Personal info

  • Name: Raphael (Ray) Louis ZENGEL
  • D.O.B: 11th November, 1894
  • D.O.A: 9th August, 1918
  • D.O.D: 25th February, 1977
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, 5th Battalion The Saskatchewan Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Canadian Division, Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Battle of Amiens (second day), France 9 August 1918

9 August 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

On 9 August 1918, the second day of the Battle of Amiens, the Allies continued their successful advance eastwards. III Corps was deployed between the Ancre and the Somme; from here the Australian Corps manned the line south to the Amiens-Chaulnes railway, where they handed over to the Canadians, who were responsible for the sector running south to the Amiens-Noyon road, where they met up with the French. 37th Brigade, 12th Division, was at the north of the line, just south of the Ancre. In the fighting on the 9th they attacked Morlancourt and moved east towards the old Outer Amiens Defence Line. It was for his gallantry in the attack on Morlancourt that Sergeant T J Harris, 6th Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment), was awarded a posthumous VC. Meanwhile, south of the Somme, beyond the Amiens-St Quentin road, as part of the Australian Imperial Force, 8th Battalion (Victoria) was involved in the advance towards Lihons. North of Rosières-en- Santerre, Private R M Beatham, with the assistance of Lance Corporal Nottingham, attacked and captured four enemy machine-guns. He was killed when bombing a further machinegun. Further south still, the Canadian Corps also made significant gains. South of Vrély, Canadian troops of 2nd Brigade took part in the capture of Warvillers, where Sergeant R L Zengel, 5th Battalion The Saskatchewan Regiment, and Acting Corporal A P Brereton and Corporal F G Coppins, 8th Battalion The Manitoba Regiment, distinguished themselves in the capture of machine-gun positions, Zengel south-west of the village, and Brereton and Coppins at Hatchet Wood to the north.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when protecting the battalion right flank. He was leading his platoon gallantly forward to the attack, but had not gone far when he realised that a gap had occurred on his flank, and that an enemy machine gun was firing at close range into the advancing line. Grasping the situation, he rushed forward some 200 yards ahead of the platoon, tackled the machine-gun emplacement, killed the officer and operator of the gun, and dispersed the crew. By his boldness and prompt action he undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his comrades. Later, when the battalion was held up by very heavy machine-gun fire, he displayed much tactical skill and directed his fire with destructive results. Shortly afterwards he was rendered unconscious for a few minutes by an enemy shell, but on recovering consciousness he at once continued to direct harassing fire on the enemy. Sjt. Zengel’s work throughout the attack was excellent, and his utter disregard for personal safety, and the confidence he inspired in all ranks, greatly assisted in bringing the attack to a successful end. 

Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette of 24 September 1918. 27 September 1918, Numb. 30922, p. 11430

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