09 August 2009

Victoria Cross: F. Konowal


Acting Corporal, 47th Battalion, British Columbia Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force

Born: 15 September 1888, Podolsky, Ukraine, Russia
Died: 3 June 1959, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and leadership [during the period 22nd to 24th August 1917] when in charge of a section in attack [at Lens, France]. His section had the difficult task of mopping up cellars, craters and machine-gun emplacements. Under his able direction all resistance was overcome successfully, and heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy. In one cellar he himself bayonetted three enemy and attacked single-handed seven others in a crater, killing them all.
On reaching the objective, a machine-gun was holding up the right flank, causing many casualties. Cpl. Konowal rushed forward and entered the emplacement, killed the crew, and brought the gun back to our lines.
The next day he again attacked single-handed another machine-gun emplacement, killed three of the crew, and destroyed the gun and emplacement with explosives.
This non-commissioned officer alone killed at least sixteen of the enemy, and during the two days' actual fighting carried on continuously his good work until severely wounded.

(London Gazette Issue 30400 dated 26 Nov 1917, published 23 Nov 1917.)

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