Personal info

  • Name: William MARINER
  • D.O.B: 29th May, 1882
  • D.O.A: 22nd May, 1915
  • D.O.D: 1st Jul, 1916
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Rifleman, 2nd Battalion The King’s Royal Rifle Corps, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Cambrin, France 22 May 1915

22 May 1915

More details about:
The First World War 1915 

On 22 May 1915, 2nd Battalion The Kings Royal Rifle Corps was holding the line in the Cuinchy-Cambrin sector, south of Festubert and south of the Canal d’Aire between Béthune and La Bassée. On Rifleman W Mariner’s return to the trenches after his action he was nearly bayoneted by a British soldier who mistook him for a German.


 During a violent thunderstorm on the night of 22nd May, 1915, he left his trench near Cambrin, and crept out through the German wire entanglements till he reached the emplacement of a German machine gun which had been damaging our parapets and hindering our working parties. After climbing on the top of the German parapet he threw a bomb in under the roof of the gun emplacement and heard some groaning and the enemy running away. After about a quarter of an hour he heard some of them coming back again, and climbed up on the other side of the emplacement and threw another bomb among them left-handed. He then lay still while the Germans opened a heavy fire on the wire entanglement behind him, and it was only after about an hour that he was able to crawl back to his own trench. Before starting out he had requested a serjeant to open fire on the enemy’s trenches as soon as he had thrown his bombs. Rifleman Mariner was out alone for one and a half hours carrying out this gallant work. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 22 June 1915. 23 June 1915, Numb. 29202, p. 6116

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