Personal info

  • Name: William McNALLY
  • D.O.B: 16th Dec, 1894
  • D.O.A: 29th Oct, 2020
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Sergeant, 8th Battalion Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own (Yorkshire Regiment), 69th Brigade, 23rd Division
  • Book: The Complete History - Volume 2
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Sources & Acknowledgements

The Piave Front, Italy 27, 28 and 29 October 1918

27. 28 and 29 October 1918

More details about:
The First World War 1918 

On 24 October 1918, the final offensive of the Italian campaign, now known as the Battle of Vittorio Veneto, was launched by the Allies on the Piave front. The British were in the centre of the front, north-east of Treviso. On the morning of 27 October 8th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment took part in the crossing of the Piave, wading through the river from Papadopoli Island, and advancing to Tezze. Sergeant W McNally distinguished himself by his gallantry in this action. The next day the Yorkshires reached Vazzola and on the 29th crossed the Monticano river on their way to Cimetta. On the far side of the Monticano Sergeant McNally further distinguished himself. In the same offensive Private W Wood, 10th Battalion The Northumberland Fusiliers, showed conspicuous bravery near Casa Van on the 28th. By this stage, Austria-Hungary was on the verge of internal collapse and an Armistice came into force on 4 November 1918 bringing the war on this front to a close.

Citation

 For most conspicuous bravery and skilful leading during the operations on the 27th October, 1918, across the Piave, when his company was most seriously hindered in its advance by heavy machine-gun fire from the vicinity of some buildings on a flank. Utterly regardless of personal safety, he rushed the machine-gun post single-handed, killing the team and capturing the gun. Later at Vazzola, on the 29th October, 1918, when his company, having crossed the Monticano River, came under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, Sjt. McNally immediately directed the fire of his platoon against the danger point, while he himself crept to the rear of the enemy position. Realising that a frontal attack would mean heavy losses, he, unaided, rushed the position, killing or putting to flight the garrison and capturing a machine gun. On the same day, when holding a newly captured ditch, he was strongly counter-attacked from both flanks. By his coolness and skill in controlling the fire of his party he frustrated the attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. Throughout the whole operations his innumerable acts of gallantry set a high example to his men, and his leading was beyond all praise 

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