John Dunville

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John Spencer Dunville
John Dunville VC.jpg
Born 7 May 1896
Marylebone, London
Died 26 June 1917
Epehy, France
Buried at Villers-Faucon Communal Cemetery
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1914–1917 
Rank Second Lieutenant
Unit 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons
1st Royal Dragoons
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross

John Spencer Dunville VC (7 May 1896 – 26 June 1917) 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.

Dunville was born on 7 May 1896 in Marylebone, London, to Colonel John Dunville Dunville CBE DL and Violet Anne Blanch Dunville (née Lambart). His father was from Holywood, County Down and was chairman of Dunville & Co whiskey distillers.[1] He was educated at Ludgrove School and at Eton, and was a member of the Officer Training Corps from May 1912 to July 1914. He passed matriculation for Trinity College, Cambridge, but joined the army instead.[2]

He was aged 21 and a second lieutenant in the 1st Royal Dragoons, British Army during the First World War when he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 24/25 June 1917 near Epehy, France.


For most conspicuous bravery. When in charge of a party consisting of Scouts and Royal Engineers engaged in the demolition of the enemy's wire, this officer displayed great gallantry and disregard of all personal danger. In order to ensure the absolute success of the work entrusted to him, 2nd Lt. Dunville placed himself between the N.C.O. of the Royal Engineers and the enemy's fire, and thus protected, this N.C.O. was enabled to complete a work of great importance. 2nd Lt. Dunville, although severely wounded, continued to direct his men in the wire-cutting and general operations until the raid was successfully completed, thereby setting a magnificent example of courage, determination and devotion to duty, to all ranks under his command. This gallant officer has since succumbed to his wounds.

The London Gazette, No. 30215, 31 July 1917[3]

Second Lieutenant John Spencer Dunville died of wounds on 26 June 1917, the day after performing the deed, and is interred at the Villiers-Faucon Communal Cemetery, Somme, France, (Plot No. A21).[4]

The Medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the The Household Cavalry Museum, Windsor, Berkshire.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "The Dumvilles of Hunton". Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30215. p. 7906. 31 July 1917. Retrieved 30 April 2015.
  4. ^ Dunville, John Spencer, Commonwealth War Graves Commission

External links[edit]