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Official History of the Otago Regiment, N.Z.E.F. in the Great War 1914-1918

Victoria Cross

Victoria Cross.

* Sergt. Donald Forrester Brown.

For most conspicuous bravery and determination in attack (south-east of High Wood, France, on September 15, 1916), when the company to which he belonged had suffered very heavy casualties in officers and men from machine gun fire. At great personal risk this N.C.O. advanced with a comrade and succeeded in reaching a point within 30 yds. of the enemy guns. Four of the gun crew were killed and the gun captured. The advance of the company was continued until it was again held up by machine gun fire. Again Sergt. Brown and his comrade, with great gallantry, rushed the gun and killed the crew. After this second position had been won, the company came under very heavy shell fire, and the utter contempt for danger and coolness under fire of this N.C.O. did much to keep up the spirit of his men. On a subsequent occasion in attack, Sergt. Brown showed most conspicuous gallantry. He attacked, single-handed, a machine gun which was holding up the attack, killed the gun crew, and captured the gun. Later, whilst sniping the retreating enemy, this very gallant soldier was killed.—London Gazette, June 14, 1917.

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* Sergt. Richard Charles Travis, D.C.M., M.M., [f.].

Fox most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty (North Hebuterne, France, on July 24,1918). During "surprise" operations it was necessary to destroy an impassable wire block. Sergeant Travis, regardless of all personal danger, volunteered for this duty. Before zero hour, in broad daylight, and in close proximity to enemy posts, he crawled out and successfully destroyed the block with bombs, thus enabling the attacking parties to pass through. A few minutes later a bombing party on the right of the attack was held up by two enemy machine guns, and the success of the whole operation was in danger. Perceiving this, Sergeant Travis, with great gallantry and utter disregard of danger, rushed the position, killed the crew, and captured the guns. An enemy officer and three men immediately rushed at him from a. bend in the trench and attempted to retake the guns. These four he killed single-handed, thus allowing the bombing party, on which much depended, to advance. The success of the operation was almost entirely due to the heroic work of this gallant N.C.O., and to the vigour with which ha made and used opportunities for inflicting casualties on the enemy. He was killed 24 hours later, when, under a most intense bombardment prior to an enemy counter-attack, he was going from post to post, encouraging the men.—London Gazette, September 27, 1918.