Personal info

  • Name: George Julian HOWELL
  • D.O.B: 21st November, 1893
  • D.O.A: 6th May, 1917
  • D.O.D: 23rd December, 1964
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Corporal, 1st Battalion (NSW), 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, Australian Imperial Force
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Near Bullecourt, France 6 May 1917

6 May 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

On 3 May 1917, as part of the more general assault on the Hindenburg Line, 2nd Division, Australian Imperial Force, attacked German positions near Bullecourt, just south-east of Croisilles, itself south-east of Arras. The Australians made some progress but on 6 May the Germans counter-attacked. At 6.00am Corporal G J Howell, 1st Battalion (NSW), 1st Brigade, saw that the 3rd Battalion to his right was retiring and feared the enemy would outflank his own battalion. While Lieutenant T J Richards provided covering fire with a Lewis gun, he climbed on to the parapet and bombed the enemy, forcing them back along the trench and preparing the way for 1st Battalion to reclaim lost ground.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery. Seeing a party of the enemy were likely to outflank his Battalion, Cpl. Howell, on his own initiative, single-handed and exposed to heavy bomb and rifle fire, climbed on to the top of the parapet and proceeded to bomb the enemy, pressing them back along the trench. Having exhausted his stock of bombs, he continued to attack the enemy with his bayonet. He was then severely wounded. The prompt action and gallant conduct of this N.C.O. in the face of superior numbers was witnessed by the whole Battalion and greatly inspired them in the subsequent successful counter attack. 

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

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