Personal info

  • Name: James WELCH
  • D.O.B: 7th Jul, 1889
  • D.O.A: 29th Apr, 1917
  • D.O.D: 28th Jun, 1978
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lance Corporal, 1st Battalion The Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment), 99th Brigade, 2nd Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Near Oppy, France 29 April 1917

29 April 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

Oppy was just over a mile north of Gavrelle and the action there on 29 April 1917 was part of the wider assault on the Hindenburg Line. 1st Battalion The Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment) attacked the German positions near Oppy but after initial progress was forced to withdraw to its former front line.


 For most conspicuous bravery. On entering the enemy trench, he killed one man after a severe hand-to-hand struggle. Armed only with an empty revolver, L/Cpl. Welch then chased four of the enemy across the open and captured them single-handed. He handled his machine gun with the utmost fearlessness, and more than once went into the open fully exposed to heavy fire at short range, to search for and collect ammunition and spare parts in order to keep his guns in action, which he succeeded in doing for over five hours till wounded by a shell. He showed throughout the utmost valour and initiative. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 26 June 1917. 27 June 1917, Numb. 30154, p. 6382

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