Personal info

  • Name: James SMITH
  • D.O.B: 5th Jan, 1881
  • D.O.A: 21st Dec, 1914
  • D.O.D: 21st May, 1968
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 3rd Battalion The Border Regiment, attached to 2nd Battalion, 20th Brigade, 7th Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Rouges Bancs, France 19 and 21 December 1914

19 and 21 December 1914

More details about:
The First World War 1914 

The British 7th Division occupied positions between Neuve Chapelle and Armentières. For three weeks in December 1914 the division made repeated attacks on the German trenches. On 19 December 1914 an assault by the 20th Infantry Brigade at Rouges Bancs, three miles north-east of Neuve Chapelle, ran into difficulty and 2nd Battalion Scots Guards found itself in an untenable position. It was for his gallantry during this action in rescuing and attempting to rescue wounded men that Private J Mackenzie, Scots Guards, was awarded a posthumous VC. On 21 December 1914 Privates A Acton and J Smith of 2nd Battalion The Border Regiment rescued a man mortally wounded in the same action from in front of the German trenches. They later rescued another man.


 For conspicuous bravery on 21st December, at Rouges Bancs, in voluntarily going from their trench and rescuing a wounded man who had been lying exposed against the enemy’s trenches for 75 hours, and on the same day again leaving their trench voluntarily, under heavy fire, to bring into cover another wounded man. They were under fire for 60 minutes whilst conveying the wounded men into safety. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 16 February 1915. 18 February 1915, Numb. 29074, p. 1700

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