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BRILLANT, JOHN

Rank:
Lieutenant
Date of Death:
10/08/1918
Age:
28
Regiment/Service:
Canadian Infantry
 
22nd Bn.
Awards:
V C, M C
Grave Reference:
VIA. B. 20.
Cemetery:
VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MILITARY CEMETERY
Additional Information:
Son of Joseph Brillant, of Rimouski, P.Q., Canada.

Citation

An extract from "The London Gazette" No. 30922, dated 27th Sept., 1918, records the following:-"For most conspicuous bravery and outstanding devotion to duty when in charge of a company which he led in attack during two days with absolute fearlessness and extraordinary ability and initiative, the extent of the advance being twelve miles. On the first day of operations shortly after the attack had begun, his company's left flank was held up by an enemy machine gun. Lt. Brillant rushed and captured the machine-gun, personally killing two of the enemy crew. Whilst doing this, he was wounded but refused to leave his command. Later on the same day, his company was held up by heavy machine-gun fire. He reconnoitred the ground personally, organised a party of two platoons and rushed straight for the machine-gun nest. Here 150 enemy and fifteen machine-guns were captured. Lt. Brillant personally killing five of the enemy, and being wounded a second time. He had this wound dressed immediately, and again refused to leave his company. Subsequently this gallant officer detected a field gun firing on his men over open sights. He immediately organised and led a "rushing" party towards the gun. After progressing about 600 yards, he was again seriously wounded. In spite of this third wound, he continued to advance for some 200 yards more, when he fell unconscious from exhaustion and loss of blood. Lt. Brillant's wonderful example throughout the day inspired his men with an enthusiasm and dash which largely contributed towards the success of the operations."

Commemorative Certificate

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CWGC Archive Online (14)

Grave Registration Reports (GRRs) are standard forms which detail graves for which the Commission is responsible within a particular burial ground. They provide basic details of the individuals, such as name, service number, rank, regiment, unit and date of death, and are listed in Plot, Row and Grave order.
These record details of individuals who were originally buried in smaller or isolated cemeteries, but who, at a later date, were exhumed and reburied in war cemeteries. The concentration of cemeteries allowed otherwise unmaintainable graves to be moved into established war grave cemeteries where the Commission could ensure proper commemoration.
These documents provide details of what was actually inscribed on an individual’s headstone. Their main purpose was to help manage the enormous programme of headstone production and engraving the Commission embarked on in the immediate aftermath of the First World War.

Disclaimer

This collection of documents relating to the First World War was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.

Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.

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Casualty Record Detail

VILLERS-BRETONNEUX MILITARY CEMETERY

Country:
France
Locality:
Somme

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