Personal info

  • Name: Rev Bernard William VANN
  • D.O.B: 9th July, 1887
  • D.O.A: 29th September, 1918
  • D.O.D: 3rd October, 1918
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Acting Lieutenant Colonel, 1/8th Battalion The Sherwood Foresters (The Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment), commanding 1/6th Battalion, 139th Brigade, 46th Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Bellenglise and Lehaucourt, France 29 September 1918

29 September 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

In the British advance against the Hindenburg Line, which began on 27 September 1918, 1/6th Battalion The Sherwood Foresters, together with 1/6th Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment, on 29 September crossed the St Quentin Canal and captured Bellenglise on its east bank, then moved on to attack Lehaucourt to the east. These villages were south of Marcoing and north-west of St Quentin.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty and fine leadership during the attack at Bellenglise and Lehaucourt on September 29th, 1918. He led his battalion with great skill across the Canal Du Nord through a very thick fog and under heavy fire from field and machine guns. On reaching the high ground above Bellenglise the whole attack was held up by fire of all descriptions from the front and right flank. Realising that everything depended on the advance going forward with the barrage, Col. Vann rushed up to the firing line and with the greatest gallantry led the line forward. By his prompt action and absolute contempt for danger the whole situation was changed, the men were encouraged and the line swept forward. Later, he rushed a field-gun single-handed and knocked out three of the detachment. The success of the day was in no small degree due to the splendid gallantry and fine leadership displayed by this officer. Lt.-Col. Vann, who had on all occasions set the highest example of valour, was killed near Ramicourt on 3rd October, 1918, when leading his battalion in attack. 

Second Supplement to The London Gazette of 13 December 1918. 14 December 1918, Numb. 31067, p. 14774

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