William McNally VC

Name: William McNally

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: December 14, 1918

Service: Army

William McNally VC
William McNally Medals
Medal group

Place/date of birth: Murton, near Seaham, Co Durham/December 16, 1894

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

Date of bravery: October 27 and 29, 1918

London Gazette citation:

No. 13820 Sjt. William McNally, M.M., 8th.(S.) Bn., Yorks. R. (Murton Colliery, Co. Durham).

For most conspicuous bravery and skilful leading during the operations on the 27th October, 1918, across the Piave, when his company was most seriously hindered in its advance by heavy machine-gun fire from the vicinity of some buildings on a flank. Utterly regardless of personal safety, he rushed the machine-gun post single handed, killing the team and capturing the gun.

Later at Vazzola, on the 29th October, 1918, when his company, having crossed the Monticano River, came under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, Sjt. McNally immediately directed the fire of his platoon against the danger point, whilst he himself crept to the rear of the enemy position. Realising that a frontal attack would mean heavy losses, he, unaided, rushed the position, killing or putting to flight the garrison and capturing a machine gun.

On the same day, when holding a newly captured ditch, he was strongly counter- attacked from both flanks. By his coolness and skill in controlling the fire of his party he frustrated the attack, inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy.

Throughout the whole operations his innumerable acts of gallantry set a high example to his men, and his leading was beyond all praise.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: MM

Place/date of death: Murton, near Seaham, Co Durham/January 5, 1976

Grave/memorials: Tyne and Wear Crematorium, Sunderland; Murton Park, near Seaham, Co Durham

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2006

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