James Kirk (VC)

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James Kirk
Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
Born(1897-01-27)27 January 1897
Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire
Died4 November 1918(1918-11-04) (aged 21)
Oise Canal, near Ors, France
Ors Communal Cemetery
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army
Years of service1915–1918
RankSecond Lieutenant
UnitManchester Regiment
Battles/warsWorld War I
AwardsVictoria Cross

James Kirk VC (27 January 1897 – 4 November 1918) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy.

Kirk was born on 27 January 1897 in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire to James and Rachel Kirk.[1] He enlisted as a private in the Manchester Regiment in 1915, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in June 1918.[2] Kirk was a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the 10th Battalion, The Manchester Regiment, British Army, attached to the 2nd Battalion during the First World War when the actions that led to his recognition took place.


For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty North of Ors on 4 Nov., 1918, whilst attempting to bridge the Oise Canal. To cover the bridging of the canal he took a Lewis gun, and, under intense machine-gun fire, paddled across the canal on a raft, and at a range of ten yards expended all his ammunition. Further ammunition was paddled across to him and he continuously maintained a covering fire for the bridging party from a most exposed position till killed at his gun. The supreme contempt of danger and magnificent self-sacrifice displayed by this gallant officer prevented many casualties and enabled two platoons to cross the bridge before it was destroyed.[3][1]


  1. ^ a b Kirk, James, Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  2. ^ Manchester Heroes Archived 27 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "No. 31108". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 January 1919. p. 307.

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