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Frederick McNess VC

 
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Nov 2010 21:21    Onderwerp: Frederick McNess VC Reageer met quote

Frederick McNess


Frederick McNess as depicted on a cigarette card

Frederick McNess VC (22 January 1892 - 4 May 1956) 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.

He was 24 years old, and a Lance-Sergeant in the 1st Battalion, Scots Guards, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 15 September 1916 near Ginchy, France, during a period of severe fighting, Lance-Sergeant McNess led his men with great dash in the face of heavy shell and machine-gun fire. When the first line of the enemy trenches was reached, it was found that the left flank was exposed and that the enemy were bombing down the trench. Sergeant McNess thereupon organised and led a counter-attack and although he was very severely wounded in the neck and jaw, did not give up. Finally he established a "block" and continued encouraging his men and throwing bombs until exhausted by loss of blood.

He later achieved the rank of Sergeant.

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_McNess
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Nov 2010 21:25    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote







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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Nov 2010 21:31    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 26 OCTOBER, 1916

No. 13301 Lance-Serjeant Fred McNess, 33cots Guards.

For most conspicuous bravery. During a severe engagement he led his men on with the greatest dash in face of heavy shell and machine gun fire. When the first line of enemy trenches was reached, it was found that the left flank was exposed and that the enemy was bombing down the trench.

Serjeant McNess thereupon organised a counter-attack and led it in person. He was very severely wounded in the neck and jaw, but went on passing through the barrage of hostile bombs in order to bring up fresh supplies of bombs to his own men.

Finally he established a " block," and continued encouraging his men and throwing bombs till utterly exhausted by loss of blood.
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“I hope you live a life you are proud of. If you find that you are not, l hope you have the strength to start all over again.
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Nov 2010 21:35    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Victoria Cross Society



We had a large response to our Mystery VC Photo in the March issue. Many members identified most of the group but the definitive answer came from Geoff Robertson, who owns the original press photo, which has the names type on the reverse. Thanks to Geoff and all who submitted answers.

Back row, left to right - SgtJ.Moyney, Capt.G.A.Boyd-Rochfort, Capt.G.H.Frisby, Cpl.W.D.Fuller, Sgt.J.Macauley, Coy.S.M. G.Evans
Front row, left to right - L/Cpl.G.H.Wyatt, L/Sgt.O.Brooks, Col.J.V.Campbell, Col.the Viscount Gort, Sgt.R.Bye, L/Sgt.F.McNess

http://www.victoriacrosssociety.com/news.htm
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Nov 2010 21:46    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Sgt. McNess lived at 39 Eightlands Lane, Bramley. He was born on January 22nd 1890, and prior to enlisting in January 1915, was employed as a carter by Mr. Joseph Harry Boan, carrier of Bramley. Sgt. McNess eventually married the nurse who had looked after him during his long stay in hospital recovering from his wounds, which for the remainder of his life were to cause him a great deal of pain. On his return to civilian life, he started in business for himself in Woodhouse Lane, Leeds. Later in life he was employed in the City Engineers Department from where he retired aged 65. He then moved to Bournemouth, where he died a few years ago.

User BottsGreys, http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=66917&st=0&p=593149&hl=mcness&fromsearch=1&#entry593149

Even though he was in constant pain and suffered terribly from his war injuries, physical and mental, when the second world war broke out Fred McNess petitioned the Scots Guards for any position in which he could be useful.
His boot and shoe repairs business on Woodhouse Lane which had been set up following a gift of money from the City of Leeds was forced to close as all his staff were called up for service and he was unable to do some of the heavier work.

Fred McNess' is a tragic case. The move to Bournemouth was meant to help with his health, and while physically it might have done this, mentally the move was deeply unsettling for him. While alone in the house Fred McNess took his own life by cutting his throat. His death brought his widow years of uncertainty as she found that the house of a suicide victim, VC hero or not, had acquired a stigma. Also because of the nature of his death, the War Office withheld his pension. This was resolved only after the intervention by one of McNess' former officers and an MP.

User Nigel Marshall, http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=66917&st=0&p=593149&hl=mcness&fromsearch=1&#entry593149

As for suicide of soldiers years after their war ended, well, look at L/Sgt Fred McNess VC, Scots Guards. He won his VC on the Somme at Ginchy in September 1916, getting terribly wounded in the action with major facial wounds involving the loss of part of his lower jaw, which was re-built from a rib bone, and wounds to his neck and chest. Fred McNess VC was set up in business as a cobbler and boot dealer with premises on Woodhouse Lane in Leeds. The Second World War put him out of business after all his staff were called up. His own pleas for a military position where he was willing to do 'anything useful' were rejected due to his age and wounds.
He moved to Bournemouth when he retired, but after only a few months in his new home he was dead by his own hand.

Many theories have gone around trying to figure out why he killed himself. The disturbance of the move, retirement giving him too much time to think, the impending 40th anniversary of his VC action, his pain and fragile health from his wounds have all been considered to be contributory factors, and the truth probably covers most if not all of these possibilities.

The tragedy is that for Fred McNess VC and many of his kind, the war which ended for most in 1918, never ever ended for them.

User Nigel Marshall, http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=111419&st=25&p=1062608&hl=mcness&fromsearch=1&#entry1062608
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Percy Toplis



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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Nov 2010 21:52    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Victoria Cross winners - Leeds



http://www.flickr.com/photos/28716254@N07/3894198907/
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Lingekopf
Bismarck


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BerichtGeplaatst: 23 Nov 2010 23:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mooi werk Percy! Maak daar maar een Wiki-artikeltje van! Laughing
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