Personal info

  • Name: Edgar Thomas TOWNER
  • D.O.B: 19th Apr, 1890
  • D.O.A: 1st Sep, 1918
  • D.O.D: 10th Apr, 1972
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Lieutenant, 7th Machine-Gun Company, attached 24th Battalion, 6th Brigade, 2nd Division, Australian Imperial Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Mont St Quentin, France 1 September 1918

1 September 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

In the Australian attack on Péronne, which was captured on 1 September 1918, there was fierce fighting around Mont St Quentin, a village on the northern outskirts of the town. Mont St Quentin had been briefly seized on 31 August but was only finally captured, like the town itself, on 1 September.


 For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty on 1st September, 1918, in the attack on Mont St. Quentin, near Peronne, when in charge of four Vickers guns. During the early stages of the advance he located and captured, single-handed, an enemy machine-gun which was causing casualties, and by turning it on the enemy inflicted severe losses. Subsequently, by the skilful, tactical handling of his guns, he cut off and captured twentyfive of the enemy. Later, by fearless reconnaissance under heavy fire, and by the energy, foresight and promptitude with which he brought fire to bear on various enemy groups, he gave valuable support to the infantry advance. Again, when short of ammunition, he secured an enemy machine-gun, which he mounted and fired in full view of the enemy, causing the enemy to retire further, and enabling our infantry to advance. Under intense fire, although wounded, he maintained the fire of this gun at a very critical period. During the following night he steadied and gave valuable support to a small detached post, and by his coolness and cheerfulness inspirited the men in a great degree. Throughout the night he kept close watch by personal reconnaissance on the enemy movements, and was evacuated exhausted thirty hours after being wounded. The valour and resourcefulness of Lt. Towner undoubtedly saved a very critical situation, and contributed largely to the success of the attack. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 13 December 1918. 14 December 1918, Numb. 31067, p. 14775

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