Regiment) 9th Brigade

Nimy, Belgium

23 August 1914

More details about:
The First World War 1914 

On 23 August 1914 the Germans attacked General Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien’s II Corps, which was deployed along the Mons-Condé canal. This ran east from Condé across the Franco-Belgian border to Mons and then curved north around Mons to Nimy and Obourg, a distance of about twenty-three miles. The 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers were defending the Nimy bridges, just north of Mons, and it was here that the Germans concentrated their offensive, sending four battalions against the bridges which were being defended by Y Company. Lieutenant M J Dease, 4th Royal Fusiliers, the Battalion Machine-Gun Officer, crossed open ground a number of times to see why a gun had stopped firing. When nearly all his men had become casualties and though badly injured himself, Dease took over a gun and managed to hold a bridge against the Germans until hit a fifth time. He was carried to safety by Lieutenant F W A Steele, the only man left uninjured in the section, but died of his wounds. When Steele called for someone to take over a gun and cover the retreat of the company, Private S F Godley, who had been assisting Dease, volunteered and held the enemy from the bridge single-handedly for two hours under very heavy fire though wounded twice. His final act was to destroy the gun and throw the pieces into the canal. He was found by two Belgian civilians who took him to hospital at Mons. He was eventually taken prisoner.

Citation

 For coolness and gallantry in fighting his machine gun under a hot fire for two hours after he had been wounded at Mons on 23rd August. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 24 November 1914. 25 November 1914, Numb. 28985, p. 9957

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