Sunday, 2 September 2018

Claude Nunney awarded the Victoria Cross

Today 2 September 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the action that earned Claude Nunney the Victoria Cross. The following is from a report in the Ottawa Citizen dated 16 June 1919.

It was on September 2. when the Canadians punctured the Drocourt- Queant line, a switch of the famous Hindenburg line that Sergt C. P. (Red) Nunney. B Company. 38th Battalion, won the Victoria Cross.

B Company was following behind the smoke barrage. They were about 25 yards from a strongly entrenched enemy position, where a nest of machine guns was spitting fire. The Hun machine gunners were unable to see the moving line of Infantry then.

The usually trustworthy tanks hadn't arrived in time to snuff out the machine gunners who were causing such havoc in the advancing waves of Infantry. In a few minutes the barrage would lift and the infantry would be exposed to the withering fire of these bold machine gunners.

With his customary quick decision, his immediate consideration for his company and battalion, and absolute disregard for self, he jumped ahead of the company, hugging the fringe of the smoke curtain. and outflanked the machine gun post. He bayoneted three and shot one member of one gun-crew, and either dispatched or forced the other crew to surrender. His initiative and fearlessness enabled the battalion to proceed with a great saving of life. Half an-hour later. just as the battalion reached
their final objective, he was dangerously wounded in the neck and chest with machine-gun bullets. He was carried on a stretcher by Lieuts. Keeler and Stalker to battalion headquarters. From there he was evacuated to a casualty clearing station. Six days afterwards there passed away one of the bravest of the brave — one whose bold daring and self-abnegation was an example and inspiration to others. 

His V. C. was a posthumous award.

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