Private Edward Dwyer VC

1st Battalion The East Surrey Regiment

Private Edward Dwyer VC
Private Edward Dwyer VC

Private Dwyer was born in Fulham, London, on 25th November 1895 and joined the Army at the age of sixteen in 1911. He took part in the retreat from Mons in 1914 and was promoted Lance Corporal in 1915. Sadly killed in action at Guillemont on 4th September 1916, he was buried at Flatiron Copse Cemetery in France.

Pte Dwyer also received his Victoria Cross from HM King George V at Buckingham Palace on 15th June 1915. On his last leave he left it in the care of Canon Browne of Holloway and it was eventually presented to the Regimental Museum in 1962.

His Citation reads:-

“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on “Hill Sixty” on 20th April 1915. When his trench was heavily attacked by German grenade throwers, he climbed on to the parapet and although subjected to a hail of bombs at close quarters, succeeded in dispersing the enemy by the effective use of his hand grenades. Private Dwyer displayed great gallantry earlier in this day, in leaving his trench under heavy shell fire to bandage his wounded comrade”.


Date of Act of Bravery
20th April 1915
Hill 60, Ypres

London Gazette
20th May 1915

On the 20th April 1915 at Hill 60, Ypres the 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment were involved in bitter fighting. Three members of The East Surrey Regiment, showing what is described as “most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty”, etched their way into history and gained Victoria Crosses in the process.

Defence of Hill 60

Painting of the Defence of Hill 60
by the 1st Bn The East Surrey Regiment April 1915

The Picture depicts an episode during the Defence of Hill 60, 19th-21st April, 1915. It portrays one of the many German assaults that took place on the late afternoon of April 20th, and the view is taken from the high ground about 200 yards south of the Hill. From this point of view one can see a heavy attack being made on the left of our line simultaneously with an assault by the Germans across the open at our front trenches on the forward slope of the Hill. The right of our line is shown in the foreground with riflemen and machine guns in action. The intense bombardment is well depicted and the numerous dead and wounded of both sides convey a very good impression of the scene as it actually was. Hill 60, a commanding position overlooking the low ground towards Ypres was captured by the 13th Brigade on the night of 17th-18th April. The First Battalion took over the position the following night and though almost continuously bombarded and repeatedly attacked by the Germans in their strenuous efforts to re-capture the Hill, the Surreys handed over the position intact on the morning of the 21st. Three Victoria Crosses were awarded for this action. The Corps Commander, Lieutenant General Sir Charles Ferguson, K.C.B. when addressing the Battalion next day, said, 'It was the most magnificent thing yet in the whole war.'

The artist is Fred Roe, R.I., who completed numerous war pictures and paintings.

 Private Edward Dwyer VC
(Click image to view enlarged)


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