Personal info

  • Name: John LYNN
  • D.O.B: 21st Apr, 1888
  • D.O.A: 2nd May, 1915
  • D.O.D: 3rd May, 1915
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 2nd Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers, 12th Brigade, 4th Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Wieltje, near Ypres, Belgium 2 May 1915

2 May 1915

More details about:
The First World War 1915 

At the end of April 1915 2nd Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers replaced 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment along the front line north of Wieltje, about half way between Ypres and St Julien, the village which the British had failed to recapture in the early days of the Second Battle of Ypres. The battalion was equipped with four machine-guns. One, with Private John Lynn in charge, was sited on a parapet slightly to the west of the Wieltje-St Julien road. At 4pm on 2 May, the Germans released gas before advancing. Lynn, although almost overcome by the fumes, handled his machine gun with great effect against the attacking troops, moving it higher up the parapet and securing it to a tree stump so he could fire more effectively. This helped check any further enemy advance. He was eventually overcome by the gas and had to be lifted dying from the parapet. 18 officers and 431 other ranks of the 2nd Battalion had to be treated for the after-effects of the gas to which they had been exposed that day.


 For most conspicuous bravery near Ypres on 2nd May, 1915. When the Germans were advancing behind their wave of asphyxiating gas, Private Lynn, although almost overcome by the deadly fumes, handled his machine gun with very great effect against the enemy, and when he could not see them he moved his gun higher up on the parapet, which enabled him to bring even more effective fire to bear, and eventually checked any further advance. The great courage displayed by this soldier had a fine effect on his comrades in the very trying circumstances. He died the following day from the effects of gas poisoning. 

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