Personal info

  • Name: John William ORMSBY
  • D.O.B: 11th Jan, 1881
  • D.O.A: 14th Apr, 1917
  • D.O.D: 29th Jul, 1952
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, 2nd Battalion The King’s Own (Yorkshire Light Infantry), 14th Brigade, 32nd Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Fayet, Aisne, France 14 April 1917

14 April 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

In the spring of 1917 the British were probing German positions west of St Quentin. On 14 April, 2nd Battalion The King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and 16th Battalion The Highland Light Infantry attacked the village of Fayet, just north-west of St Quentin. In the action, Sergeant J W Ormsby distinguished himself, taking charge of his Company when its only surviving officer, Second Lieutenant Pickering, was wounded. There was a further action at Fayet on 28 April 1917


 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during operations which culminated in the capture of an important position. Acting as Company Serjeant-Major he showed throughout the attack absolute indifference to the heavy machine gun and rifle fire, and set a fine example. After clearing the village he pushed on and drove out many snipers from localities further forward. When the only surviving officer was wounded he took command of the company and led them forward under heavy fire for 400 yards to a new position. He organised his new position with great skill and held his line with determination until relieved of his command. His conduct throughout was admirable and inspired confidence in every man under his command. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 8 June 1917. 8 June 1917, Numb. 30122, p. 5704

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