Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Omemee - Pte. Harry Brown, V.C.


Location:  N 44° 17.943 W 078° 33.596  At the NW corner of King Street (Highway 7) and Sturgeon Road, in a small memorial park.

This 19 year old hero, saved the lives of many by delivering a message while under fire and suffering fatal personal injuries.
Date of Birth: May 9, 1898
Gananoque, Ontario, Canada
Date of Enlistment: August 18, 1916
London, Ontario, Canada
Service Number: 226353
Age: 19
Force: Army
Unit: Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment)
Division: 10th Battalion
Pas de Calais,France

The inscription on the plaque, is the same wording as the citation for his Victoria Cross.

Pte. Harry Brown V.C.
10th batt. C.E.F.
May 11, 1898-Aug. 16, 1917

For most conspicuous bravery, courage and devotion to duty. After the capture of a position, the enemy massed in force and counter-attacked. The situation became very critical, all wires being cut. It was of the utmost importance to get word back to Headquarters. This soldier and one other were given the message with orders to deliver the same at all costs. The other messenger was killed. Private Brown had his arm shattered but continued on through an intense barrage until he arrived at the close support lines and found an officer. He was so spent that he fell down the dug-out steps, but retained consciousness long enough to hand over his message, saying "Important message!" He then became unconscious and died in the dressing station a few hours later. His devotion to duty was of the highest possible degree imaginable, and his successful delivery of the message undoubtedly saved the loss of the position for the time and prevented many casualties.

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