The superb Canadian Great War Arras Attack on the Drocourt-Queant Line 2nd to 4th September 1918 Victoria Cross action battalion runner’s Military Medal group awarded to Private G. Ferris, 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion - 1st British Columbia Regiment, who was present out on the Western Front from June 1916, and was then wounded in action during the Battle of the Somme by a gun shot wound to the face and also shell shock on 9th September 1916, before going on to be decorated for his actions in the attack of 2nd to 4th September 1918, when he ‘

Price: £675.00


Product ID: CMA/25856
Condition: Good Very Fine
Availability: IN STOCK
Description:

The superb Canadian Great War Arras Attack on the Drocourt-Queant Line 2nd to 4th September 1918 Victoria Cross action battalion runner’s Military Medal group awarded to Private G. Ferris, 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion - 1st British Columbia Regiment, who was present out on the Western Front from June 1916, and was then wounded in action during the Battle of the Somme by a gun shot wound to the face and also shell shock on 9th September 1916, before going on to be decorated for his actions in the attack of 2nd to 4th September 1918, when he ‘worked incessantly, carrying messages and guiding ration parties over very broken and difficult country, and under almost continuous shell and machine gun fire’ and later ‘delivered important messages to companies in the outpost line along the Canal du Nord, passing through heavy machine gun fire’. In the attack on the Drocourt-Queant Line on 2nd to 4th September 1918, the Canadian’s gained no less than seven Victoria Crosses, one going to a fellow member of the 7th Battalion. In this attack, for relatively light casualties, his battalion took between 600-700 Germans prisoner, and also took 80 to 100 machine guns together with six field and one anti-tank gun, and 12 Trench Mortars.

Group of 3: Military Medal, GVR bust; (437293 PTE G. FERRIS. 7/BR:COL:R.); British War Medal and Victory Medal; (437293 PTE G. FERRIS. 7-CAN.INF.)

Condition: Good Very Fine.

George Ferris was born on 23rd August 1891 in London, England, his next-of-kin lived in Walthamstow, Essex, and having emigrated to Canada, then settled in Edmonton, Alberta, where he worked as a labourer. With the outbreak of the Great War, Ferris attested for service with the Canadian Expeditionary Force at Edmonton on 19th May 1915, and joined as a Private (No.437293) the 51st Battalion. Arriving in England on 28th April 1916, he was then posted out to the Western Front on 9th June 1916 where he joined the 7th Canadian Infantry Battalion - 1st British Columbia Regiment.

During the Battle of the Somme, Ferris was wounded as a result of a gun shot wound to the face and also shell shock on 9th September 1916, and after treatment in France, rejoined his unit on 12th November 1916. It was for his gallantry in action when a battalion runner during operations east of Arras from 2nd to 4th September 1918 that led to Ferris being awarded the Military Medal, the award being published in the London Gazette for 11th February 1919.

The citation reads as follows: “For outstanding gallantry and devotion to duty when employed as a battalion runner, during the operations east of Arras from 2nd to 4th September 1918. Throughout the night of 1st/2nd September he worked incessantly, carrying messages and guiding ration parties over very broken and difficult country, and under almost continuous shell and machine gun fire. Again on the 3rd/4th September he delivered important messages to companies in the outpost line along the Canal du Nord, passing through heavy machine gun fire. He showed exceptional coolness, bravery, and devotion to duty throughout.’

Ferris award was earned during the attack on the Drocourt-Queant Line, ‘a great success with all objectives achieved’. For the loss of two officers and 20 other ranks killed, 5 officers and 110 other ranks wounded, and 19 other ranks missing, between 600-700 Germans were captured, 80 to 100 machine guns together with six field and one anti-tank gun. 12 Trench Mortars were also captured. The Battalion War Diary for 1st October 1918 records that some 20 Military Medal’s were awarded, including that to Ferris, and some seven Victoria Crosses were won in the attacks on 2nd to 4th September 1918, with one to a fellow member of the 7th Battalion, this being to Private Walter Leigh Rayfield, who when ‘ahead of his company, rushed a trench occupied by a large party of the enemy, personally bayoneting two and taking ten prisoners. Later, he located and engaged with great skill, under constant rifle fire, an enemy sniper who was causing many casualties. He then rushed the section of trench from which the sniper had been operating, and so demoralised the enemy by his coolness and daring that thirty others surrendered to him. Again, regardless of his personal safety, he left cover under heavy machine-gun fire and carried in a badly wounded comrade.’

Ferris was posted to England on 14th March 1919 and then returned to Canada on 14th May 1919, being discharged on 28th May 1919.