Personal info

  • Name: Clifford William King SADLIER
  • D.O.B: 11th Jun, 1892
  • D.O.A: 25th Apr, 1918
  • D.O.D: 28th Apr, 1964
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 51st Battalion (Victoria), 13th Brigade, 4th Division, Australian Imperial Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Villers-Bretonneux, France 24-25 April 1918

24-25 April 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

Throughout much of April 1918 the German line had run to the east of Villers-Bretonneux on the Amiens to St Quentin road, just east of Amiens. On 24 April 1918 a German attack succeeded in capturing Villers-Bretonneux and the surrounding area. Concerned that this might presage an advance on Amiens itself, the British counter-attacked that evening and by the following day had recaptured Villers-Bretonneux. A major role in this success had been played by the 13th and 15th Australian Infantry Brigades. In the course of the action Lieutenant C W K Sadlier, 51st Battalion, was ordered to capture Monument Wood, south-east of Villers. Assisted by Sergeant C A Stokes, Sadlier led his bombing sections against German machine-guns in the wood to devastating effect. Stokes was also recommended for the VC but was awarded the DCM.


 For conspicuous bravery during a counter-attack by his battalion on strong enemy positions. Lt. Sadlier’s platoon, which was on the left of the battalion, had to advance through a wood where a strong enemy machine-gun post caused casualties and prevented the platoon from advancing. Although himself wounded, he at once collected his bombing section, led them against the machine guns, and succeeded in killing the crews and capturing two of the guns. By this time Lt. Sadlier’s party were all casualties, and he alone attacked a third enemy machine gun with his revolver, killing the crew of four and taking the gun. In doing so, he was again wounded. The very gallant conduct of this officer was the means of clearing the flank, and allowing the battalion to move forward, thereby saving a most critical situation. His coolness and utter disregard of danger inspired all. 

Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 9 July 1918. 11 July 1918, Numb. 30790, p. 8156

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