Victoria Cross

VC group of Brig The Hon Milton Fowler Gregg, VC, PC, OC, CBE, MC, ED, CD (Click for full group) - Photo by Sgt A Majoor. (RCR Museum Collection.)

The Royal Canadian Regiment and
The First World War - 1914-1919

Victoria Cross (VC)

During the First World War, the Victoria Cross (VC) was awarded to Warrant Officers, non-commissioned officers, and men for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. It was the highest award for gallantry in action. In total, 96 VCs have been awarded to Canadians (Canadian-born or serving in the Canadian Army), of these 70 were awarded during the Great War. (Veterans Affairs Canada)

The Victoria Cross was authorized by Royal Warrant on 5 February 1856.

RCR Recipients of the Victoria Cross (1916-1919)

The following officer of The Royal Canadian Regiment was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) during the First World War. The quoted citation has been taken from the online archive of the London Gazette.

Regt. No. Rank Initials Surname Date
Lieut. Milton Fowler GREGG CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 6 JANUARY, 1919; Issue number: 31108, Page number: 306

Lt. Milton Fowler Gregg, M.C., R. Can. Regt., Nova Scotia R. - For most conspicuous bravery and initiative during operations near Cambrai, 27th September to 1st October, 1918.

On 28th September, when.the advance of the brigade was held up by fire from, both flanks and by thick, uncut wire, he crawled forWard alone and explored the wire until he found a small gap, through which he subsequently led his men, and forced an entry into the enemy trench. The enemy counter-attacked in force, and, through lack of bombs, the situation became critical. Although wounded, Lt. Gregg returned alone under terrific fire and collected a further supply. Then rejoining his party, which by this time was much reduced in numbers, and, in spite of a second wound, he reorganised his men and led them with the greatest determination against the enemy trenches, which he finally cleared. He personally killed or wounded 11 of the enemy and took 25 prisoners, in addition to 12 machine guns captured in this trench. Remaining with his company in spite of wounds, he again on the 30th September led his men in attack until severely wounded. The outstanding valour of this officer saved many casualties and enabled the advance to continue.

Victoria Cross Recipient of a CEF Battalion Perpetuated by The RCR

In 1954, the Canadian Fusiliers and The Oxford Rifles, two regiments of the Canadian Militia, were amalgamated to form the London and Oxford Fusiliers (3rd Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment). In 1958, this unit became the 3rd Battalion, The RCR (and is now currently the Regiment's 4th Battalion). Between the Canadian Fusiliers and The Oxford Rifles, five infantry battalions of the CEF (1st, 33rd, 71st, 142nd and 168th) and the 2nd Battalion, Canadian Machince Gun Corps, CEF, were perpetuated and this perpetuation is now carried by the entirety of The Royal Canadian Regiment in the Canadian Army. As a result of the honour of perpetuation of these CEF units, The RCR recognizes a second Victoria Cross recipient; Lieutenant Frederick William Campbell, who received the award while serving as an officer of the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion.

Regt. No. Rank Initials Surname Date
Lieut. Frederick William CAMPBELL CEF-db
SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 23 AUGUST, 1915; Issue number: 29272, Page number: 8374

Lieutenant Frederick William Campbell, 1st Canadian Battalion.

For most conspicuous bravery on 15th June, 1915, during the action at Givenchy. Lieutenant Campbell took two machine-guns over the parapet, arrived at the German first line with one gun, and main tained his position there, under very heavy rifle, machine-gun, and bomb fire, notwithstanding the fact that almost the whole of his detachment had then been killed or wounded.

When our supply of bombs had become exhausted, this Officer advanced his gun still further to an exposed position, and, by firing about 1,000 rounds, succeeded in holding back the enemy's counter-attack.

This very gallant Officer was subsequently wounded, and has since died.

Pro Patria