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15-25 August 1917
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Harry Brown

Harry Brown, VC

Harry Brown was born in Gananoque, Ontario on 11 May 1898. During the First World War he served with the 10th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Private Brown was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for most conspicuous bravery, courage and devotion to duty during the attack on Hill 70, on 16 August, 1917.


“After the capture of a position, the enemy massed in force and counter-attacked. The situation became very critical, all wires being cut. It was of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. This soldier and one other were given the message with orders to deliver the same at all costs. The other messenger was killed. Private Brown had his arm shattered, but continued on through an intense barrage until he arrived at the close support lines and found an officer.

He was so spent that he fell down the dugout steps, but retained consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying, “Important message.” He then became unconscious, and died in the dressing station a few hours later.

His devotion to duty was of the highest possible degree imaginable, and his successful delivery of the message undoubtedly saved the loss of the position for the time and prevented many casualties.”

(London Gazette, no.30338, 17 October 1917)

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