Personal info

  • Name: Douglas Walter BELCHER
  • D.O.B: 15th July, 1889
  • D.O.A: 13th May, 1915
  • D.O.D: 3rd June, 1953
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lance Sergeant, 1st/5th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade), 11th Brigade

Near Wieltje, Belgium 13 May 1915

13 May 1915

More details about:
The First World War 1915 

Early in the morning of 13 May 1915 the Germans unleashed the heaviest bombardment yet seen on the Ypres Salient and many British positions were destroyed. Lance Sergeant D W Belcher and 18 men from the 1st/5th (City of London) Battalion held 40 yards of trench south of the Wieltje-St Julien Road and two miles north-east of Ypres. Belcher and his men subsequently moved to an adjoining less badly-damaged trench. By then his party was reduced to only five but for nine hours, until they were relieved, they successfully defended their position against the enemy.

Citation

 On the early morning of 13th May, 1915, when in charge of a portion of an advanced breastwork south of the Wieltje-St. Julien Road during a very fierce and continuous bombardment by the enemy, which frequently blew in the breastwork, Lance-Serjeant Belcher with a mere handful of men elected to remain and endeavour to hold his position after the troops near him had been withdrawn. By his skill and great gallantry he maintained his position during the day, opening rapid fire on the enemy, who were only 150 to 200 yards distant, whenever he saw them collecting for an attack. There is little doubt that the bold front shown by Lance-Serjeant Belcher prevented the enemy breaking through on the Wieltje Road, and averted an attack on the flank of one of our Divisions. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 22 June 1915. 23 June 1915, Numb. 29202, p. 6115

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