Personal info

  • Name: Okill Massey LEARMONTH
  • D.O.B: 20th Feb, 1894
  • D.O.A: 18th Aug, 1917
  • D.O.D: 19th Aug, 1917
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Acting Major, 2nd Battalion The Eastern Ontario Regiment, 1st Canadian Division, Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Hill 70, near Lens, France 18 August 1917

18 August 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

On 15 August 1917 Hill 70 near Lens was taken by Canadian troops (see above) and fighting continued there until the 25th. There was a major German counter-attack on 18 August.


 For most conspicuous bravery and exceptional devotion to duty. During a determined counter- attack on our new positions, this officer, when his company was momentarily surprised, instantly charged and personally disposed of the attackers. Later, he carried on a tremendous fight with the advancing enemy. Although under intense barrage fire and mortally wounded, he stood on the parapet of the trench, bombed the enemy continuously and directed the defence in such a manner as to infuse a spirit of utmost resistance into his men. On several occasions this very brave officer actually caught bombs thrown at him by the enemy and threw them back. When he was unable by reason of his wounds to carry on the fight he still refused to he carried out of the line, and continued to give instructions and invaluable advice to his junior officers, finally handing over all his duties before he was evacuated from the front line to the hospital where he died.
War Office, 22nd April, 1918. Amendments. The following are the correct descriptions of the Officers upon whom the Victoria Cross has recently been conferred:– Capt. (A/Maj.) Okill Massey Learmonth, V.C., M.C., late Can. Infy. (VC gazetted 8th November, 1917.)

Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 6 November 1917. 8 November 1917, Numb. 30372, p. 11567 and Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 19 April 1918. 22 April 1918, Numb. 30643, p. 4836

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