Personal info

  • Name: John Spencer DUNVILLE
  • D.O.B: 7th May, 1896
  • D.O.A: 25th Jun, 1917
  • D.O.D: 26th Jun, 1917
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Second Lieutenant, 1st (Royal) Dragoons
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Épehy, France 24-25 June 1917

24-25 June 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

On the night of 24-25 June 1917 two parties of Royal Dragoons were sent on a raid to probe enemy lines near Épehy, between Cambrai and St Quentin. The German wire was to be breached by Bangalore torpedoes (explosive charges fixed to the end of a series of tubes and pushed under the obstacle to be removed). The tubes of one torpedo became twisted and Second Lieutenant J S Dunville shielded an NCO with his body as he repaired the damaged joint. He then urged the troops on in their assault, afterwards walking back to the British lines, some 800 yards away, with his left arm practically hanging off. He was taken to Villers-Faucon where it was amputated, but died of his injuries the following day.


 For most conspicuous bravery. When in charge of a party consisting of scouts and Royal Engineers engaged in the demolition of the enemy’s wire, this officer displayed great gallantry and disregard of all personal danger. In order to ensure the absolute success of the work entrusted to him, 2nd Lt. Dunville placed himself between an N.C.O. of the Royal Engineers and the enemy’s fire, and, thus protected, this N.C.O. was enabled to complete a work of great importance. 2nd Lt. Dunville, although severely wounded, continued to direct his men in the wire-cutting and general operations until the raid was successfully completed, thereby setting a magnificent example of courage, determination and devotion to duty, to all ranks under his command. This gallant officer has since succumbed to his wounds. 

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

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