Personal info

  • Name: John MOYNEY
  • D.O.B: 8th Jan, 1895
  • D.O.A: 16th Sep, 1917
  • D.O.D: 10th Nov, 1980
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lance Sergeant, 2nd Battalion Irish Guards, Guards Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Ney Copse, east of the Broenbeek, Belgium 13-16 September 1917

13-16 September 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

On 12 September 1917, six platoons from 2nd Battalion The Irish Guards took up position in a bridgehead in the Ypres Salient at Ney Copse and Ney Wood, east of the Broenbeek river where it flowed between Wijdendrift, north of Langemark, and the southern edge of Houthulst Forest. An advanced post was occupied by a platoon led by Lance Sergeant J Moyney. On the 13th the Germans attacked and the Irish Guards decided to withdraw back across the Broenbeek. In the confusion, Moyney and his men were left behind, with a German machine-gun post now between them and the new British front line. By the morning of the 16th, the Germans were closing in on them and Moyney and his men charged through the encircling Germans, eventually reaching safety. As they were withdrawing across the Broenbeek, Private T Woodcock rescued the injured Private Hilley from the river. There was renewed fighting at this location during the British attack on 9 October 1917.


 For most conspicuous bravery when in command of fifteen men forming two advanced posts. In spite of being surrounded by the enemy he held his post for ninety-six hours, having no water and little food. On the morning of the fifth day a large force of the enemy advanced to dislodge him. He ordered his men out of their shell holes, and, taking the initiative, attacked the advancing enemy with bombs, while he used his Lewis gun with great effect from a flank. Finding himself surrounded by superior numbers, he led back his men in a charge through the enemy, and reached a stream which lay between the posts and the line. Here he instructed his party to cross at once while he and Pte. Woodcock remained to cover their retirement. When the whole of his force had gained the south-west bank unscathed he himself crossed under a shower of bombs. It was due to endurance, skill and devotion to duty shown by this noncommissioned officer that he was able to bring his entire force safely out of action. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 16 Octopber 1917. 17 October 1917, Numb. 30338, p. 10678

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