John Harold Rhodes

John Harold Rhodes

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John Harold Rhodes

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John Harold Rhodes VC DCM & Bar (17 May 1891 – 27 November 1917) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Rhodes was born in Packmoor, Stoke On Trent, Staffordshire, son of ex-soldier and miner Ernie Rhodes. He was educated in Newchapel and later became a miner at the Chatterly Whitfield Colliery. Around 1910, however, he joined the Grenadier Guards and served for three years, after which he returned to the colliery. On the outbreak of World War I John was recalled to the forces as a reservist. Now 26 years old, and a Lance-Sergeant in the 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards, British Army during the First World War John won the Distinguished Conduct Medal on 17 May 1915 and three months later was awarded a bar to this medal. While back in England recovering from his wounds, John married but was not destined to live to see the resulting child.

Back on the front-line, the following deed took place at the Battle of Poelcapelle for which John was awarded the VC and also the Croix De Guerre:

He was killed in action, Fontaine Notre Dame, France, on 27 November 1917 and buried at Rocquigny-Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Guards Regimental Headquarters (Grenadier Guards RHQ) in London, England.

A memorial plaque was unveiled at Chatterley Whitfield...
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