15 August 2010

Victoria Cross: R. C. Travis


Serjeant, 2nd Battalion the Otago Infantry Regiment, New Zealand Forces

Born: 6 April 1884, Otara, Opotiki, Southland, New Zealand
Died: 25 July 1918, France

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.
During "surprise" operations [on 24 July 1918, at Rossignol Wood, north of Hebuterne, France,] it was necessary to destroy an impassable wire block. Sjt. Travis, regardless of all personal danger, volunteered for this duty. Before zero hour, in broad daylight, and in close proximity to enemy posts, he crawled out and successfully destroyed the block with bombs, thus enabling the attacking parties to pass through.
A few minutes later a bombing party on the right of the attack was held up by two enemy machine guns, and the success of the whole operation was in danger. Perceiving this, Sjt. Travis, with great gallantry and utter disregard of danger, rushed the position, killed the crew, and captured the guns. An enemy officer and three men immediately rushed at him from a bend in the trench and attempted to retake the guns. These four he killed single-handed, thus allowing the bombing party, on which much depended, to advance.
The success of the operation was almost entirely due to the heroic work of this gallant N.C.O., and to the vigour with which he made and used opportunities for inflicting casualties on the enemy.
He was killed twenty-four hours later, when, under a most intense bombardment prior to an enemy counter-attack, he was going from post to post, encouraging the men.

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

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