- Name: John Franks VALLENTIN
- D.O.B: 14th May, 1882
- D.O.A: 7th November, 1914
- D.O.D: 7th November, 1914
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Captain, 1st Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment, 22nd Brigade, 7th Division
Zillebeke, Belgium 7 November 1914
7 November 1914
The First World War 1914
As the enemy pressure on the Ypres Salient continued, on 6 November 1914 the Germans captured trenches from 4th Guards Brigade near Zillebeke, just south-east of Ypres. On the next day the South Staffordshire, Royal Warwickshire and The Queen’s Royal West Surrey regiments attempted to retake them. Captain J F Vallentin, who had been wounded on 30 October at Zandvoorde, discharged himself from hospital in Ypres to command the South Staffordshires as their most senior surviving officer. The first enemy trench was captured, together with three machine-guns. However, German reinforcements forced the British to withdraw to their starting position. Vallentin was killed during the action and his body never found.
For conspicuous bravery on 7th November at Zillebeke. When leading the attack against the Germans under a very heavy fire he was struck down, and on rising to continue the attack was immediately killed. The capture of the enemy’s trenches which followed was in a great measure due to the confidence which the men had in their Captain, arising from his many previous acts of great bravery and ability.