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Archibald Frank Nicoll, Second Lieutenant John G Grant, VC , 1920

Ref: AAAC 898 NCWA 463

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John Gilroy Grant (1889-1970) enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in June 1915, joining the 1st Wellington Battalion. Grant, who held the rank of sergeant at the time, was awarded the VC for his actions at Bancourt, France, on 1 September 1918:

"For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty near Bancourt on 1 September 1918, when Sergeant in charge of a platoon forming part of the leading waves of the battalion attacking the high ground to the east of Bancourt. On reaching the crest it was found that a line of five enemy machine gun posts offered a serious obstacle to further advance. Under point-blank fire, however, the company advanced against these posts. When about twenty yards from the posts Sergeant Grant, followed closely by a comrade, rushed forward ahead of his platoon, and with great dash and bravery entered the centre post, demoralising the garrison and enabling the men of his platoon to mop up the position. In the same manner he then rushed the post on the left and the remaining posts were quickly occupied and cleared by his company. Throughout the whole operation on this and two previous days Sergeant Grant displayed coolness, determination, and valour of the highest order, and set a splendid example to all." [London Gazette, 26 November 1918]

Upon returning to New Zealand Grant served in the Territorial Force as an officer until 1929.

This portrait of Grant was done after his First World War service when he held the rank of second lieutenant.

Oil, 1218 x 862mm
Western Front
Medals: Victoria Cross

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