Today in WW1: A VC on Hill 70

Frederick Henry Johnson led several charges on positions on Hill 70 on September 25, 1915, for which he was later awarded the Victoria Cross.

A second lieutenant in the 73rd Field Coy., Corps of Royal Engineers, Johnson was 25 years old at the time of the attack which was part of the Battle of Loos.

The citation for his VC was published in in the London Gazette on November 16, 1915. It reads:

“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in the attack on Hill 70 on 25 September 1915. Second Lieutenant Johnson was with a section of his company of the Royal Engineers. Although wounded in the leg, he stuck to his duty throughout the attack, led several charges on the German redoubt, and at a very critical time, under very heavy fire, repeatedly rallied the men who were near him. By his splendid example and cool courage he was mainly instrumental in saving the situation and in establishing firmly his part of the position which had been taken. He remained at his post until relieved in the evening.”

Johnson later achieved the rank of major but was killed in action in Bourlon Wood, France, on November 26, 1917.

This photograph, taken earlier this year, shows his name on the Cambrai Memorial to the Missing.

STA76488

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