Personal info

  • Name: Harold John COLLEY
  • D.O.B: 26th May, 1894
  • D.O.A: 25th Aug, 1918
  • D.O.D: 25th Aug, 1918
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Acting Sergeant, 10th Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers, 52nd Brigade, 17th Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Martinpuich, France 25 August 1918

25 August 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

Martinpuich is south-west of Bapaume and about halfway between it and Albert. As part of the British offensive, it was attacked on 25 August 1918 and captured by 10th Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers and 12th Battalion The Manchester Regiment. A German counterattack failed to retake it.


 For most conspicuous bravery and initiative when in command of a platoon in support of forward platoons which had been ordered to hold on at all costs. When the enemy counter-attacked in force, he rushed forward on his own initiative to help the forward line, rallying and controlling the men holding it. The enemy by this time were advancing quickly, and had already obtained a footing in the trench. Sjt. Colley then formed a defensive flank and held it. Out of the two platoons only three men remained unwounded, and he himself was dangerously wounded. It was entirely due to Sjt. Colley’s action that the enemy were prevented from breaking through, and were eventually driven off. His courage and tenacity saved a very critical situation. 

Ninth Supplement to The London Gazette of 18 October 1918. 22 October 1918, Numb. 30967, p. 12488

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