Canadian Victoria Cross Recipients
The Victoria Cross is the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. 70 Canadian servicemen were awarded the Victoria Cross during The Great War.
LCpl. Michael O’Leary, 1 February 1915
Born in Ireland but considered a Canadian citizen, O’Leary was the first Canadian soldier to receive the Victoria cross in the Great War.
While advancing on the enemy position at Cuinchy, France, O’Leary rushed to the front of the attacking party and killed 5 German soldiers at the first barricade. Advancing a further 60 years to the second barricade, O’Leary captured the position after killing 3 more enemy soldiers while capturing 2.
Michael O’Leary practically took the entire position by himself and prevented the rest of the attacking soldiers from being fired upon.
Capt. Francis Alexander Caron Scrimger, 22 April, 1915
During the Second Battle of Ypres at St. Julien, Belgium, Scrimger was in charge of an advance dressing station on the St. Julien-Ypres Road.
The advancing Germans, within sight of the farmhouse, were bombarding the area with intense shelling. Scrimger directed the removal of the wounded under the heavy fire. He and a badly wounded Captain Macdonald were the last men left at the station.
Scrimger carried Macdonald out of the farmhouse to the road when the bombardment forced him to stop. Scrimger placed Macdonald on the road and proceeded to protect him with his own body. During a lull in the gunfire Scrimger again carried Macdonald toward help until he was unable to carry him any further. He remained with the wounded soldier until help could be found.
LCpl. Frederick Fisher, 23 April, 1915
At St. Julien, Belgium, the remnant for the 14th Battalion was forced to withdraw from it’s position as the advancing enemy was only 200 yards away and threatening to overrun the Canadian artillery battery.
Lance-Corporal Fisher, along with six other men, went forward with his machine gun and under heavy fire, covered the retreat of the artillery battery, losing four men in the process. This action allowed for the Canadian 18 pounders to be hauled out of danger.
Later when Fisher obtained four more men from the 14th Battalion, they went forward again to the front, however only Fisher made it, the rest either being killed or wounded.
Meanwhile, suffering heavy casualties, the 13th Battalion was under heavy fire from three sides. Fisher set up his gun at another position to attack the oncoming Germans and was killed while bringing his machine gun into action under heavy fire.
C.S.M. Frederick William Hall, 24 April 1915
Lt. Edward Donald Bellew, 24 April, 1915
Lt. Frederick William Campbell, 15 June, 1915
Lt. Thomas Orde Lawder Wilkinson, 5 July, 1916
A/Cpl. Leo Clarke, 9 September, 1916
Pte. John Chipman Kerr, 16 September, 1916
Piper James Cleland Richardson, 8 October, 1916
Lt. Frederick Maurice Watson Harvey, 27 March, 1917
Maj. Thain Wendell MacDowell, 9 April, 1917
Pte. William Johnstone Milne, 9 April, 1917
LSgt. Ellis Wellwood Sifton, 9 April, 1917
Pte. John George Pattison, 10 April, 1917
Lt. Robert Grierson Combe, 3 May, 1917
Capt. William Avery Bishop, 2 June, 1917
Pte. Michael James O’Rourke, 15 August 1917
Pte. Harry Brown, 16 August, 1917
Sgt. Frederick Hobson, 18 August, 1917
Maj. Okill Massey Learmonth, 18 August, 1917
C.S.M. Robert Hanna, 21 August, 1917
Cpl. Filip Konowal, 21 August, 1917
Lt.-Col. Philip Eric Bent, 10 October, 1917
Pte. Thomas William Holmes, 26 October, 1917
Lt. Robert Shankland, 26 October, 1917
Capt. Christopher Patrick John O’Kelly, 26 October, 1917
Pte. Cecil John Kinross, 29 October, 1917
Sgt. George Harry Mullin, 30 October, 1917
Lt. Hugh MacKenzie, 30 October, 1917
Maj. George Randolph Pearkes, 30 October, 1917
Cpl. Colin Fraser Barron, 6 November, 1917
Pte. James Peter Robertson, 6 November, 1917
Lt. Harcus Strachan, 20 November, 1917
2Lt. Edmund De Wind, 21 March, 1918
Lt. Alan Arnett McLeod, 27 March, 1918
Lt. Gordon Muriel Flowerdew, 30 March, 1918
Lt. George Burdon McKean, 27/28 April, 1918
Lt. Rowland Richard Louis Bourke, 10 May, 1918
Cpl. Joseph Kaeble, 8 June, 1918
Pte. John Bernard Croak, 8 August, 1918
Cpl. Herman James Good, 8 August, 1918
Lt. Jean Brillant, 8 August, 1918
Cpl. Harry Garnet Bedford Miner, 8 August, 1918
Cpl. Alexander Picton Brereton, 9 August, 1918
Cpl. Frederick George Coppins, 9 August 1918
Lt. James Edward Tait, 9 August, 1918
Sgt. Raphael Louis Zengel, 9 August, 1918
Pte. Thomas Dinesen, 12 August, 1918
Sgt. Robert Spall, 12 August, 1918
Lt. Charles Smith Rutherford, 26 August, 1918
Lt.-Col. William Hew Clark-Kennedy, 27 August, 1918
Pte. Claude Joseph Patrick Nunney, 1 September, 1918
Sgt. Arthur George Knight, 2 September, 1918
LCpl. William Henry Metcalf, 2 September, 1918
Col. Cyrus Wesley Peck, 2 September, 1918
Capt. Bellenden Seymour Hutcheson, 2 September, 1918
Cpl. Walter Leigh Rayfield, 2 September, 1918
Pte. John Francis Young, 2 September, 1918
Lt. Samuel Lewis Honey, 27 September, 1918
Lt. George Fraser Kerr, 27 September, 1918
Lt. Graham Thomson Lyall, 27 September, 1918
Lt. Milton Fowler Gregg, 28 September, 1918
Capt. John MacGregor, 29 September, 1918
Sgt. William Merrifield, 1 October, 1918
Capt. Coulson Norman Mitchell, 8 October, 1918
Lt. Wallace Lloyd Algie, 11 October, 1918
Pte. Thomas Ricketts, 14 October, 1918
Maj. William George Barker, 27 October, 1918
Sgt. Hugh Cairns, 1 November, 1918
Source: Royal Canadian Legion
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