|John Henry Carless|
John Henry Carless
|Born||November 11, 1896|
|Died||November 17, 1917(aged 21)|
|Place of birth||Walsall, England|
|Place of death||Heligoland, Germany|
|Years of service||1914-1917†|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Carless was born on 11 November 1896 to John Thomas and Elizabeth Carless, of Walsall. He died when he was 21 years old, and an Ordinary Seaman in the Royal Navy during World War I. He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 17 November 1917 aboard HMS Caledon at the Second Battle of Heligoland Bight, Germany, which led to his death. Having no known grave, he is listed on Panel 25 of the Royal Naval Memorial at Portsmouth, Hampshire.
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Although mortally wounded in the abdomen, he still went on serving the gun at which he was acting as rammer, lifting a projectile and helping to clear away the other casualties. He collapsed once, but got up, tried again, and cheered on the new gun's crew. He then fell and died. He not only set a very inspiring and memorable example, but he also, whilst mortally wounded, continued to do effective work against the King's enemies.—The London Gazette, No. 30687, 17 May 1918
A bust of Carless stands on a plinth outside Walsall Museum (at ). The museum has a display on Carless, including a replica of his VC (it has the original in store, for security reasons), the ship's name-band from his uniform cap, and an oil portrait, commissioned by the Walsall Services Memorial Club.
- Carless, John Henry, Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Lloyd, Matt (30 December 2009). "Black Country Victoria Cross winners are honoured". Birmingham Mail. http://www.birminghammail.net/news/black-country/black-country-news/2009/12/30/black-country-victoria-cross-winners-are-honoured-97319-25489033/. Retrieved 31 December 2009.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - The Naval VCs (Stephen Snelling, 2002)
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