Walter Mills (VC)

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Walter Mills
Born 21 July 1894
Oldham, Lancashire
Died 11 December 1917 (aged 23)
Givenchy, France
Buried Gorre British Cemetery, Beuvry
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service -1917 
Rank Private
Unit The Manchester Regiment
Battles/wars World War I
Awards Victoria Cross

Walter Mills VC (21 July 1894 – 11 December 1917) 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.


Mills was 23 years old and a private in C Company,[1] the 1/10th Battalion, Manchester Regiment, in the British Army when the following events occurred.

On 11 December 1917, during the First World War while Private Mills was manning a position at Red Dragon Crater[1] near Givenchy, France the enemy launched an intense gas attack followed by a ground assault against the overcome garrisons. Private Mills, though badly gassed himself, met the attack single-handedly and continued to throw bombs until the arrival of reinforcements. He remained at his post until the attackers had been driven off. While being carried away from the scene of battle he died of gas poisoning. However, it was due to his efforts that the enemy was defeated and the line remained intact. For this reason he was awarded the Victoria Cross.[2]

Mills was buried at Gorre British & Indian Cemetery, Nr Bethune, Pas-De-Calais, France.[3]

His VC Medal was buried with his Daughter Ellen, who died in the 1934

On 11 December 2017 a commemorative plaque was laid at Oldham parish church in memory of Walter Mills.

Stone laid in memory of Walter Mills on the anniversary of him receiving the Victoria cross.


  1. ^ a b Frederick P. Gibbon. The 42nd (East Lancashire) Division 1914-1918. London: Country Life, 1920.
  2. ^ "No. 30523". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 February 1918. p. 2005.
  3. ^ CWGC entry