THE VICTORIA CROSS AWARDED TO PRIVATE JOHN FRANCIS YOUNG, 87TH BN ( CANADIAN GRENADIER GUARDS ), CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE, HAS BEEN ACQUIRED BY THE CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM
5 March 2012

Medal entitlement of Private John Francis Young,
87th Bn ( Canadian Grenadier Guards ), CEF

  • Victoria Cross
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 ) ( not inlcuded )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) ( not included )

Medal group image:
CWM 20110065-001
Tilston Memorial Collection of Canadian Military Medals

The Victoria Cross awarded to Private John Francis Young, 87th Bn ( Canadian Grenadier Guards ), Canadian Expeditionary Force, has been acquired by the Canadian War Museum of Ottawa. The whereabouts of John Young's British War Medal and Victory Medal are not known.


During the hectic fighting of 2nd September 1918 no fewer than eleven Victoria Crosses were awarded for gallantry beyond the call of duty, six of them being awarded to Canadians.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 14 December 1918 ], Dury-Arras, France, 2 September 1918, Private John Francis Young, 87th Bn, Quebec Regiment ( Canadian Grenadier Guards ), Canadian Expeditionary Force.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in attack at Dury-Arras sector on the 2nd September 1918, when acting as a stretcher-bearer attached to "D" Company of the 87th Bn., Quebec Regiment.

The company in the advance over the ridge suffered heavy casualties from shell and machine-gun fire. Private Young, in spite of the complete absence of cover, without the least hesitation went out, and in the open fire-swept ground dressed the wounded. Having exhausted his stock of dressings, on more than one occasion he returned, under intense fire, to the company headquarters for a further supply. This work he continued for over an hour, displaying throughout the most absolute fearlessness.

To his courageous conduct must be ascribed the saving of the lives of many of his comrades. Later, when the fire had somewhat slackened, he organized and led stretcher parties to bring in the wounded whom he had dressed. All through the operations of 2nd, 3rd and 4th September Private Young continued to show the greatest valour and devotion to duty.

John Young was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 30th April 1919.


John Young died from tuberculosis at the early age of thirty-six on the 7th November 1929 in the St Agathe Sanatorium, Quebec, probably hastened by gas poisoning during the First World War. Young was buried in the Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal.

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Iain Stewart, 5 March 2012