Personal info

  • Name: John McNAMARA
  • D.O.B: 28th Oct, 1887
  • D.O.A: 3rd Sep, 1918
  • D.O.D: 16th Oct, 1918
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Corporal, 9th Battalion The East Surrey Regiment, 72nd Brigade, 24th Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Lens, France 2-3 September 1918

2-3 September 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

North of Arras and the northern end of the Drocourt-Quéant Line and beyond Vimy Ridge lay the town of Lens, which had been occupied by the Germans since 1914. British forces now approached it from the north-west. On 2 September 1918 9th Battalion The East Surrey Regiment began to establish posts in captured parts of the German front line. The Germans attacked these fiercely but on 3 September evacuated Lens.


 For conspicuous bravery, initiative, and devotion to duty. When operating a telephone in evacuated enemy trenches occupied by his battalion, Cpl. McNamara realised that a determined enemy counter-attack was gaining ground. Rushing to join the nearest post, he made the most effective use of a revolver taken from a wounded officer. Then seizing a Lewis gun, he continued to fire it till it jammed. By this time he was alone in the post. Having destroyed his telephone, he joined the nearest post, and again displayed great courage and initiative in maintaining Lewis gun fire until reinforcements arrived. It was undoubtedly due to the magnificent courage and determination of Pte. McNamara that the other posts were enabled to hold on, and his fine example of devotion is worthy of the highest praise. 

Seventh Supplement to The London Gazette of 12 November 1918. 15 November 1918, Numb. 31012, p. 13473

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