Personal info

  • Name: Cecil Leonard KNOX
  • D.O.B: 9th May, 1888
  • D.O.A: 22nd Mar, 1918
  • D.O.D: 4th Feb, 1943
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Temporary Second Lieutenant, 150th Field Company, Corps of Royal Engineers, 36th Division
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Tugny, France 22 March 1918

22 March 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

As the Germans advanced, following the opening of their Spring offensive on 21 March 1918, the British prepared to block their path by destroying bridges over major waterways. On 22 March twelve bridges over the Somme and its canal in 36th Division’s sector were blown up by 150th and 121st Field Companies RE under Temporary Second Lieutenant C L Knox. The bridge at Tugny on the St Quentin Canal, south-west of St Quentin and just north of where it met the Somme Canal, was destroyed only as a result of Knox’s own gallant action.


 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty Twelve bridges were entrusted to this Officer for demolition, and all of them were successfully destroyed. In the case of one steel girder bridge, the destruction of which he personally supervised, the time fuze failed to act. Without hesitation 2nd Lt. Knox ran to the bridge, under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, and when the enemy were actually on the bridge he tore away the time fuze and lit the instantaneous fuze, to do which he had to get under the bridge. This was an act of the highest devotion to duty, entailing the greatest risks, which, as a practical civil engineer, he fully realised. 

Twelfth Supplement to The London Gazette of 31 May 1918. 4 June 1918, Numb. 30726, pp. 6571-72

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