Personal info

  • Name: James Park WOODS
  • D.O.B: 2nd Jan, 1891
  • D.O.A: 18th Sep, 1918
  • D.O.D: 18th Jan, 1963
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 48th Battalion (South Australia), 12th Brigade, 4th Division, Australian Imperial Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Battle of Épehy, France 18 September 1918

18 September 1918

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The First World War 1918 

Encouraged by the success of Third Army in the Battle of Havrincourt, the British Fourth Army decided to advance on 18 September 1918 in an attempt to clear the German positions on the high ground protecting the approach to the Hindenburg Line, which from Vendhuile, east of Épehy, ran south along the St Quentin Canal to St Quentin itself. III Corps was at the northern end of the line, and south of it the Australian Corps and IX Corps. In III Corps, 6th (S) Battalion The Northamptonshire Regiment and 25th Battalion The Royal Welsh Fusiliers (TF) were among the troops detailed to capture Ronssoy, south-east of Épehy. It was for his valour in this assault that Lance Sergeant W H Waring was awarded the VC (see also A L Lewis VC 18 and 21 September 1918 below). Further south, 4th Division, Australian Corps, advanced through and around Le Verguier, about five miles north-west of St Quentin. It was in fierce fighting here that Sergeant M V Buckley and Private J P Woods distinguished themselves. Meanwhile, north of Épehy, Third Army was still active. Second Lieutenant F E Young, 1st Battalion The Hertfordshire Regiment, was killed while gallantly fighting off an enemy counter-attack at Triangle Wood, south-east of Havrincourt. To the south-east, in the action at Gouzeaucourt, Temporary Second Lieutenant W A White, 38th Battalion Machine Gun Corps, captured three German machine-guns.

Citation

 For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty near Le Verguier, north-west of St. Quentin, on the 18th September, 1918, when, with a weak patrol, he attacked and captured a very formidable enemy post, and subsequently, with two comrades, held the same against heavy enemy counter-attacks. Although exposed to heavy fire of all descriptions, he fearlessly jumped on the parapet and opened fire on the attacking enemy, inflicting severe casualties. He kept up his fire and held up the enemy until help arrived, and throughout the operations displayed a splendid example of valour, determination and initative. 

Supplement to The London Gazette of 24 December 1918. 26 December 1918, Numb. 31082, p. 15119

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