Friday, January 22, 2010

Victoria Cross - First World War



There were two Victoria Cross recipients from Southwestern Ontario.

 FREDERICK WILLIAM  CAMPBELL

Was born 15 June, 1867 to Ephraim B. Campbell and Ester A. Hunt in Mount Forest, Oxford County just before Canada West became Ontario. He was a veteran of the Boer War. On his attestation papers he is put down as a Major; however, the Canadian Virtual War memorial has him as a Captain and the following citation as a Lieutenant. This needs some looking into. He served with the  1st Battalion (Western Ontario Regiment). He died on June 19, 1915 at Givenchy.

Citation: An extract from the London Gazette, No. 29272, dated August 20, 1915, records the following:
For most conspicuous bravery on 15th June, 1915, during the action at Givenchy. Lt. Campbell took two machine-guns over the parapet, arrived at the German first line with one gun, and maintained his position there, under very heavy rifle, machine-gun and bomb fire, notwithstanding the fact that almost the whole of his detachment had then been killed or wounded. When our supply of bombs had become exhausted, this officer advanced his gun still further to an exposed position, and, by firing about 1,000 rounds, succeeded in holding back the enemy's counter-attack. This very gallant officer was subsequently wounded, and has since died.

He is buried in the BOULOGNE EASTERN CEMETERY, Pas de Calais,France.
Further information can be found at: 
http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/content/collections/virtualmem/photoview.cfm?casualty=167874&photo=435


 ELLIS WELLWOOD  SIFTON  53750
Lance-Sergeant

Was born 12 Oct. 1891 to John J. Sifton of Wallacetown, Elgin County, Ontario. He joined 23 October, 1914 in St. Thomas, Ontario. He served with the 18th Battalion (Western Ontario Regiment). He died at Neuville-St.-Vaast, France 9th April, 1917.

Citation: An extract from The London Gazette, dated 8th June, 1917, records the following:
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. During the attack in enemy trenches Sgt. Sifton's company was held up by machine gun fire which inflicted many casualties. Having located the gun he charged it single-handed, killing all the crew. A small enemy party advanced down the trench, but he succeeded keeping these off till our men had gained the position. In carrying out this gallant act he was killed, but his conspicuous valour undoubtedly saved many lives and contributed largely to the success of the operation.

He is buried at Vimy.

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