John Pennington Harman
|John Pennington Harman|
|Born||20 July 1914
|Died||9 April 1944
Kohima, British India
|Buried at||Kohima War Cemetery|
|Unit||The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment|
|Battles/wars||World War II
Battle of Kohima
John Pennington Harman VC (20 July 1914 – 9 April 1944) 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.
Harman was 29 years old, and a Lance-corporal in the 4th Battalion, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, British Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
On 8/9 April 1944 at the Battle of Kohima, British India, Lance-Corporal Harman was commanding a section of a forward platoon where soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army had established a machine-gun post within 50 yards of his company and were becoming a menace. Since it was not possible to bring fire on to the enemy post the lance-corporal went forward by himself and threw a grenade into the position, destroying it. He returned carrying the enemy machinegun as a trophy. Early next morning, having ordered covering fire from his Bren gun team, he went out alone, with Lee Enfield and fixed bayonet and charged a party of Japanese soldiers who were digging in. He shot four and bayoneted one. On his way back, Lance Corporal Harman was severely wounded by a burst of enemy machine-gun fire and died soon after reaching British lines.
A plaque is displayed on the house where he was born in Shrewsbury Road, Beckenham, located in the London Borough of Bromley. There is also a memorial to him erected by his father in VC Quarry, on the east side of Lundy Island.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum in Maidstone, Kent, England.
- British VCs of World War 2 (John Laffin, 1997)
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- Photo of John Pennington