Personal info

  • Name: John Thomas DAVIES
  • D.O.B: 29th September, 1896
  • D.O.A: 24th March, 1918
  • D.O.D: 28th October, 1955
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Corporal, 11th Battalion Prince of Wales’s Volunteers (South Lancashire Regiment), 21st Brigade, 30th Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Near Eppeville, France 24 March 1918

24 March 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

When by the end of 23 March 1918 the German offensive had reached the Somme and the Crozat Canal, south-west of St Quentin, 11th Battalion The South Lancashire Regiment was in the line between Eppeville, across the Somme canal from Ham, and Esmery Hallon to the south-west. On the morning of the 24th the enemy crossed the river at Ham. Two companies of the South Lancashire Regiment were almost surrounded and it was the gallant action of Corporal J T Davies in temporarily holding off the Germans that allowed them to withdraw. By the end of the day the enemy had pushed as far west as the Canal du Nord near Ercheu.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire. When his company – outflanked on both sides – received orders to withdraw, Corporal Davies knew that the only line of withdrawal lay through a deep stream lined with a belt of barbed wire, and that it was imperative to hold up the enemy as long as possible. He mounted the parapet, fully exposing himself, in order to get a more effective field of fire, and kept his Lewis gun in action to the last, causing the enemy many casualties and checking their advance. By his very great devotion to duty he enabled part of his company to get across the river, which they would otherwise have been unable to do, thus undoubtedly saving the lives of many of his comrades. When last seen this gallant N.C.O. was still firing his gun, with the enemy close on the top of him, and was in all probability killed at his gun. 

Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 21 May 1918. 22 May 1918, Numb. 30697, p. 6058

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