Personal info

  • Name: Lawrence Dominic McCARTHY
  • D.O.B: 21st January, 1892
  • D.O.A: 23rd August, 1918
  • D.O.D: 25th April, 1975
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 16th Battalion (South Australia and Western Australia), 4th Brigade, 4th 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, initiative and leadership on the morning of the 23rd August, 1918, in attack near Madame Wood, east of Vermandovillers (north of Chaulnes). Although the objectives of his battalion were attained without serious opposition, the battalion on the left flank was heavily opposed by well-posted machine guns. Lt. McCarthy, realising the situation, at once engaged the nearest machine-gun post, but still the attacking troops failed to get forward. This officer then determined to attack the nearest post. Leaving his men to continue the fire fight, he, with two others, dashed across the open and succeeded in reaching the block. Although single-handed, as he had outdistanced his comrades, and despite serious opposition and obstacles, he captured the gun and continued to fight his way down the trench, inflicting heavy casualties, and capturing three more machine guns. At this stage, being some 700 yards from his starting point, he was joined by one of his men, and together they continued to bomb up the trench until touch was established with an adjoining unit. Lt. McCarthy, during this most daring advance, single-handed killed twenty of the enemy and captured in addition five machine guns and fifty prisoners. By his gallant and determined action he saved a critical situation, prevented many casualties, and was mainly, if not entirely, responsible for the final objective being taken. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 13 December 1918. 14 December 1918, Numb. 31067, p. 14776

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