Personal info

  • Name: James Edward TAIT
  • D.O.B: 27th May, 1886
  • D.O.A: 11th August, 1918
  • D.O.D: 11th August, 1918
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 78th Battalion The Manitoba Regiment (Winnipeg Grenadiers), 12th Brigade, 4th Canadian Division, Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Beaucourt Wood to Hallu, France 8-11 August 1918

8-11 August 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

On 8 August 1918, the first day of the Battle of Amiens, the 78th Battalion (Winnipeg Grenadiers) advanced east through Hangard and Démuin. At Beaucourt Wood it came under heavy machine-gun fire and Lieutenant J E Tait was ordered to attack a German position and in so doing distinguished himself by his gallantry. The battalion had progressed twelve miles by nightfall. The Allied advance continued and by 11 August, the final day of the Battle, 78th Battalion held Hallu, just south of Chaulnes, about ten miles west of the Somme. Here the German Alpine Corps counter-attacked and, though Lieutenant Tait again displayed outstanding courage, he was killed during the fighting. The Germans succeeded in retaking Hallu and the Canadians withdrew half a mile west to the main defence line east of Chilly.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack. The advance having been checked by intense machine-gun fire, Lt. Tait rallied his company and led it forward with consummate skill and dash under a hail of bullets. A concealed machine-gun, however, continued to cause many casualties. Taking a rifle and bayonet, Lt. Tait dashed forward alone and killed the enemy gunner. Inspired by his example his men rushed the position, capturing twelve machine-guns and twenty prisoners. His valorous action cleared the way for his battalion to advance. Later when the enemy counter-attacked our positions under intense artillery bombardment, this gallant officer displayed outstanding courage and leadership, and though mortally wounded by a shell, continued to direct and aid his men until his death. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 24 September 1918. 27 September 1918, Numb. 30922, p. 11429

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