04 May 2008

Victoria Cross: J. L. Dawson


Corporal, 187th Company, Royal Engineers

Born: 25 December 1891, Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire, Scotland
Died: 15 February 1967, Eastbourne, Sussex

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 13th October, 1915, at Hohenzollern Redoubt [near Auchy-les-Mines, France].
During a gas attack, when the trenches were full of men, he walked backwards and forwards along the parados, fully exposed to a very heavy fire, in order to be the better able to give directions to his own sappers, and to clear the infantry out of the sections of the trench that were full of gas. Finding three leaking gas cylinders, he rolled them some 16 yards away from the trench, again under very heavy fire, and then fired rifle bullets into them to let the gas escape.
There is no doubt that the cool gallantry of Corporal Dawson on this occasion saved many men from being gassed.

(London Gazette Issue 29394 dated 7 Dec 1915, published 7 Dec 1915.)

Note: Dawson's cousin, Corporal J D Pollock of the Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, had been awarded the VC for his actions near the Hohenzollern Redoubt two weeks earlier, on 27 Sep 1915.

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