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Victoria Cross Holders from The Reserve Forces of Greater London Lance-Sergeant Douglas Walter Belcher

Belcher, Douglas Walter, Lance-Sergeant

1st / 5th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Rifle Brigade)
Ypres Salient, Belgium, 13th May 1915

Award Citation

On 13th May 1915, south of the Wieltje-St Julien Road, Belgium, Lance-Sergeant Belcher was in charge of a portion of an advance breastwork during continuous bombardment by the enemy. The Lance-Sergeant, with very few men, elected to remain and try to hold his position after the troops near him had been withdrawn and with great skill he succeeded in his objective, opening rapid fire on the enemy, who were only 150-200 yards away, whenever he saw them collecting for an attack. This bold action prevented the enemy breaking through and averted an attack on the flank of one of the Divisions.

Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Drummond Borton CMG DSO

Borton, Arthur Drummond, Lieutenant Colonel, CMG DSO

2/ 22nd Battalion, The London Regiment (Queen's)
Sheria, Palestine, 7th November 1917

Award Citation

In darkness and in unknown country, he deployed his Battalion and at dawn led his companies against a strongly-held position. When the leading waves were checked by withering machine-gun fire, Lieutenant Colonel Borton moved freely up and down his lines under heavy fire. Reorganising his command, he led his men forward and captured the position. He later led a party of volunteers against a battery of field guns in action at point-blank range, capturing the guns.

Lance Corporal John Alexander Christie

Christie, John Alexander, Lance Corporal

1/ 11th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Finsbury Barracks)
Fejja, Palestine, 21/ 22nd December 1917

Award Citation

A former London and North Western Railway parcels clerk based at Euston Station, he enlisted in September 1914 and served in Gallipolli, where he was wounded at Sulva Bay. Returning to action in Palestine, he took part in actions to repel the enemy from retaking captured positions at Fejja, near the port of Jaffa. During the action he single-handedly attacked the enemy lines to prevent recapture of the British positions.

Major Brett Mackay Cloutman

Cloutman, Brett Mackay, Major (later Lieutenant Colonel)

12th London Regiment (Rangers), Royal Engineers
Pont-sur-Sambre, 6th November 1918

Award Citation

Whilst Acting Major in command of the 59th Field Company, Royal Engineers, Cloutman was awarded the Victoria Cross for the most conspicuous bravery on 6th November 1918, at Pont-sur-Sambre. Major Cloutman, after reconnoitring the river crossings, found the Quartes Bridge almost intact but prepared for demolition. Leaving his party under cover he went forward alone, swam across the river, and, having cut the ‘leads' from the charges, returned the same way, despite the fact that the bridge and all approaches thereto were swept by enemy shells and machine-gun fire at close range. Although the bridge was blown up later in the day by other means, the abutments remained intact.

Private Robert Edward Cruickshank

Cruickshank, Robert Edward, Private (later Major)

2nd / 14th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Scottish)
Egypt, 1st May 1918

Award Citation

On 1st May 1918, east of Jordan, Palestine, Private Cruickshank volunteered to take a message to company headquarters from his platoon which was in the bottom of a wadi, with its officer and most of the men casualties. He rushed up the slopes but was hit and was so badly wounded that he could make no further attempt. He lay all day in a dangerous position, being sniped at and wounded where he lay, but displayed great endurance and was cheerful and uncomplaining throughout.

T/Lieutenant Donald John Dean

Dean, Donald John, T/Lieutenant (later Colonel)

8th Battalion, The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment
Lens, France, 24/ 26th September 1918

Award Citation

During the period 24/ 26th September 1918 north-west of Lens, France, Lieutenant Dean with his platoon held an advance post established in a newly-captured enemy trench. The post was ill-prepared for defence and the Lieutenant worked unceasingly with his men consolidating the position, under very heavy fire. Five times in all the post was attacked and on each occasion the attack was repulsed. Throughout the whole of this time, Lieutenant Dean inspired his command with his own contempt of danger and set the highest example of valour, leadership and devotion to duty.

Second Lieutenant Reginald Leonard Haine

Haine, Reginald Leonard, Second Lieutenant (MC*) (later Lieutenant Colonel)

1st Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company
Gavrelle, France, 28/ 29th April 1917

Award Citation

On 28/ 29th April 1917, near Gavrelle France, when British troops were holding a salient which was being repeatedly counter-attacked by German forces, Second Lieutenant Haine organised and led six bombing attacks against a German strong point and captured the position together with 50 prisoners and two machine-guns. The enemy at once counter-attacked and regained the lost ground, but Second Lieutenant Haine formed a ‘block' in his trench and for the whole of the following night maintained his position. Next morning he again attacked and recaptured the position. His splendid example inspired his men during more than 30 hours of continuous fighting.

