Private John Lynn

Born: 1887

Died: 02/05/1915

Unit: 2nd Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers

Location of VC action: Ypres, Belgium

Date of VC action: 02/05/1915 – the second battle of Ypres

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and resolution in the face of intense machine-gun fire. During the initial advance he was shot through the right leg, but though crippled, he continued to lead his men and captured the trench. In the captured trench, Lieut. Mackintosh collected men of another company who had lost their leader and drove back a counter-attack. He was again wounded, and although unable to stand, he continued, nevertheless to control the situation. With only fifteen men left he ordered his party to be ready to advance to the final objective, and with great difficulty got out of the trench and encouraged his men to advance. He was again wounded and fell. The gallantry and devotion to duty of this officer “For most conspicuous bravery near Ypres on 2nd May 1915. When the Germans were advancing behind their wave of asphyxiating gas, Pte. Lynn, although almost overcome by the deadly fumes, handled his machine gun with very great effect against the enemy, and when he could not see them he moved his gun higher up on the parapet, which enabled him to bring even more effective fire to bear, and eventually checked any further advance. The great courage displayed by this soldier had a fine effect on his comrades in the very trying circumstances. He died from the effects of gas poisoning.”

Lynn’s original grave was in Vlamertinghe Churchyard (See west of Ypres) but was lost at some point during the war due to further fighting. In its place, a memorial headstone is in Grootebeek British Cemetery, bearing the inscription: “WHO WAS BURIED AT THE TIME IN VLAMERTINGHE CHURCHYARD BUT WHOSE GRAVE WAS DESTROYED IN LATER BATTLES A PLACE IS VACANT IN OUR HOME THAT NEVER CAN BE FILLED”

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