The Queen’s Own

Crimean War

Sergeant John Coleman VC

For conspicuous bravery and great coolness on the night of 30th August, 1855,when the enemy attacked a “New Sap” and drove the working party in; he remained in the open, perfectly exposed to the enemy’s rifle pits, until all around him had been killed or wounded. He finally carried one of his Officers, who was mortally wounded, to the rear.

Major Charles Henry Lumley VC  (8 September 1855)

For having distinguished himself highly by his bravery at the assault on the Redan, being one of the first inside the work, where he was immediately engaged with three Russian gunners reloading a field piece, who attached him; he shot two of them with his revolver, when he was knocked down by a stone, which stunned him for a moment, but, on recovery, he drew his sword and was in the act of cheering his men on, when he received a ball in his mouth, which wounded he most severely.

World War I

Sergeant Harris VC MM

Sergeant Harris VCSergeant Harris, already a holder of the Military Medal, was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross during the advance from the Somme in August 1918. The 6th Battalion met heavy opposition from enemy machine guns.  Sergeant Harris rushed one of them at the head of his section and captured it.  Twice more he dashed forward against firing machine guns.  The first time he killed the whole team single-handed; the second time he was himself shot. Inspired by his example the attack swept on.

2nd Lieutenant Dean VC

Lieutenant Dean VCOn September 1918 the 8th Battalion was engaged near Lens.  On one night three separate attacks were beaten off by a half a platoon under 2nd Lieutenant Dean.  The next night the other half of the platoon relieved their comrades, Dean insisted on remaining.  Early the next morning a bombardment forced his men back some 50 yards and the Germans occupied the post.  Lieutenant Dean, rallying his men, led a counter attack across open ground.  Another platoon dashed forward to take the Germans in the flank and the post was re-captured.  2nd. Lieutenant Dean was awarded the Victoria Cross.

Lieutenant C. H. Sewell VC

Lieutenant C.H. Sewell VCThe third Victoria Cross was won by Lieutenant C. H. Sewell of the 3rd Battalion.  On August 29th, 1918, while attached to the Royal Tank Corps, he crossed open ground to a tank which had overturned in a shell-hole and caught fire.  Sewell dug away the entrance to the door and rescued the crew.  Then seeing one of his men lying wounded, he dashed back to his assistance, and was hit while doing so.  A few minutes later, while tending the man, he was hit again, this time fatally.  During the whole period he was within full view and short range of enemy machine guns.

World War II

Lance Corporal John Harman VC

Lance Corporal Harman VCDuring the period 4th – 20th April 1944 4th Battalion The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment took part in the heroic defence of Kohima.  On the 7th April during a counter attack on a group of Japanese Lance Corporal John Harman seized and brought in a Japanese officer.  On the following day Lance-Corporal Harman who was commanding a section of a forward platoon.  Japanese soldiers had established a machine gun post within 50 yards of his position and were becoming a menace.  Since it was not possible to bring fire on to the enemy post the lance-corporal went forward by himself and threw a grenade into the position, destroying it.  He returned carrying the enemy machine-gun as a trophy.

Early next morning, having ordered covering fire from his Bren Gun team, he went out alone and charged a party of Japanese who were digging in.  He shot four and bayoneted one.  On his way back, Lance Corporal Harman was severely wounded by a burst of enemy machine-gun fire.  He managed to get back to his section and lay down behind cover and said “It was worth it, I got the lot”  just five minutes later he died.  John Pennington Harman, whose home was on the Isle of Lundy received a posthumous Victoria Cross.