Samuel Forsyth VC

Name: Samuel Forsyth

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: October 22, 1918

Service: Army

Samuel Forsyth VC
Samuel Forsyth Medals
Medal group

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