William Mariner (VC)
29 May 1882|
|Died||1 July 1916
|Years of service||1902 - 1916|
|Unit||King's Royal Rifle Corps|
|Battles/wars||World War I †|
William Mariner VC (29 May 1882 – 1 July 1916) 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.
Mariner, the son of Mrs A. Wignall was 32 years old, and a private in the 2nd Battalion, The King's Royal Rifle Corps, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
The citation for the award, published in the London Gazette on 23 June 1915, read:
"No. 2052 Private William Mariner, 2nd Battalion, The King's Royal Rifle Corps.
During a violent thunderstorm on the night of 22nd May, 1915, he left his trench near Cambrin, and crept out through the German wire entanglements till he reached the emplacement of a German machine gun which had been damaging our parapets and hindering our working parties.
After climbing on the top of the German parapet he threw a bomb in under the roof of the gun emplacement and- heard some groaning and the enemy running away. After about a quarter of an hour he heard some of them coming back again, and climbed up on the other side of the emplacement and threw another bomb among them left-handed. He then lay still while the Germans opened a heavy fire on the wire entanglement behind him, and it was only after about an hour that he was able to crawl back to his own trench.
Before starting out he had requested a serjeant to open fire on the enemy's trenches as soon as he had thrown his bombs. Rifleman Mariner was out alone for one and a half hours carrying out this gallant work."
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Western Front 1915 (Peter F. Batchelor & Christopher Matson, 1999)