Bertram Best-Dunkley VC

Name: Bertram Best-Dunkley

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: September 6, 1917

Service: Army

Bertram Best-Dunkley VC

Medal group

Place/date of birth: York, Yorkshire/August 3, 1890

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Captain (Temporary Lieutenant-Colonel)

Date of bravery: July 31, 1917

London Gazette citation:

Capt. (T./Lt.-Col.) Bertram Best-Dunkley, late Lan. Fus.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in command of his battalion, the leading waves of which, during an attack, became disorganised by reason of rifle and machine gun fire at close range from positions which were believed to be in our hands.

Lt.-Col. Best-Dunkley dashed forward, rallied his leading waves, and personally led them to the assault of these positions, which, despite heavy losses, were carried.

He continued to lead his battalion until all their objectives had been gained. Had it not been for this officer’s gallant and determined action it is doubtful if the left of the brigade would have reached its objectives.

Later in the day, when our position was threatened, he collected his battalion headquarters, led them to the attack, and beat off the advancing enemy.

This gallant officer has since died of wounds.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death: Ypres, Belgium/August 5, 1917

Grave/memorials: Headstone, Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium; tablet at No 20 Tianjin High School (formerly Tientsin Grammar School), China

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased at auction, Spink, 2022

Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum