DELVILLE WOOD

LONGUEVAL - SOMME - FRANCE

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Visit of Delville Wood

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DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER

10 recommendations / 4 attributions

 

Major Mitchell (Michael) Stanislaus POWER 

South African Medical Corps, Medical Officer of the 4th SAI

Worked day and night in Bernafay Wood (11-13th July), then in Longueval (15th-18th July), the whole time under heavy shell fire which on two occasions smashed dressing-stations he occupied.


Major R.N. PRINGLE

1st South African Field Ambulance, South African Medical Corps

In command of the stretcher-bearers section. Recommended for his task to getting out the casualties from Longueval and Delville Wood.

"The evacuation of the wounded was a most difficult task but this officer by his untiring efforts did everything to overcome it with the means at his disposal" (General Lukin's report).


Lieutenant-Colonel Edward Francis THACKERAY

Commanding Officer of the 3rd SAI

Recommanded for the VC BY General Lukin.

"Lieutenant-Colonel EF Thackeray CMG commanded his battalion at the capture of Delville Wood and, after Lieutenant-Colonel Tanner was wounded, took over the command of the troops in the wood, with orders that it was to be held at all costs. On the morning of the 18th July the enemy commenced a hurricace bombardment and attacked the wood with 9 1/2 battalions. The troops holding the perimeter of the wood were practicaly decimated - all officers being either killed or wounded. Lieutenant-Colonel Thackeray's Headquarters had been established in a narrow trench in the SW portion of the wood known as Buchanan Street. Here this gallant officer, in spite of heavy bombardment and constant fierce attacks by the ennemy, held on with his few remaining men. During the night 18/19 several hot bombing fights took place during which Lieutenant-Colonel Thackeray's fine work stimulated his much exhausted men to fight on. Lieutenant-Colonel Thackeray with the remnants of his force held the SW portion of Delville Wood until on 20th July when he was relieved. I have no hesitation in stating that in my opinion it was the splendid gallantry, fine example and devotion to duty of this officer that enabled the British troops to retain a footing in Delville Wood. I recommend that he be awarded the Victoria Cross."

Lieutenant-Colonel Thackeray commanded the 3rd SAI at the Butte de Warlencourt (October 1916), at Arras (April-May 1917) and at Ypres (October 1917).

Died at Johannesburg in 1956.


Captain Leonard Warren TOMLINSON

3rd SAI, D Coy

During the taking of  Delville Wood, on the 15th July, he led raiding parties on a German trench in the eastern perimeter. After an attack with the bayonet, his party took prisoner 3 officers, 150 other ranks and brought back a machine-gun. He was wounded and evacuated.

Rejoining his unit in November 1916, he was mentioned in despatches in January 1917.

Transferred to the 4th SAI in February 1918.