Sergeant Robert Spall VC

The London Gazette of 26 Oct 1918 had this citation for Sergeant Spall: For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice on the night of 12/13 Aug 1918, near Parvillers. When his platoon was isolated during an enemy counter-attack, Sgt Spall took a Lewis gun, and standing on the parapet fired upon the advancing enemy, inflicting severe casualties. He then came down the trench directing the men into the sap 75 yards from the enemy. Picking up another Lewis gun this gallant NCO again climbed the parapet and by his fire held up the enemy. It was while holding up the enemy at this point that he was killed. Sgt Spall deliberately gave his life in order to extricate his platoon from a most difficult position, and it was owing to his bravery that the platoon was saved.

Robert Spall was born in Brentford, Middlesex, England on 5 Mar 1890. He enlisted in the 90th Battalion CEF but transferred to the PPCLI on 18 Sep 1916. He was 28 when he was killed at Parvilliers.' His name and posthumous VC is on the Vimy Memorial in France.

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by Stephen Luscombe