Private William Ratcliffe VC

Discussion in 'Military Biographies' started by liverpool annie, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. liverpool annie

    liverpool annie New Member

    Messines, Belgium, 14 June 1917, Private William Ratcliffe, 2nd Bn, South Lancashire Regiment

    For most conspicuous bravery ( Messines, France ). After an enemy’s trench had been captured, Private Ratcliffe located an enemy machine gun which was firing on his comrades from the rear, whereupon, single-handed and on his own initiative, he immediately rushed the machine gun position and bayonetted the crew. He then brought the gun back into action in the front line.
    This very gallant soldier has displayed great resource on previous occasions, and has set an exceptionally fine example of devotion to duty.

    London Gazette, 2 August 1917

    William Ratcliffe was born in Liverpool and at the age of 17 joined the Army and served in South Africa during the Second Boer War. On leaving the army he worked on the docks, but when the WWI broke out he rejoined his old regiment, The South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales' Volunteers). After being discharged in 1919, he was known as the Dockers VC when he went back to work at Liverpool docks.
    He was buried with his sister and Brother in Law. Cornelius Walsh is also named on the bottom of this stone, killed at Dunkirk 1940

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