Heroes of WW1

Please post lists from your country!

Might want to point out that just about everyone that goes into combat is a hero in my eyes.

However, In the US the highest award you can receive is the Medal of Honor.

Here are the Medal of Honor Recipients of WW1. At the bottom of the list you will find probably the most notable “Sergeant York” who was actually a corporal at the time.

YORK, ALVIN C. Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Army, Company G, 328th Infantry, 82d Division. Place and date: Near Chatel-Chehery, France, 8 October 1918. Entered service at: Pall Mall, Tenn. Born: 13 December 1887, Fentress County, Tenn. G.O. No.: 59, W.D., 1919. Citation: After his platoon had suffered heavy casualties and 3 other noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Cpl. York assumed command. Fearlessly leading 7 men, he charged with great daring a machinegun nest which was pouring deadly and incessant fire upon his platoon. In this heroic feat the machinegun nest was taken, together with 4 officers and 128 men and several guns.


From a great page on all the recipients from all wars. This list just about everything one needs to know. Plus I might add the stories are very interesting.


Noel Chavasse. One of three men in history to win the VC and Bar, and the only one to win both in WW1. What is more, he was a doctor and so unarmed the entire time.

Good history on him here: http://www.chavasse.u-net.com/chavasse.html

Thats pretty impressive to recieve it twice.

Although I might add that 19 Americans have been awarded the Medal of Honor twice. Shown here:


But from the civil war to the end of WW1 the award was handed out more liberally. You can only now recieve it once.

Early cases of the medal of honour are a little hard to compare, as AIUI for a while it was the only medal given. Since it’s instigation the VC has followed pretty closely the current criteria by which it is awarded (i.e. truly exceptional circumstances) with a few exceptions where one suspects politics had a role to play - notably Rourke’s Drift.

Three men have been awarded the bar to the VC. Surgeon-Captain Martin-Leake won one in the Boer war and the other in WW1. Noel Chavasse as already mentioned won both in WW1. Charles Hazlitt Upham won both in WW2 (the first on Crete and the second in the Western Destert). Amazingly (given that the chance of surviving a VC action is statistically about 10% or so ) both Martin-Leake and Upham survived both actions to die in 1953 and 1994 respectively.

wow twice thats wild most people get that once in a battle rip

I feel that Carton De Wiart should be mentioned here. Not just for heroism as an out and out disregard for his own safety in battle.

During World War One he served in Africa and In Europe, commanded 12 Brigade and 105 Brigade, won the DSO, fought at the Somme and 2nd Ypres, won the VC at the Somme while in temporary command of 57 Brigade, was wounded 11 times, lost an eye and a hand. He finished the war as a Brigadier-General.

He remained an officer who lead from the front. I’d reccomend a study of him, he lead a very interesting, honest life.

O May 18th 1915 the Turkish army hurled four divisions totalling 42,000 men at the 17,500 Australians entrenched around ANZAC Cove. In a little over two hours of fighting the Turks lost over four thousand dead and seven thousand wounded.

The only breach of the Australian lines was sealed by by Lance Corporal Albert Jacka who single handedly jumped into a trench and shot five Turks and bayoneted two others to recapture the post. Jacka was awarded the VC and would later fight with distinction on the Western Front.

Regards digger

Hi Guy’s

Canadian VC Recipients
Full citations to these awards are recorded in Valiant Men, Canadian War Museum Historical Publications, A.M. Hakkert Ltd.

Prior to the South African War (4)
DUNN, Alexander Robert
HALL, William
READE, Herbert Taylor
DOUGLAS, Campbell Mellis

The South African (Boer) War (4)
COCKBURN, Hampden Z.C.
HOLLAND, Edward J.G.
TURNER, Richard E.W.

First World War (70)
ALGIE, Wallace Lloyd
BARKER, William George
BARRON, Colin Fraser
BELLEW, Edward Donald
BENT, Philip Eric
BISHOP, William Avery
BOURKE, Rowland R.L.
BRERETON, Alexander P.
BROWN, Harry
CAMPBELL, Frederick W.
COMBE, Robert Grierson
COPPINS, Frederick G.
CROAK, John Bernard
De WIND, Edmund
GOOD, Herman James
GREGG, Milton Fowler
HALL, Frederick William
HANNA, Robert
HARVEY, Frederick M.W.
HOBSON, Frederick
HOLMES, Thomas William
HONEY, Samuel Lewis
HUTCHESON, Bellenden S.
KAEBLE, Joseph
KERR, George Fraser
KERR, John Chipman
KINROSS, Cecil John
KNIGHT, Arthur George
LYALL, Graham Thomson
MacDOWELL, Thain W.
McKEAN, George Burdon
McLEOD, Alan Arnett
METCALF, William Henry
MILNE, William Johnstone
MINER, Harry G.B.
MITCHELL, Coulson N.
MULLIN, George Harry
NUNNEY, Claude J.P.
O’KELLY, Christopher P.J.
O’LEARY, Michael
O’ROURKE, Michael James
PATTISON, John George
PEARKES, George Randolph
PECK, Cyrus Wesley
RAYFIELD, Walter Leigh
ROBERTSON, James Peter
SCRIMGER, Francis A.C.
SIFTON, Ellis Wellwood
SPALL, Robert
TAIT, James Edward
YOUNG, Francis
ZENGEL, Raphael Louis

