Personal info

  • Name: James CRICHTON
  • D.O.B: 15th Jul, 1879
  • D.O.D: 22nd Sep, 1961
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Private, 2nd Battalion Auckland Infantry Regiment, 1st New Zealand Division, New Zealand Expeditionary Force
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

Crèvecoeur-sur-L’Escaut, France 30 September 1918

30 September 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

On 30 September 1918, south of Cambrai 5th Division and two New Zealand Divisions of Third Army advanced into the triangular salient of land formed by the bend of the St Quentin Canal opposite Crèvecoeur-sur-L’Escaut. 2nd Battalion The Auckland Infantry Regiment crossed the bridge south of Crèvecoeur onto the strip of land between the Canal and the River Scheldt. However there was fierce fire from the further bank of the river. Private J Crichton swam back to HQ to report on conditions. He then returned and removed the explosives with which the Germans had mined the bridge into Crèvecoeur itself. During that night other New Zealand troops crossed the Canal at Masnières to the west and the next day captured Crèvecoeur without having to storm the bridge.


 For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty, when, although wounded in the foot, he continued with the advancing troops, despite difficult canal and river obstacles. When his platoon was subsequently forced back by a counter-attack he succeeded in carrying a message which involved swimming a river and crossing an area swept by machine-gun fire, subsequently rejoining his platoon. Later, he undertook on his own initiative to save a bridge which had been mined, and though under close fire of machine guns and snipers he succeeded in removing the charges returning with the fuzes and detonators. Though suffering from a painful wound he displayed the highest degree of valour and devotion to duty. 

Seventh Supplement to The London Gazette of 12 November 1918. 15 November 1918, Numb. 31012, p. 13474

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