Edmund De Wind
|Edmund De Wind|
|Born||11 December 1883
Comber, County Down
|Died||21 March 1918 (age 34)
|Years of service||1914 - 1917 (Canada)
1917 - 1918 (UK) †
|Unit||15th Battalion, The Royal Irish Rifles|
|Battles/wars||World War I - Spring Offensive|
Edmund De Wind, VC (11 December 1883 – 21 March 1918) was a British Army officer during the First World War, and posthumous 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.
De Wind was born in Comber, County Down, Northern Ireland on 11 December 1883 to Arthur Hughes De Wind, C.E., and Margaret Jane De Wind. He was educated at Campbell College and then went to work for the Bank of Ireland, Clones branch.
He served with The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada for a period of six months prior to his enlistment as a private on 16 November 1914 in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force. He arrived in France with 2nd Division of C.E.F. in September 1915. He saw action in the Battle of the Somme (1916) and at Vimy Ridge (1917). He earned a commission in September 1917 in the British Army.
For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice on the 21st March, 1918, at the Race Course Redoubt, near Grugies. For seven hours he held this most important post, and though twice wounded and practically single-handed, he maintained his position until another section could be got to his help. On two occasions, with two N.C.O.'s only, he got out on top under heavy machine gun and rifle fire, and cleared the enemy out of the trench, killing many. He continued to repel attack after attack until he was mortally wounded and collapsed. His valour, self-sacrifice and example were of the highest order.
De Wind is commemorated by a pillar, bearing his name and date of death, commissioned by his mother and installed at the main entrance on the west front of St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast. The entire west front, dedicated in 1927, forms a memorial to the Ulster men and women who served and died in the Great War. He is also named on the Pozières Memorial, in the Somme department of France, to the missing of the Fifth Army. There is a plaque memorial in his old school, Campbell College, Belfast. In his home town of Comber, he is commemorated by an Ulster History Circle blue plaque, unveiled in 2007.
Mount De Wind, Alberta, Canada, is named after him. A housing estate in Comber is also named in his honour.
- "Casualty Details". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. Retrieved 19 February 2009.
- "Edmund De Wind". Ulster History Circle. Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2010.
- "Edmund De Wind (1883 - 1918)". Find A Grave. Retrieved 23 December 2005.
- "No. 31340". The London Gazette (Supplement). 13 May 1919. p. 6083.
Listed in order of publication year
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (1981, 1988 and 1997)
- Clarke, Brian D. H. (1986). "A register of awards to Irish-born officers and men". The Irish Sword. XVI (64): 185–287.
- Ireland's VCs (Dept of Economic Development, 1995)
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- Irish Winners of the Victoria Cross (Richard Doherty & David Truesdale, 2000)