Second World War (16)
COSENS, Aubrey
CURRIE, David Vivian
FOOTE, John Weir
GRAY, Robert Hampton
HOEY, Charles Ferguson
HORNELL, David Ernest
MAHONY, John Keefer
MERRITT, Charles C.I.
OSBORN, John Robert
PETERS, Frederick Thornton
SMITH, Ernest Alvia
TILSTON, Frederick Albert
TOPHAM, Frederick George

Victoria Cross Winners Associated with Canada
BEET, Barry Churchill
CRUICKSHANK, Robert Edward
GEARY, Benjamin Handley
NICKERSON, William Henry Snyder
O’HEA, Timothy
ROBSON, Henry Howey
RYDER, Robert
STUART, Ronald Neil
TOMBS, Joseph
TRAIN, Charles William
WILKINSON, Thomas Orde Lawder


Indian Victoria Cross recipients WW1

Badlu Singh - 1918; River Jordan, Palestine
Chatta Singh - 1916; Battle of the Wadi, Mesopotamia
Darwan Sing Negi - 1914; Festubert, France
Gobar Sing Negi - 1915; Neuve Chapelle, France
Gobind Singh - 1917; Peizieres, France
Khudadad Khan - 1914; Hollebeke, Belgium
Lala - 1916; El Orah, Mesopotamia
Mir Dast - 1915; Wieltje, Belgium
Shahamad Khan - 1916; Beit Ayeesa, Mesopotamia

No indians won the VC in WW2? Seems strange that?

In fact there were 17 Indian VCs during WW2. However, GS specified WW1 heroes in the thread title. So rather an unfair comment, Firefly.

Like any other list of valour recipients, I doubt it’s a fair reflection of what actually happened insofar as the number or proportion of awards to a given nation or unit provides any sound basis for comparison.

National rivalries, political considerations, class issues, and a host of other things ensured that while many soldiers knew that countless acts worthy of a decoration went unrewarded, others were lucky enough to be recognised.

In some cases unfairly, for reasons unrelated to the actual action involved. Future US President Lyndon Johnson’s WWII Silver Star has to rank as probably the least worthy ever, and the best example of a shameless political award by a political general.

So far as Indian troops in WWI went, one aspect that worked against them was their scant chance of getting an air VC, of which Australia got one http://www.diggerhistory3.info/daredevils/page/11-mcnamara.htm .

You needed to be in the RFC to have a chance. The British Army wasn’t too welcoming towards Indian officers, until the remarkable Hardit Singh Malik broke down the barrier. A little.

Hardit Singh Malik was a graduate from Oxford who applied for an officers commission in the British army at the advent of World War I. He was rejected on the grounds that no British soldier would tolerate being subordinate to an Indian officer. Hardit Singh went to France, where he served as a front-line ambulance driver before enlisting and being accepted into the French airforce. When his old Oxford tutor became aware of the situation he wrote the British authorities expressing outrage that ethnic bigotry should force a loyal British subject to be flying for the French. National pride overcame prejudice and Hardit Singh was allowed to enlist in the Royal Flying Corps as a pilot. From September 1917 until the end of the war he would continue to fly missions for the British air force against the Germans. Years later in 1948 this war veteran would became India’s first High Commissioner to Canada.
My bold

See also

The discriminatory attitude towards Indians being officers had to be reflected in other attitudes towards Indian troops by some English officers who recommended or decided on granting valour awards.

It’s reminiscent of the American attitude in WWII towards negroes, although perhaps not as virulent.

afrer reading brothers at war it was not only the soldiers who were heroes in my eyes. there were eight beechey brothers, all who served five of which didnt return. Their mother was a hero, maybe not in the same lines as the soldiers but a hero just the same

Does this chap qualify for some sort of recognition here ?

