James Kirk (VC)
|Born||27 January 1897|
Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire
|Died||4 November 1918 (aged 21)|
Oise Canal, near Ors, France
Ors Communal Cemetery
|Years of service||1915–1918|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Kirk was born on 27 January 1897 in Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire to James and Rachel Kirk. He enlisted as a private in the Manchester Regiment in 1915, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in June 1918. 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.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Final Days 1918 (Gerald Gliddon, 2000)