John Chipman Kerr
John Chipman Kerr
portrait painted by A. Y. Jackson
|Born||11 January 1887|
Fox River, Nova Scotia
|Died||19 February 1963|
Port Moody, British Columbia
|Service/||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
Royal Canadian Air Force
Sergeant (Air Force)
|Unit||49th (Edmonton) Battalion|
|Battles/wars||First World War|
Second World War
John Chipman Kerr VC (January 11, 1887 – February 19, 1963), was a Canadian 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.
In 1912, after working as a lumberjack near Kootenay, British Columbia he bought a homestead in Spirit River, Alberta, where he and his brother farmed until war broke out. Immediately they set out for Edmonton, leaving only a single note tacked to the door of their humble shed. It read: "War is Hell, but what is homesteading?"
On 16 September 1916 at Courcelette, France, during a bombing attack, Private Kerr was acting as bayonet man and noting that bombs were running short, he ran along the parados under heavy fire until he was in close contact with the enemy when he opened fire at point-blank range, inflicting heavy losses. The enemy, thinking that they were surrounded, surrendered - 62 prisoners were taken and 250 yards of enemy trench captured. Earlier, Private Kerr's fingers had been blown off, but he did not have his wound dressed until he and two other men had escorted the prisoners back under fire and reported for duty.
After the war he returned to farm in Alberta and also worked in the oil patch and as a forest ranger in Alberta.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Chipman Kerr.|
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Somme (Gerald Gliddon, 1994)
- John Chipman Kerr's digitized service file
- John Chipman Kerr biography on DND's Directorate of History and Heritage
- Legion Magazine article on John Kerr
- Kerr's Medals at the Canadian War Museum
- City of Port Moody - Chip Kerr memorial
- John Chipman Kerr at Find a Grave
- List of Canadian Victoria Cross recipients