Private Jack Harvey

Harvey, Jack, Private (later Corporal)

1st / 22nd (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Queen's)
France, 2nd September 1918

Award Citation

On 2nd September 1918, north of Peronne, France, the advance of his company was held up by machine gun fire. Private Harvey dashed forward a distance of 50 yards alone, through the barrage and in the face of heavy enemy fire and rushed a machine gun post, shooting two of the team and bayonetting another. He then destroyed the gun and continued his way along the enemy trench. Single-handed he rushed an enemy dug-out which contained 37 Germans and compelled them to surrender. The two acts of gallantry saved the company heavy casualties and materially assisted in the success of the operation.

Lance Corporal Leonard James Keyworth

Keyworth, Leonard James, Lance Corporal (later Corporal)

1/ 24th Battalion, The London Regiment
Givenchy, France, 25th May 1915

Award Citation

After a successful assault on the German position, the 24th Battalion The London Regiment tried to follow up their success with a bomb attack, during which 58 men out of 74 became casualties. During this fierce encounter, Lance Corporal Keyworth stood on top of the enemy parapet for two hours, throwing about 150 grenades among the Germans, who were only a few yards away. Later that year, Keyworth was fatally wounded. In 1919, a street in Southwark was named after him.

Sergeant Alfred Joseph Knight

Knight, Alfred Joseph, Sergeant (later Second Lieutenant)

2/ 8th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Post Office Rifles)
Ypres, Belgium, 20th September 1917

Award Citation

On 20th September 1917, at Alberta Section, Ypres, Belgium, when his platoon came under heavy fire from an enemy machine-gun, Sergeant Knight rushed through our own barrage and captured it single-handed. He performed several other acts of bravery single-handed, all under heavy machine gun and rifle fire and without regard to personal safety. All the platoon officers of the company had become casualties before the first objective was reached, and this NCO took command not only of his own platoon but of the platoons without officers and his energy in consolidating and reorganising was untiring.

Major Alexander Malins Lafone

Lafone, Alexander Malins, Major

1/ 1st County of London Yeomanry (Middlesex Duke of Cambridge's Hussars)
Karm, Palestine, 27th October 1917

Award Citation

Major Lafone's squadron of the Middlesex Yeomanry was ordered to hold the flank of the allied line against the Turks. They did so for over seven hours against vastly superior forces. When only three of his men were left unwounded, Major Lafone ordered those who could withdraw to a trench slightly to the rear. When finally surrounded he stepped into the open and continued to fight until he was killed.

Private George Allan Mitchell

Mitchell, George Allan, Private

1st Battalion, The London Scottish (London Highlanders)
River Garigliano, Italy, 23rd January 1944

Award Citation

On a very dark night, Private Mitchell repeatedly charged and silenced machinegun posts which had the advantage of position on a steep and rocky hillside. Even after his ammunition was spent he still led the way into a final enemy strongpoint. His courage and determined example were instrumental in the last of the Germans being taken prisoner. A few minutes later, one of those who had surrendered picked up a rifle and shot Private Mitchell through the head.

Second Lieutenant Alfred Oliver Pollard

Pollard, Alfred Oliver, Second Lieutenant, MC DCM

1st Battalion, Honourable Artillery Company
Gavrelle, France, 29th April 1917

Award Citation

Heavy casualties from shellfire disorganised units on the left of Lieutenant Pollard's Battalion. A subsequent enemy attack caused further confusion and retirement with hostile forces in close pursuit. Pollard realised the seriousness of the situation and dashed up to stop the retreat. With only four men he counter-attacked, regaining all the ground that had been lost and more. The enemy retired in disorder, sustaining more casualties.

Sub-Lieutenant Arthur Walderne St. Clair Tisdall

Tisdall, Arthur Walderne St. Clair, Sub-Lieutenant

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (Anson Battalion, Royal Naval Division)
V Beach, Gallipoli, 31st March 1916

Award Citation

On 25th April 1915, at V Beach, Gallipoli, during the landing from HMS RIVER CLYDE, Sub-Lieutenant Tisdall heard wounded men on the beach calling for help. He jumped into the water, and pushing a boat in front of him, went to their rescue. He found, however, that he could not manage alone, but with the help from other naval personnel he made four or five more trips from the ship to the shore and was responsible for rescuing several wounded men under heavy and accurate fire.

Corporal Charles William Train

Train, Charles William, Corporal (later Sergeant)

2/ 14th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (London Scottish)
Near Jerusalem, Palestine, 8th December 1917

Award Citation

When his company was unexpectedly engaged by an enemy party with two machine guns, Corporal Train attacked with rifle grenades. With bomb and rifle he put some of the enemy out of action before going to the assistance of a comrade who was bombing their position from the front. He shot one who was carrying the second gun out of engagement. Undoubtedly he saved his Battalion heavy casualties, and enabled them to advance on their objective.

Second Lieutenant Geoffrey Harold Woolley

Woolley, Geoffrey Harold, Second Lieutenant, OBE MC

9th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles)
Hill 60, Ypres, Belgium, 21st April 1915

Award Citation

During the night of 20th / 21st April 1915, on Hill 60, Belgium, Second Lieutenant Woolley was the only officer on the hill. However, with very few men he successfully repelled all attacks on his trench, and continued throwing bombs and encouraging his men until relieved. His trench during this time was being heavily shelled and bombed.

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