Personal info

  • Name: Arthur Frederick SAUNDERS
  • D.O.B: 23rd April, 1878
  • D.O.A: 26th September, 1915
  • D.O.D: 30th July, 1947
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, 9th Battalion The Suffolk Regiment, 71st Brigade, 24th Division

Near Loos, France 26 September 1915

26 September 1915

More details about:
The First World War 1915 

The 9th Battalion The Suffolk Regiment was among the reserves hurried forward to support the British offensive after the initial assaults at the Battle of Loos on 25 September. By the next morning it had taken up positions in captured German support trenches between Hulluch and Hill 70. It was ordered to attack at about 11.30am, advancing beyond the Hulluch to Lens road, though meeting very heavy opposition, causing the battalion’s flanks to fall back. When his officer was wounded, Sergeant A F Saunders took charge of two machine-guns and supported charges made by the Cameron Highlanders. He and Second Lieutenant (later General Sir Philip) Christison, 6th Battalion Cameron Highlanders, soon found themselves isolated as the British fell back. One of Saunders’ legs was now nearly torn off by a shell and Christison applied a tourniquet to it. Despite his wounds Saunders used a Lewis gun to repel a German attack. He and Christison were later rescued by stretcher-bearers. For his bravery Christison was awarded the MC.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery. When his officer had been wounded in the attack he took charge of two machine guns and a few men, and, although severely wounded in the thigh, closely followed the last four charges of another battalion, and rendered every possible support. Later, when the remains of the battalion which he had been supporting had been forced to retire, he stuck to one of his guns, continued to give clear orders, and by continuous firing did his best to cover the retirement. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 28 March 1916. 30 March 1916, Numb. 29527, pp. 3409-10

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