Google
Edward Dwyer

Edward Dwyer VC

This is Lance Corporal Edward Dwyer, from Fulham. At the time he was the youngest person to be awarded the Victoria Cross in the First World War. How old do you think Edward was when he joined the British Army? How old do you think he was when he was awarded the V.C. ?

This drawing above shows how Dwyer won his VC by attacking a German trench with hand grenades

Above is the offical citation (description of bravery) when Dwyer was awarded the VC

Priest's Story of Selflessness of Corporal Dwyer, VC

from www.bbc.co.uk/history/war/wwone/mirror05_03.shtml

At the Church of St Thomas of Canterbury, Fulham, a high mass was celebrated yesterday for the repose of the soul of Corporal Edward Dwyer, East Surrey Regiment, the youngest VC in the Army, who was killed on September 4 leading his platoon in the 'Big Push'. Corporal Dwyer was a native of Fulham. At the age of 18 he won his Cross 'for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at Hill 60, on 20 April 1915'. Father Crowley delivered a short address. He expressed to Corporal Dwyer's parents, his widow and relations the heartfelt sympathy of the congregation and of the people of Fulham. Corporal Dwyer was baptised in the church and had been educated in their schools. On the day that he received his VC, Corporal Dwyer said to the boys at the school were he was educated: 'This is the most eventful day of my life, and it makes me feel I should like to do something more for my country and my religion.' 'This wish has been gratified,' added Father Crowley, 'for he has given all - he has given his life.'

Teenage VC who became a 'star' Sunday 10 November 1996

By Chris Oliver Wilson (Electronic Telegraph)

Edward Dwyer joined up in 1913 at the age of 17 and had won the Victoria Cross within two years. His records note how, while under fire from scores of German soldiers on "Hill 60" in Ypres, Belgium, he stood up and threw hand grenades at the enemy. "It seems all the other British troops around him had been killed," said Mr Fowler. "But Pte Dwyer fought until he was too badly wounded." At the time, he was the youngest soldier in the British Army to receive the VC - and became a celebrity back home in Fulham, London. The War Office decided to use his charisma and fame for propaganda purposes. Back in Britain, he made a record in which he talked with great enthusiasm of his experiences at the front and performed a rousing song. Moreover, he was sent out recruiting and persuaded hundreds of young men to enlist. However, a less savoury side of his character is also revealed in his military records. It is noted that Pte Dwyer was punished for stealing another soldier's boots - though apparently someone else had taken his. Like so many of his courageous generation, hanging around at home was not to Pte Dwyer's liking. While recruiting in London, he was itching to get back into the fight and persuaded his superiors to return him to the front. He was killed - along with around 60,000 other British soldiers - in the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

To listen to an audio clip of Edward Dwyer taking about his experiences in France click here

Task:

Write an obituary (an article in memory) of Edward Dwyer VC. You should write about the reasons he won his Victoria Cross, how he was treated by the people of Fulham and what he thought about the war in France.

Use information from the sources above and the following websites:

http://s-upton.com/vc/series2/pages/040-Dwyer.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Dwyer

http://www.queensroyalsurreys.org.uk/vc/vc05.html

Back