John William Harper

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
John William Harper
Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
Born (1916-08-06)6 August 1916
Hatfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Died 29 September 1944(1944-09-29) (aged 28)
Antwerp, Belgium
Buried at Leopoldsburg War Cemetery (51°6′44.17″N 5°16′6.47″E / 51.1122694°N 5.2684639°E / 51.1122694; 5.2684639)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1939 - 1944
Rank Corporal
Service number 4751678
Unit York and Lancaster Regiment
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Victoria Cross

John William Harper VC (6 August 1916 – 29 September 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.


John William Harper was born in Hatfield, Doncaster, South Yorkshire on 6 August 1916 to George Ernest Harper and his wife, Florence Parkin.


Harper was 28 years old, and a corporal in the 4th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment, British Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 29 September 1944 during an assault on the Depot de Mendicite,[Merksplas], Antwerp, Belgium, Corporal Harper led his section across 300 yards of completely exposed ground, with utter disregard for the hail of mortar bombs and small arms fire from the enemy. He was killed in the action, but the subsequent capture of the position was largely due to his self-sacrifice.[1]

The medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross is held at The York & Lancaster Regiment Museum in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England.


His remains now lie at the War Cemetery at Leopoldsburg, near Limburg, Belgium, Plot No.5, Row B, Grave No.15.51°6′44.17″N 5°16′6.47″E / 51.1122694°N 5.2684639°E / 51.1122694; 5.2684639

External images
Corporal Harper's name inscribed on the Hatfield Cemetery War Memorial

His name is inscribed on the Hatfield Cemetery War Memorial.[2]


External links[edit]

External images
Photograph of Corporal Harper's tombstone in the Leopoldsburg War Cemetery