Personal info

  • Name: William HACKETT
  • D.O.B: 11th June, 1873
  • D.O.A: 23rd June, 1916
  • D.O.D: 23rd June, 1916
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sapper, 254th Tunnelling Company, Corps of Royal Engineers

Near Givenchy, France 22-23 June 1916

22-23 June 1916

More details about:
The First World War. 1916 

On 22-23 June 1916 while working on a mine at the Shaftesbury Avenue trench, near Givenchy, Sapper W Hackett, Royal Engineers, was entombed with four others following the explosion of a German counter-mine. Hackett, after helping to free three of the men, refused to leave Private T Collins, formerly of 14th Battalion The Welsh Regiment, who was badly injured.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery when entombed with four others in a gallery owing to the explosion of an enemy mine. After working for 20 hours a hole was made through fallen earth and broken timber, and the outside party was met. Sapper Hackett helped three of the men through the hole and could easily have followed, but refused to leave the fourth, who had been seriously injured, saying, “I am a tunneller, I must look after the others first.” Meantime the hole was getting smaller, yet he still refused to leave his injured comrade. Finally the gallery collapsed, and though the rescue party worked desperately for four days the attempt to reach the two men failed. Sapper Hackett, well knowing the nature of sliding earth, the chances against him, deliberately gave his life for his comrade. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 4 August 1916. 5 August 1916, Numb. 29695, p. 7744

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