Samuel Forsyth VC
Name: Samuel Forsyth
Conflict: First World War
Gazetted: October 22, 1918
Samuel Forsyth VC
Place/date of birth: Wellington, New Zealand/April 3, 1891
Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Sergeant
Date of bravery: August 24, 1918
London Gazette citation:
No. 4/400 Sjt. Samuel Forsyth, late N.Z. Engrs.
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in attack.
On nearing the objective, his company came under heavy machine-gun fire. Through Sjt. Forsyth’s dashing leadership and total disregard of danger, three machine-gun positions were rushed and the crews taken prisoner before they could inflict many casualties on our troops.
During subsequent advance his company came under heavy fire from several machine guns, two of which he located by a daring reconnaissance. In his endeavour to gain support from a Tank, he was wounded, but after having the wound bandaged, he again got in touch with the Tank, which, in the face of very heavy fire from machine guns and anti-Tank guns, he endeavoured to lead with magnificent coolness to a favourable position. The Tank, however, was put out of action.
Sjt. Forsyth then organised the Tank crew and several of his men into a section, and led them to a position where the machine guns could be outflanked. Always under heavy fire, he directed them into positions which brought about a retirement of the enemy machine guns and enabled the advance to continue. This gallant N.C.O. was at that moment killed by a sniper.
From the commencement of the attack until the time of his death Sjt. Forsyth’s courage and coolness, combined with great power of initiative, proved an invaluable incentive to all who were with him, and he undoubtedly saved many casualties among his comrades.
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Other decorations: N/A
Place/date of death: Grevillers, France/August 24, 1918
Grave/memorials: Adanac Military Cemetery, Miraumont, France; Returned Servicemen’s Association HQ, Dunedin, New Zealand
Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 1992
Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum