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RUSI and the Victoria Cross in the First World War

27 July 2017, 17:30
RUSI Whitehall
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A panel discussion in honour of the seven RUSI members who were awarded the VC during the First World War.

In August 2014 RUSI published the RUSI Roll of Honour, containing the names of over 500 members of the institute who perished between 1914 and 1918.

As part of RUSI’s programme of activities to mark the centenary of the First World War, RUSI hosted a panel discussion to pay its respect to the seven RUSI members who were awarded the VC. The names of the seven are as follows (rank given as at the time of the VC action):

1. Captain Charles ‘Fitz’ FitzClarence

2. Brevet Major John Gough

3. Captain Francis Octavius Grenfell

4. Major Charles Allix Lavington ‘Cal’ Yate

5. Lieutenant John Henry Stephen Dimmer

6. Captain Garth Neville Walford

7. Temporary Lieutenant Colonel Bertram Best-Dunkley

The last action of the seven – that of Bertram Best-Dunkley- took place at Passchendaele on 31st July 1917.

While carrying out research for this event, we found out that an additional, eighth RUSI fallen member was also a VC holder – Lieutenant Colonel Neville Bowes Elliott-Cooper. His profile will appear in the forthcoming edition of the RUSI Journal, as part of our Great War Stories series.

RUSI hosted Dr Nick Lloyd and Dr Robert Foley of King’s College London, who will take part in a panel discussion on the Battle of Passchendaele and more generally the British operations on the Western Front throughout the war, appropriate given a number of the seven VCs were awarded due to actions on the Western Front. A collection of replica medals, kindly lent by Hancocks, will also be on display at the event and images of the seven men, reproduced by kind permission of This England magazine, was displayed.

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