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 Okill Massey Learmonth

Okill Massey Learmonth

Birth
Quebec, Capitale-Nationale Region, Quebec, Canada
Death 19 Aug 1917 (aged 23)
Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Burial Noeux-les-Mines, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Plot II.K.9.
Memorial ID 9920112 · View Source
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World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. A native of Canada, he posthumously received the award on November 6, 1917 for his actions as an acting major in the 2nd (Eastern Ontario) Infantry Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on August 18, 1917 at the Battle of Hill 70 (a diversionary tactic to draw German forces away from the Battle of Passchendaele in Belgium) near Loos, France. Born in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, after graduating from Quebec High School he served for two years in the Canadian militia and worked at the Union Bank of Canada and the Treasury Department at Quebec. Following the outbreak of World War I, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in September 1914 and assigned to the 12th Infantry Battalion and sent to England. After receiving training, he was sent to the Western Front in France with the 2nd Infantry Battalion. He saw intense combat action at Ypres, Belgium and was wounded. He was then commissioned as a lieutenant and saw action at Vimy Ridge (April 1917), Fresnoy-en-Gohelle (May 1917), and finally Loos where he died of wounds at the age of the 23 on the day following his heroic efforts at the Battle of Hill 70. His Victoria Cross citation reads: "On 18 August 1917 east of Loos, France, during a determined counter-attack on our new positions, Major Learmonth, when his company was momentarily surprised, instantly charged and personally disposed of the attackers. Later, although under intense barrage fire and mortally wounded, he stood on the parapet of the trench, bombing the enemy and on several occasions he actually caught bombs thrown at him and threw them back. When unable to carry on the fight, he still refused to be evacuated and continued giving instructions and invaluable advice, finally handing over all his duties before he was moved to hospital where he died." His Victoria Cross is held by the Governor General's Foot Guards' Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 18 Nov 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9920112
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Okill Massey Learmonth (22 Feb 1894–19 Aug 1917), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9920112, citing Noeux-les-Mines Communal Cemetery, Noeux-les-Mines, Departement du Pas-de-Calais, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .