Following a Victoria Cross exhibition in Vancouver in November 1998

( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of Lance Corporal William Metcalf,
16th Bn ( Canadian Scottish ), CEF

  • Victoria Cross
  • Military Medal & Bar
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )

In November 1998 the Canadian Scottish Regiment Museum held an exhibition of the Regiment's Victoria Crosses, loaned to the museum by the Canadian War Museum and families of holders. Following an invitation by the museum's curator, the son and grandson of William Metcalf journeyed from Maine and spent a week in the city during the period of the exhibition. Stanley Metcalf, William's son, was so impressed with the exhibition he decided to present his father's Victoria Cross medal group, along with his scrapbook and other associated items to the Canadian Scottish Museum for permanent safekeeping.

After several months training in England, Metcalf was transferred to the 16th Battalion ( Canadian Scottish ) on 13 May 1915 which was already in France. He went on to be wounded six times and to be awarded the Military Medal and Bar for gallantry.

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 15 November 1918 ]. Arras, France, 2 September 1918, No. 22614 Lance Corporal William Henry Metcalf MM, 16th Bn, ( Canadian Scottish ), Canadian Expeditionary Force.

For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty in attack ( Arras, France ), when, the right flank of the battalion being held up, he realised the situation and rushed forward under intense machine-gun fire to a passing Tank on the left.

With his signal flag he walked in front of the Tank, directing it along the trench in a perfect hail of bullets and bombs. The machine-gun strong points were overcome, very heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy, and a very critical situation was relieved. Later, although wounded, he continued to advance until ordered to get into a shell hole and have his wounds dressed.

His valour throughout was of the highest standard.

William Metcalf was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Sandringham on the 26th January 1919.

For the award of the Military Medal ( MM )

[ London Gazette, 6 January 1917 ]. Courcelette, France, 7 / 8 / 9 October 1916, No. 22614 Lance-Corporal William Henry Metcalf, 16th Bn, ( Canadian Scottish ), Canadian Expeditionary Force.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty near Courcelette on 7th / 8th / 9th October 1916. On the night of 7th October word was brought to battalion Headquarters that a man was lying in a trench some distance away bleeding to death. This NCO, a signaller, volunteered to go and bind his wound which he did, although the trench was under terrific shell fire and he was in great peril.

During the next two days Corporal Metcalf repeatedly went over the heavily shelled area and repaired broken telephone wires, thus keeping up communication with Brigade which was of immediate value to the situation.

During twenty months service in the field Metcalf's conduct has been one of uniform bravery and cheerful devotion to duty.

For the award of a Bar to the Military Medal ( MM )

[ London Gazette, 21 January 1919 ]. Armiens, France, 8 August 1918, No. 22614 Lance-Corporal William Henry Metcalf MM, 16th Bn, ( Canadian Scottish ), Canadian Expeditionary Force.

No citation.

In front of Armiens on 8th August 1918 Corporal Metcalf carried a telephone line forward and established a signal station which he maintained for the remainder of the day under heavy shell fire. He went out info no-man's-land several times to carry out repairs.


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pain tin Iain Stewart, 26 January 2000