Bernard William Vann | Service Record

First Name(s)Bernard William
Place of BirthRushden
Club(s)Burton United
Derby County
Leicester Fosse
Northampton Town
ServiceBritish Army
RankLieutenant Colonel
Service Number-
Previous Service Number(s)1800
Regiment or CorpsSherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment)
Unit(s)1/8th Battalion
Attached 1/6th Battalion
Previous Regiment(s) or CorpsLondon Regiment
Unit(s)1/28th (County of London) Battalion (Artist's Rifles)
Type of Casualty (If applicable)Killed in Action
Theatre of War (If applicable)Western European Theatre
Date of Death (If applicable)03/10/1918
Place of Death (If applicable)France and Flanders
Place of Burial/Commemoration (If applicable)Bellicourt British Cemetery
Grave/Memorial Reference (If applicable)II. O. 1.
Grave PhotographView
Awards and DecorationsVictoria Cross
Military Cross and Bar
Croix de Guerre (France)
Citation(s)Victoria Cross:
Capt. (A./Lt.-Col ) Bernard William Vann, M.C., late 1/8th Bn., attd. 1/6th Bn., Notts. & Derby. R. (T.F.).
"For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty and fine leadership during the attack at Bellenglise and Lehaucourt, on September 29th, 1918. He led his battalion with great skill across the Canal de Saint-Quentin through a very thick fog and under heavy fire from field and machine guns. On reaching the high ground above Bellenglise the whole attack was held up by fire of all descriptions from the front and right flank. Realising that everything depended on the advance going forward with the barrage, Col. Vann rushed up to the firing line and with the greatest gallantry led the line forward. By his prompt action and absolute contempt for danger the whole situation was changed, the men were encouraged and the line swept forward. Later, he rushed a field-gun single-handed and knocked out three of the detachment. The success of the day was in no small degree due to the splendid gallantry and fine leadership displayed by this officer. Lt. Col. Vann, who had on all occasions set the highest example of valour, was killed near Ramicourt on 3rd October, 1918, when leading his battalion in attack."
(The London Gazette, Supplement 31067, 14 December 1918)

Military Cross:
Second Lieutenant Bernard William Vann, 8th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment), Territorial Force.
"For conspicuous gallantry on several occasions: —
At Kemmel on 24 April 1915 when a small advance trench which he occupied was blown in, and he himself wounded and half buried, he showed the greatest determination in organising the defence and rescuing buried men under heavy fire, although wounded and severely bruised he refused to leave his post until directly ordered to do so. At Ypres on 31 July 1915, and subsequent days, he ably assisted another officer to hold the left trench of the line, setting a fine example to those around him. On various occasions he has led patrols up to the enemy’s trenches and obtained valuable information."
(The London Gazette, Supplement 29296, 14 September 1915)

Bar to Military Cross:
Lt. (temp. Capt.) Bernard William Vann, M.C., Notts. & Derby. R.
"For conspicuous gallantry in action. He led a daring raid against the enemy's trenches, himself taking five prisoners and displaying great courage and determination. He has on many previous occasions done fine work."
(The London Gazette, Supplement 29824, 14 November 1916)
Supplementary NotesCroix de Guerre (France). Son of Alfred George Collins Vann and Hannah Elizabeth Vann; husband of Doris Victoria Vann, of Coates Rectory, Cirencester, Glos.