THERE ARE EXTENSIVE EFFORTS BEING MADE TO LOCATE THE VICTORIA CROSS AWARDED TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL BERTRAM BEST-DUNKLEY, 5TH BATTALION, LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS.
11 October 2018

Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel Bertram Best-Dunkley,
5th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers

  • Victoria Cross
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-20 )


2018 marks the 100 year anniversary since the end of the First World War. To commemorate this milestone, The Fusilier Museum, Bury, Lancashire, is hosting a special exhibition - 18 for 18 which will see all eighteen Victoria Crosses awarded to the Lancashire Fusiliers during WWI united for the first time. The period of the exhibition is from the 6th October to 13th December 2018.

Seventeen Lancashire Fusiliers Victoria Cross groups are included in the exhibition sourced from various locations, the museum's own VC collection; several from the Lord Ashcroft VC Collection; the Irish Guards RHQ, and a number loaned privately.

The missing Victoria Cross group from the exhibition is the VC awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Bertram Best-Dunkley, 5th Battalion. The last sighting of the Best-Dunkley VC group was when it was sold by the South African auction house Alex Kaplan on 1st November 1982 for R15,000. Although extensive publicity has been generated around the world the whereabouts of the Best-Dunkley VC has not been discovered.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 6 September 1917 ], Wieltje, Belgium, 31 July 1917, Captain ( T / Lieutenant Colonel ) Bertram Best-Dunkley, 2nd / 5th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in command of his battalion ( Wieltje, Flanders ), the leading waves of which, during an attack, became disorganised by reason of rifle and machine gun fire at close range from positions which were believed to be in our hands. Lieutenant Colonel Best-Dunkley dashed forward, rallied his leading waves, and personally led them to the assault of these positions, which, despite heavy losses, were carried. He continued to lead his battalion until all their objectives had been gained.

Had it not been for this officer’s gallant and determined action it is doubtful if the left of the brigade would have reached its objectives. Later in the day, when our position was threatened, he collected his battalion headquarters, led them to the attack, and beat off the advancing enemy. This gallant officer has since died of wounds.

The Fusilier Museum Collection included in the exhibition
Rank First Name Last Name
Sergeant Harold John COLLEY 10th Bn ( Fusilier Museum Collection )
Lance Corporal Joel HALLIWELL 11th. Bn ( loan to Fusilier Museum Collection
Lance Sergeant William KENEALLY 1st Bn ( loan to Fusilier Museum Collection )
Private John LYNN 2nd Bn ( Fusilier Museum Collection )
2nd Lieutenant John SCHOFIELD 5th Bn ( Fusilier Museum Collection )
Sergeant Frank Edward STUBBS 1st Bn ( Fusilier Museum Collection )

Other VC sources included in the exhibition
Rank First Name Last Name
LIEUTENANT COLONEL BERTRAM BEST-DUNKLEY 5TH BN ( LOCATION NOT KNOWN )
Major Cuthbert BROMLEY 1st Bn ( private loan to the exhibition )
2nd Lieutenant Bernard Matthew CASSIDY 2nd Bn ( Lord Ashcroft VC Collection )
Sergeant James CLARKE 15th Bn ( Lord Ashcroft VC Collection )
Lieutenant Colonel John Elisha GRIMSHAW 1st Bn ( Lord Ashcroft VC Collection )
Corporal James HUTCHINSON 5th Bn ( private loan to the exhibition )
Private Frank LESTER 10th Bn ( Lord Ashcroft VC Collection )
Sergeant Joseph LISTER 1st Bn ( Lord Ashcroft VC Collection )
Sergeant Alfred Joseph RICHARDS 1st Bn ( Lord Ashcroft VC Collection )
Lieutenant Edward Benn SMITH 5th Bn ( Lord Ashcroft VC Collection )
Major Richard Raymond WILLIS 1st Bn ( Lord Ashcroft VC Collection )

Lieutenant Colonel James Marshall VC MC & Bar, Irish Guards
Rank First Name Last Name
Lieutenant Colonel James Neville MARSHALL Command 16th Bn ( Irish Guards RHQ, London )

News

Go to VC UK flag Home Page

Iain Stewart, 11 October 2018