CorporalHARPER, JOHN WILLIAM

Service Number 4751678

Died 29/09/1944

Aged 28

The Hallamshire Bn.
York and Lancaster Regiment

V C

Citation

The citation in the London Gazette of 2nd January, 1945, gives the following details

In Belgium, on 29th September, 1944, the Hallamshire Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment attacked the Depot de Mendicite, a natural defensive position surrounded by an earthen wall and a dyke and strongly held by the enemy. Corporal Harper, disregarding the heavy fire, led the section that he commanded up to the wall, and killed or captured the enemy holding the near side. The platoon commander was seriously wounded, and Corporal Harper took over command of the platoon. He then climbed over the wall and routed the Germans directly opposing him. Finding the dyke too deep to cross, he was ordered to establish his platoon on the far side of the wall, between it and the dyke. This he succeeded in doing with the loss of only one man, having himself by then climbed the wall three times. Finally he was fatally wounded while directing his company commander to a ford which had been discovered by the neighbouring battalion. The success of the battalion in driving the enemy from the wall and back across the dyke must be largely ascribed to the superb self-sacrifice and inspiring gallantry of Corporal Harper. His magnificent courage, fearlessness and devotion to duty throughout the battle set a splendid example to his men and had a decisive effect on the course of the operations.

Buried at LEOPOLDSBURG WAR CEMETERY

Location: Limburg (Belgium), Belgium
Number of casualties: 783

Cemetery/memorial reference: V. B. 15.

See cemetery plan
Cemetery details

CWGC Archives

DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents 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.
DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents 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.
DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents 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.