Robert Grierson Combe

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Robert Grierson Combe
Robert Grierson Combe.jpg
Born5 August 1880
Aberdeen, Scotland
Died3 May 1917
Near Acheville, France
Allegiance Canada
Service/branchCanadian Expeditionary Force
Years of service1915 - 1917
Unit27th (City of Winnipeg) Battalion, CEF
Battles/warsFirst World War 
AwardsVictoria Cross

Robert Grierson Combe VC (5 August 1880 – 3 May 1917), 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. Combe is also considered Scottish since he was born in Aberdeen, Scotland.


Combe was 36 years old, and a lieutenant in the 27th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 3 May 1917, south of Acheville, France, Lieutenant Combe steadied his company under intense fire and leading them through the enemy barrage reached the objective with only five men. He proceeded to bomb the enemy, inflicting heavy casualties and then, collecting small groups of men, succeeded in capturing the objective, together with 80 prisoners. He repeatedly charged the enemy, driving them before him, but while personally leading his bombers he was killed by a sniper.[1]

Combe was buried in a battlefield cemetery near Acheville close where he was killed, but later fighting saw the cemetery destroyed and his grave site lost. As such, R.G. Combe's name is inscribed on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial along with the names of the other Canadian soldiers who were killed in France and whose bodies were never recovered or identified or whose graves were lost.[2] The battlefield on which Lt. Combe fell is just over seven kilometres away from the Vimy Monument, and on a clear day Acheville can be seen from the monument itself.

The medal[edit]

Combe's medal is held by the Provincial Archives in Regina, Saskatchewan and is displayed on special occasions. It is the only publicly held Victoria Cross in the province.


  1. ^ "No. 30154". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 June 1917. p. 6381.
  2. ^ Robert Grierson Combe at Find a Grave

Further reading[edit]

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