Personal info

  • Name: John James DWYER
  • D.O.B: 9th Mar, 1890
  • D.O.A: 27th Sep, 1917
  • D.O.D: 17th Jan, 1962
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, 4th Company, Australian Machine Gun Corps, 4th Brigade, 4th Division, Australian Imperial Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

South of Zonnebeke, Belgium 26-28 September 1917

26-28 September 1917

More details about:
The First World War 1917 

On 26 September 1917, 4th and 5th Australian Divisions launched an assault south of Zonnebeke in the course of which 5th Division captured Polygon Wood. This lay east of Hooge between Gheluvelt to the south and Zonnebeke to the north.


 For most conspicuous bravery when in attack, Sjt. Dwyer, in charge of a Vickers machine gun, went forward with the first wave of the brigade. On reaching the final objective this Non-commissioned Officer rushed his gun forward in advance of the captured position in order to obtain a commanding spot. Whilst advancing he noticed an enemy machine gun firing on the troops on our right flank and causing casualties. Unhesitatingly he rushed his gun forward to within thirty yards of the enemy gun and fired point blank at it, putting it out of action and killing the gun crew. He then seized the gun and totally ignoring the snipers from the rear of the enemy position, carried it back across the shellswept ground to our front line and established both it and his Vickers gun on the right flank of our brigade. Sjt. Dwyer commanded these guns with great coolness and when the enemy counterattacked our positions he rendered great assistance in repulsing them. On the following day when the position was heavily shelled, this Non-commissioned Officer took up successive positions. On one occasion his Vickers gun was blown up by shell fire, but he conducted his gun team back to Headquarters through the enemy barrage, secured one of the reserve guns, and rushed it back to our position in the shortest possible time. During the whole of the attack his contempt of danger, cheerfulness and courage raised the spirits of all who were in his sector of the line. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 23 November 1917. 26 November 1917, Numb. 30400, p. 12328

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