1871 Born

1894 Appointed to the light cruiser HMS Barrosa off West Africa. Participated in expeditions against native and Arab insurgents.

1898 Given command of the Nile gunboat HMS Sultan. Took part in the Battles of Atbara and Omdurman. Awarded Distinguished Service Order.

Aide-de-camp to Lord Kitchener and then to Lord Roberts during Second Boer War.

1916 Commanded HMS Princess Royal at Battle of Jutland.

Appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB).

1918 Promoted Rear-Admiral in command of the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron.

1919 The squadron was sent to the Baltic. The squadron kept the sea lanes open to the newly independent Estonia and Latvia.

1941 Trained British commandos in small boat handling.

1942 Served in North Africa. Captured at the Battle of Bir Hakeim, where he was captured on 27 May, having attached himself to the Indian 18th King Edward VII’s Own Cavalry. He was fighting an Italian tank crew single-handedly armed only with a revolver.
Age 71 !!!

1943 Repatriated

1944 Rejoined commandos and saw action in Italy. He was awarded a bar to his DSO.

1945 Retired.

1951 Died


Probably the highest german decoration in WW1 was the “Pour le merit” also called “Blue Max” by the Entente.

The best-known holders have been:

  • Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière (most successful submarine commander)
  • Oliver von Beaulieu-Marconnay (fighter ace, 25 victories, youngest holder with 20 years, KIA October 26th 1918 in Arlon/Belgium)
  • Werner von Blomberg (later Field Marshal of the Wehrmacht)
  • Fedor von Bock (later Field Marshal of the Wehrmacht, KIA May 4th 1945)
  • Oswald Boelcke (fighter ace, 40 victories, KIA October 28th 1916 in France)
  • Ernst Busch (later Field Marshal of the Wehrmacht)
  • Hermann Göring (fighter ace, 19 victories, the rest should be known)
  • Robert Ritter von Greim (later Luftwaffe Field Marshal in the Wehrmacht)
  • Paul von Hindenburg (Field Marshall and president of the Reich)
  • Max Immelmann (fighter ace, "Eagle of Lille, 15 victories, KIA June 18th 1916 in France)
  • Theodor Osterkamp (fighter ace, 32 victories in WW1, 6 in WW2)
  • Manfred von Richthofen (fighter ace, “The red Baron”, 80 victoriess, KIA April 21st 1918 in France)
  • Erwin Rommel (later Field Marshal in the Wehrmacht)
  • Ferdinand Schörner (later Field Marshal in the Wehrmacht)
  • Ernst Udet (fighter ace, 62 victories, later Colonel General in the Wehrmacht)

I tend to believe that any soldier that fought during WW1 is a hero, my grandfather being one of these simple infantryman thrown into the hell that was Verdun.
But that’s just me.

just wanted to point out that you mentioned my Great Grandpa but only put him down as First World War,

which is correct but ill explain his story

He was 43 years old, and a sergeant in the 20th Battalion, 1st Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War. On 18 August 1917 during the Battle of Hill 70 north-west of Lens, France, he performed a deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.

No. 57113 Sjt. Frederick Hobson, late Can. Inf. Bn.
During a strong enemy counter-attack a Lewis gun in a forward post in a communication trench leading to the enemy lines, was buried by a shell, and the crew, with the exception of one man, killed.
Sjt. Hobson, though not a gunner, grasping the great importance of the post, rushed from his trench, dug out the gun, and got it into action against the enemy who were now advancing down the trench and across the open.
A jam caused the gun to stop firing. Though wounded, he left the gunner to correct the stoppage, rushed forward at the advancing enemy and, with bayonet and clubbed rifle, single handed, held them back until he himself was killed by a rifle shot. By this time however, the Lewis gun was again in action and reinforcements shortly afterwards arriving, the enemy were beaten off.
The valour and devotion to duty displayed by this non-commissioned Officer gave the gunner the time required to again get the gun into action, and saved a most serious situation.

R.I.P Sgt. Hobson, I think of you all the time, even tho i didn’t get the chance to meet you, does not mean you run through my mind. You make me proud to be a Canadian and proud to know I had such a great soldier in my family. im thankful for your efforts in the war.

Sjt. Frederick Hobson, 20th Battalion/1st Battalion

You earned it

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Canadian War Museum (Ottawa, Canada). A replica of his medal and copy of his citation are also on display at the Sgt. F. Hobson VC Armoury in Simcoe, Canada.

Plaque Dedicated to Him - img.webme.com/pic/c/canadianmilitary/plaquehobson.jpg
A Picture of Him - cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/images/bio/hobson-f.jpg
(dont have 5 posts lol)