Harold Ackroyd

Harold Ackroyd VC MC 

Grave of Harold Ackroyd VC MC Birr Crossroads Cemetery

Captain Harold Ackroyd VC MC


Harold Ackroyd joined the RAMC as a Lieutenant at the outbreak of war and was posted to the Berkshire Regt As it's Medical Officer and initaially served from 1915 to 1916 before being invalided home for stress. He had won the Military Cross during this period for his actions in No Mans Land tending to wounded whilst under heavy fire. He rejoined the Battalion in 1916 and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle of Passchendaele in August 1917. His citation read:

"For most conspicuous bravery. During recent operations Captain Ackroyd displayed the greatest gallantry and devotion to duty. Utterly regardless of danger, he worked continuously for many hours up and down and in front of the line tending the wounded and saving the lives of officers and men. In doing so he had to move across the open under heavy machine gun fire. He carried a wounded officer to a place of safety under heavy fire. On another occasion he went some way in front of our advanced line and brought in a wounded man under continuous sniping and machine-gun fire. His heroism was the means of saving many lives and provided a magnificent example of courage, cheefulness and determination to the fighting men in whose midst he was carrying out his splendid work. This gallant officer has since been killed in action"

Harold Ackroyd was killed 11 days later at Glencorse Wood, Ypres and is buried at Birr Cross Roads cemetery on the Menin Rd. Photo two is from when I visited his grave site December 2012. His remains are somewhere in the cemetery. Many graves were lost during heavy bombardment.