Personal info

  • Name: Charles Smith RUTHERFORD
  • D.O.B: 9th Jan, 1892
  • D.O.A: 26th Aug, 1918
  • D.O.D: 11th Jun, 1989
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles, The Quebec Regiment, 8th Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division, Canadian Expeditionary Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Monchy-le-Preux, France 26 August 1918

26 August 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

While Third Army sought to encircle and capture Bapaume, to its north the First Army launched the Battle of the Scarpe on 26 August 1918, to push the Germans east in the Arras Sector. 2nd and 3rd Canadian Divisions attacked along a line running south from Fampoux on the Scarpe, east of Arras, to Neuville-Vitasse, north of the River Scarpe. In the centre of this front was Monchy-le-Preux, just north of the Arras to Cambrai road.


 For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty. When in command of an assaulting party Lt. Rutherford found himself a considerable distance ahead of his men, and at the same moment observed a fully armed strong enemy party outside a “Pill-Box” ahead of him. He beckoned to them with his revolver to come to him, in return they waved to him to come to them. This he boldly did, and informed them that they were prisoners. This fact an enemy officer disputed, and invited Lt. Rutherford to enter the “Pill-Box,” an invitation he discreetly declined. By masterly bluff, however, he persuaded the enemy that they were surrounded, and the whole party of 45, including two officers and three machine guns, surrendered to him. Subsequently he induced the enemy officer to stop the fire of an enemy machine-gun close by, and Lt. Rutherford took advantage of the opportunity to hasten the advance of his men to his support. Lt. Rutherford then observed that the right assaulting party was held up by heavy machinegun fire from another “Pill-Box.” Indicating an objective to the remainder of his party he attacked the “Pill-Box” with a Lewis gun section and captured a further 35 prisoners with machine guns, thus enabling the party to continue their advance. The bold and gallant action of this officer contributed very materially to the capture of the main objective and was a wonderful inspiration to all ranks in pressing home the attack on a very strong position. 

Seventh Supplement to The London Gazette of 12 November 1918. 15 November 1918, Numb. 31012, p. 13472

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