John William Sayer
|John William Sayer
|Born||12 April 1879
|Died||18 April 1918
Le Verguier, France
|Buried at||Le Cateau Military Cemetery|
|Years of service||1916 - 1918|
|Unit||The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment)|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
John William Sayer VC (12 April 1879 – 18 April 1918) 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.
He was 38 years old, and a Lance Corporal in the 8th Battalion, The Queen's (Royal West Surrey Regiment), British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 21 March 1918 at Le Verguier, France, Lance Corporal Sayer held the flank of a small isolated post for two hours. Owing to mist the enemy approached from both sides to within 30 yards before being discovered, but the lance corporal, on his own initiative without assistance, beat off a succession of attacks, inflicting heavy losses. During the whole time he was exposed to heavy fire but his contempt of danger and skill in the use of his fire-arms enabled the post to hold out until nearly all the garrison had been killed and he himself wounded and captured. He died as a result of wounds four weeks later.
Sayer's actions on the day have been cited as having an immense effect on holding back the German offensive which stalled as they were held up by the Queen's Regiment defence.
- "Queens Royal Surreys". Retrieved March 11, 2013.
- "no. 31395". The London Gazette. 6 June 1919. pp. 7419–7420. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- CWGC entry
- Daily Mail: The astonishing story of the ‘forgotten VC’ whose heroism may have changed the course of the Great War
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - Spring Offensive 1918 (Gerald Gliddon, 1997)