Sergeant Jack Molyneux VC

John Molyneux was born on 22 November 1890 to mother Minnie Jane and coal miner father, Joseph, who worked as a hewer at Sherdley Colliery. Young John, who was always known as Jack, was educated at Holy Trinity school in Parr. He left school at twelve to work in the mines. He was 26 years old, and a sergeant in the 2nd Battalion The Royal Fusiliers during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 9 October 1917 east of Langemarck, Belgium, during an attack which was held up by machine-gun fire and causing many casualties, Sergeant Molyneux organised a bombing party to clear the trench in front of a house. Many of the enemy were killed and a machine-gun captured. The sergeant then called for someone to follow him and rushed for the house. By the time the extra men arrived he was in the thick of a hand-to-hand fight which only lasted a short time and the enemy surrendered. In addition to the dead and wounded between 20 or 30 prisoners were taken.

His award of the VC was gazetted on 26th Nov 1917 and the medal presented to him by King George V on 12th Dec 1917. He also won the Croix de Guerre (Belgium). He died in St Helens, Lancashire on 25th Mar 1972, aged 81, and cremated in the local cemetery where his ashes were scattered.

Regimental Details | Soldiers

Armed Forces | Art and Culture | Articles | Biographies | Colonies | Discussion | Glossary | Home | Library | Links | Map Room | Sources and Media | Science and Technology | Search | Student Zone | Timelines | TV & Film | Wargames

by Stephen Luscombe