About Joseph Harcourt Tombs
Joseph Harcourt Tombs VC (1884 – 28 June 1966) 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.
A former sailor who was born in Melbourne, he was about 31 years old, and a Lance-Corporal in the 1st Battalion, The King's (Liverpool Regiment), British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 16 June 1915 near Rue du Bois, France, Lance-Corporal Tombs, on his own initiative, crawled out repeatedly under very heavy shell and machine-gun fire to bring in wounded men who were lying about 100 yards in front of our trenches. He rescued four men, one of whom he dragged back by means of a rifle sling placed round his own neck and the man's body.
He later achieved the rank of Corporal. During World War II Tombs enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and served at the Flying School in Trenton, Ontario. A 1952 operation to remove some of the shrapnel still embedded in his stomach was not completely successful, and in 1964 he suffered a stroke.
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Museum of the King's Regiment in Liverpool, England.
His grandfather was Henry Tombs, who received the VC for actions during the Indian Mutiny.