Personal info

  • Name: William Donovan JOYNT
  • D.O.B: 19th March, 1889
  • D.O.A: 23rd August, 1918
  • D.O.D: 23rd August, 1986
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 8th Battalion (Victoria), 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Australian Imperial Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Battle of Albert (third day), France 23 August 1918

23 August 1918

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The First World War 1918 

In the Battle of Albert, which began on 21 August 1918, III Corps of Third Army sought to advance the line north of Albert as far as the railway to Arras. On the opening day of the Battle, Lieutenant Colonel R A West VC had distinguished himself in the fighting at Courcelles-le-Comte, north-west of Bapaume. The village was captured early on the morning of the 23rd and it was for his gallantry in this action that Private H McIver, 2nd Battalion The Royal Scots, was awarded the VC. While the Third Army had responsibility for the advance in the northern sector, the southern sector, from a line just north of Albert itself, was assigned to the Fourth Army and here the troops of the Australian Imperial Force played a significant role. Lieutenant W D Joynt, 8th Battalion (Victoria), was awarded the VC for his gallantry during the fighting at Herleville and Plateau Woods, south of Chuignes, near the Amiens-St Quentin road, just west of Foucaucourt. A couple of miles to the south-east, Lieutenant L D McCarthy, 16th Battalion (South Australia and Western Australia), similarly distinguished himself in the attack on Madame Wood, near Vermandovillers, north of Lihons.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the attack on Herleville Wood, near Chuignes, Peronne, on 23rd August, 1918. His company commander having been killed early in the advance, he immediately took charge of the company, which he led with courage and skill. On approaching Herleville Wood the troops of the leading battalion, which his battalion was supporting, suffered very heavy casualties and were much shaken. Lt. Joynt, grasping the situation, rushed forward under very heavy machine-gun and artillery fire, collected and reorganised the remnant of the battalion, and kept them under cover, pending the arrival of his own company. He then made a personal reconnaissance and found that the fire from the wood was checking the whole advance and causing heavy casualties to troops on his flanks. Dashing out in front of his men, he inspired and led a magnificent frontal bayonet attack on the wood. The enemy were staggered by this sudden onslaught, and a very critical situation was saved. Later, at Plateau Wood, this very gallant officer again with a small party of volunteers rendered invaluable service, and after severe hand-to-hand fighting turned a stubborn defence into an abject surrender. His valour and determination was conspicuous throughout, and he continued to do magnificent work until badly wounded by a shell. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 26 November 1918. 27 November 1918, Numb. 31034, p. 14040

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