Monday, 3 June 2019

Filip Konowal VC

Today is the 60th anniversary of the death of Filip Konowal who received the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Battle of Hill 70 in Lens, France.
No. 144039 A./Cpl. Filip Konowal, Can. Inf.
For most conspicuous bravery and leadership when in charge of a section in attack. His section had the difficult task of mopping up cellars, craters and machine-gun emplacements. Under his able direction all resistance was overcome successfully, and heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy. In one cellar he himself bayonetted three enemy and attacked single-handed seven others in a crater, killing them all.
On reaching the objective, a machine-gun was holding up the right flank, causing many casualties. Cpl. Konowal rushed forward and entered the emplacement, killed the crew, and brought the gun back to our lines.
The next day he again attacked single-handed another machine-gun emplacement, killed three of the crew, and destroyed the gun and emplacement with explosives.
This non-commissioned officer alone killed at least sixteen of the enemy, and during the two days' actual fighting carried on continuously his good work until severely wounded.
His life story, which includes having a charge of manslaughter in Hull, Quebec, dismissed on the grounds of mental instability, is told at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filip_Konowal. He is buried at Notre Dame Cemetery in Ottawa.

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