John Aidan Liddell VC

Name: John Aidan Liddell

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: August 23, 1915

Service: Army/Royal Flying Corps

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John Aidan Liddell VC
John Aidan Liddell Medals
Medal group

Place/date of birth: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland (now Tyneside)/August 3, 1888

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Captain

Date of bravery: July 31, 1915

London Gazette citation:

Captain John Aidan Liddell, 3rd Battalion, Princess Louise’s (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders), and Royal Flying Corps.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on 31st July, 1915.

When on a flying reconnaissance over Ostend-Bruges-Ghent he was severely wounded (his right thigh being broken), which caused momentary unconsciousness, but by a great effort he recovered partial control after his machine had dropped nearly 3,000 feet, and notwithstanding his collapsed state succeeded, although continually fired at, in completing his course, and brought the aeroplane into our lines— half an hour after he had been wounded.

The difficulties experienced by this Officer in saving his machine, and the life of his observer, cannot be readily expressed, but as the control wheel and throttle control were smashed, and also one of the under-carriage struts, it would seem incredible that he could have accomplished his task.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: MC

Place/date of death: La Panne, Belgium/August 31, 1915

Grave/memorials: South View Cemetery, Basingstoke, Hampshire; Sheffield-on-Lodden Church, Hampshire; St Joseph’s Church, Pickering, North Yorkshire; Stoneyhurst College, Lancashire

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased at auction, Spink, London, 1997

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