- Name: John Harold RHODES
- D.O.B: 17th May, 1891
- D.O.A: 9th October, 1917
- D.O.D: 27th November, 1917
- Award: Victoria Cross
- Occupation at time of action: Lance Sergeant, 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards, Guards Division
Poelcapelle, Belgium 9 October 1917
9 October 1917
The First World War 1917
On 9 October 1917, in the Battle of Poelcapelle, one of a series of advances intended to drive the Germans off the Passchendaele Ridge, the British sought to exploit the advantage they had gained in the Battle of Broodseinde five days earlier (see above) but only made small gains. The Guards Division attacked the German line near Houthulst Forest, northeast of Langemark, where there had already been fighting a month earlier. Lance Sergeant J H Rhodes distinguished himself in the action by capturing an enemy pillbox. To the south of the Guards Division, 4th Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment advanced north of the Ypres-Staden railway line. Its first objective was Namur Crossing, where the remains of a road ran beneath the railway. In this fighting Private F G Dancox took a German pillbox single- handed. Meanwhile 1st Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers and 2nd Battalion The Royal Fusiliers attacked south of the railway line. In this action, Sergeant J Lister, 1st Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers, captured a German stronghold at Olga House, while Sergeant J Molyneux, 2nd Battalion The Royal Fusiliers, dealt with a series of obstacles around Condé House. South of the Ypres-Staden railway line, 6th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment advanced through Poelcapelle itself but met strong opposition from a German position near a former brewery. Corporal W Clamp succeeded in capturing one of the enemy pillboxes but was subsequently killed while trying to flush out snipers. However, by the end of the day the Germans had been able to reoccupy many of their former positions.
For most conspicuous bravery when in charge of a Lewis gun section covering the consolidation of the right front company. He accounted for several enemy with his rifle as well as by Lewis gun fire, and, upon seeing three enemy leave a “pill-box,” he went out single-handed through our own barrage and hostile machine-gun fire, and effected an entry into the “pill-box.” He there captured nine enemy, including a forward observation officer connected by telephone with his battery. These prisoners he brought back with him, together with valuable information.