08 July 2007

Victoria Cross: J. E. Tait


Lieutenant, 78th Battalion, Manitoba Regiment (Winnipeg Grenadiers), Canadian Expeditionary Force

Born: 27 May 1886, Greenbrae, Dumfries, Scotland

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and initiative in attack [on 11 August 1918, at Amiens, France]. The advance having been checked by intense machine-gun fire, Lt. Tait rallied his company and led it forward with consummate skill and dash under a hail of bullets. A concealed machine gun, however, continued to cause many casualties. Taking a rifle and bayonet, Lt. Tait dashed forward alone and killed the enemy gunner. Inspired by his example his men rushed the position, capturing twelve machine-guns and twenty prisoners. His valorous action cleared the way for his battalion to advance.
Later when the enemy counter-attacked our positions under intense artillery bombardment, this gallant officer displayed outstanding courage and leadership, and, though mortally wounded by a shell, continued to direct and aid his men until his death.

(London Gazette Issue 30922 dated 27 Sep 1918, published 24 Sep 1918.)