Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Forgotten Heroes - Lieutenant Charles Pope. V.C.

Lieutenant Charles Pope, 11th Battalion, AIF, Victoria Cross action at Louverval, France. It was a posthumous award.

Charles Pope (was born in London but migrated to Canada, where he worked for the Canadian Pacific Railways. He returned to London in 1906 and joined the Metropolitan Police Force, resigning in 1910 to come to Australia with his family. He enlisted in the 11th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF in August 1915, and in February 1916 he was commissioned as an officer.

Pope was killed in action on 15 April 1917 at Louverval, France, in a desperate "last stand" charge, and was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. Occupying an important picquet post during a German attack on the village, he was ordered "to hold this post at all costs". The enemy attacked the post and surrounded it, while Pope sent back an urgent request for re-supply. Before anything could arrive, and with his men out of ammunition, Pope ordered them to charge the large German force. Later his body, together with those of his men, was found close to 80 dead Germans. He is buried in Moeuvres Communal Cemetery in France.

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