MC And Pair To The Worcester Regiment For "Backs To The Wall VC Action "
Military Cross ( Geo V ) unnamed , WW1 Pair LIEUT V L VERNON
M.C. London Gazette 16 September 1918.
‘2nd Lt. Victor Lawrence Vernon, Worc. R.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. When the enemy had broken into a village he led his men so well in a vigorous counter-attack that the enemy was driven back from his positions. He was wounded, but the situation was restored before he left. He set a splendid example by his promptness and courage.’
2nd Lieutenant Victor Lawrence Vernon served with the 2nd Worcesters in France from December 1916. He won his M.C. in the defence of Neuve Eglise during the battle of Bailleul on 12 April 1918.
From the regimental history
Other forces of the enemy at the same time assailed the trenches of the "Army Line" and the companies of the 2nd Worcestershire were engaged so busily to their front that they did nor observe the advance of the force of the enemy up Leinster Road past their rear.The Germans were already close to the Brewery occupied by the Battalion HQ when the alarm was given. At once 2/Lieut A C Pointon led out every available man to the cross roads west of the church and with a lewis gun held back the advancing enemy. Colonel Stoney sent an urgent message to C company and that company moved at once to counter attack. Ably led by by Capt C W V Peake C company advanced from the east and closed in on the rear of the enemy in Leinster road. Penned in the sunken road between two fires the enemy resisted desperately, some 60 being killed before 20 survivors surrendered. The sunken road was heaped with German dead. and among them were found six light machine guns (c)
(c) 2/Lieut Vernon showed great courage in that counter attack. He was wounded but remained in command till the enemy were overpowered , he was awarded the MC
WORCESTERS’ DOGGED DEFENCE – LAST TO LEAVE NEUVE EGLISE - The special correspondent of “The Times” says:- “You know that we have fallen back from our positions in the Passchendaele area, where we have given the enemy most of the ground won in last years’ Flanders fighting. If you look at the map you will see why this retirement was compelled by the changed situation in the area of the Messines Ridge and below there. It must in any circumstances be unpleasant to give up ground which has been won in fighting at the cost of gallant lives, but it cannot be too often repeated or too clearly grasped that local topographical gains have little significance in the gigantic struggle now in progress. Today I have heard some details of the doings of troops which did stubborn fighting in the defence of Neuve Eglise, when some five separate German attacks in strength were beaten back. For two days some Worcester’s and King’s Royal Rifles held on to the Neuve Eglise positions at great odds and when the enemy more than once broke into the village they counter attacked and drove them back. The last man to leave the Neuve Eglise was the commanding officer of the Worcester’s, who declares that the German dead were literally piled in heaps before the positions his troops had defended and we know from many sources that the German casualties were terrible”
2nd Lieutenant James John Crowe V.C. (14th April 1918)
(acting Captain and Adjutant)
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
(Neuve Eglise - Lys)
During the stand against the German onslaught on the Lys Valley in 1918, Battalion Headquarters of the 2nd Battalion, with "B" Company, took up its position in the Town Hall of Neuve Eglise, Belgium. They were soon closely engaged with the enemy, who poured into the village and surrounded them. The defence held out stubbornly against the fire of machine guns and trench mortars, but it was only a matter of time before they must be overwhelmed. An attempt was made to get a message through for help, but the officer taking it was killed. Lieutenant Crowe was Adjutant of the Battalion, and he decided, with volunteers, to make a sortie and to clear a path for retirement. With a quick rush they occupied a cow shed close by; then, with two men, Lieutenant Crowe crawled round and rushed a machine gun post, capturing both guns. The others then came up, and communication with those in the rear was established.
Fresh reinforcements for the enemy arrived, and the little garrison, ammunition exhausted, retired; their retirement was covered throughout by Lieutenant Crowe's party.
Medals with some contacting and BWM has a slight edge bruise , otherwise in VF condition