THE FIRST WORLD WAR CAMPAIGN MEDALS AWARDED TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL JOHN DIMMER HAS BEEN REUNITED WITH HIS VICTORIA CROSS AND MILITARY CROSS HELD BY THE ROYAL GREEN JACKETS ( RIFLES ) MUSEUM IN WINCHESTER.
29 May 2014


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel John Dimmer,
2nd Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps

  • Victoria Cross
  • Military Cross ( MC )
  • 1914 Star + clasp "5th Aug-22nd Nov 1914"
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) + MiD Oakleaf

Sixty years ago a member of the Dimmer family donated the Victoria Cross and Military Cross awarded to Lieutenant Colonel John Dimmer to the Regimental Museum of the King's Royal Rifle Corps, but the First World War trio of 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal were not included in the donation.

The museum staff were unaware of the whereabouts of the campaign medals until a chance encounter between Lieutenant General Sir Christopher Wallace, Chairman of the Museum Trustees, and Mrs Bernadette Oxley, John Dimmer's great-neice. Mrs Oxley, who lives in Surrey, declared that she and her two sisters owned Dimmer's WWI campaign medals and subsequently agreed to donate the medals to the Royal Green Jackets ( Rifles ) Museum in Winchester so they could be reunited with John Dimmer's Victoria Cross and Military Cross.

At a small ceremony which took place at the museum on the 5th April 2014, Mrs Oxley, accompanied by other family members, handed over the campaign medals to Sir Christopher Wallace.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 19 November 1914 ], Klein Zillebeke, Belgium, 12 November 1914, Lieutenant John Henry Stephan Dimmer, 2nd Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps.

This officer served his Machine Gun during the attack on the 12th November 1914 at Klein Zillebeke until he had been shot five times three times by shrapnel and twice by bullets, and continued at his post until his gun was destroyed.

John Dimmer was invested with his Victoria Cross and Military Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 13th January 1915.


For the award of the Military Cross

[ London Gazette, 1 January 1915 ], Gheluvelt, Belgium, 29 - 31 October 1914, Lieutenant John Henry Stephan Dimmer, 2nd Bn, King's Royal Rifle Corps

During the retirement ( at Gheluvelt ) on 31 October 1914 Lieutenant Dimmer, with his machine-gun section, did excellent work on the main road. Although the Germans constantly got within a few yards of his guns he held them at bay, and inflicted very heavy losses on them, and eventually got back without losing his guns.


Acting Lieutenant Colonel John Dimmer VC MC, was killed in action on the 21st March 1918 whilst commanding and leading the 2nd / 4th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment at Marteville, near St Quentin. He is buried in the Vadencourt British Cemetery, Maissemy, France.

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Iain Stewart, 29 May 2014