- Name: Ernest SYKES
- D.O.B: 14th Apr, 1885
- D.O.A: 9th Apr, 1917
- D.O.D: 3rd Aug, 1949
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Private, 27th Battalion The Northumberland Fusiliers, 34th Division
- Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
Near Roclincourt, France 9 April 1917
9 April 1917
The First World War 1917
Slightly to the south-west of Vimy Ridge, the 25th and 27th Battalions The Northumberland Fusiliers, were among British troops seeking to sweep south-east towards Cambrai on the first day of the Battle of Arras. Near Roclincourt, north-east of Arras on the Thélus road, they came under heavy machine-gun fire from the German line. After an accompanying officer had been killed, Lance Corporal T Bryan although wounded in the right arm, advanced alone and disabled a particularly dangerous machine-gun, allowing his division to move forward. Private E Sykes distinguished himself by rescuing those wounded in the action.
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when his battalion in attack was held up about 350 yards in advance of our lines by intense fire from front and flank, and suffered heavy casualties. Pte. Sykes, despite this heavy fire, went forward and brought back four wounded - he made a fifth journey and remained out under conditions which appeared to be certain death, until he had bandaged all those who were too badly wounded to be moved. These gallant actions, performed under incessant machine gun and rifle fire, showed an utter contempt of danger.