Personal info

  • Name: Samuel FRICKLETON
  • D.O.B: 1st April, 1891
  • D.O.A: 7th June, 1917
  • D.O.D: 6th September, 1971
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lance Corporal, 3rd Battalion, 3rd New Zealand (Rifle) Brigade, 4th Australian Division, New Zealand Expeditionary Force
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Messines, Belgium 7-11 June 1917

7-11 June 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

The existence of the British Ypres salient had, in effect, created a German salient directly to its south. In order to protect this vulnerable southern flank, on 7 June 1917 the British Second Army executed a long-planned assault to destroy the German salient by attacking the enemy line running along the Messines Ridge, just west of Wytschaete and Messines. The line was devastated by the explosion of nineteen mines and the subsequent British attack carried the ridge and soon captured Wytschaete and Messines. The Germans counter-attacked on the 9th and 10th but were driven back. Some fighting continued until 14 June by which time the British had consolidated their new positions. After crossing the Ridge at the opening of the Battle on the 7th, 3rd Battalion The New Zealand (Rifle) Brigade attacked the village of Messines itself. It was held up by two Germanmachine-guns in enemy positions on the outskirts. Lance Corporal S Frickleton successfully destroyed these. To its south 37th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, took part in the assault on German positions between Messines and the River Douve. Behind the second German line, enemy machine-guns in a pillbox were holding up the Australians. By running from shell-hole to shell-hole, Captain R C Grieve, 37th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, was able to bomb and destroy the pillbox. South of the River Douve and north of Ploegsteert, 33rd Battalion attacked the German positions at St Yves. Here Private J Carroll distinguished himself.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and determination when with attacking troops, which came under heavy fire and were checked. Although slightly wounded Cpl. Frickleton dashed forward at the head of his section, pushed into our barrage and personally destroyed with bombs an enemy machine gun and crew which was causing heavy casualties. He then attacked a second gun, killing the whole of the crew of twelve. By the destruction of these two guns, he undoubtedly saved his own and other units from very severe casualties, and his magnificent courage and gallantry ensured the capture of the objective. During the consolidation of the position he received a second severe wound. He set, throughout, a great example of heroism. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 31 July 1917. 2 August 1917, Numb. 30215, p. 7906

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