Corporal William Purvis M.M.& Bar

Corporal William Purvis, M.M. and Bar, 149th Coy. Machine Gun Corps ( Infantry ). He was killed in action in France on 26th June 1917, aged 27. He was the son of George and Elizabeth Purvis of Richmond Villa, Horncliffe and is buried in Croiselles British Cemetery, France. His first Military Medal was awarded for gallantly serving his machine gun under very heavy German fire. ( The ” Berwickshire Advertiser ” has his parents living at Kelso Cottage, Horncliffe ). He had originally enlisted in his local territorial Battalion the 7th Northumberland Fusiliers together with his three brothers but had been transferred into the M.G.C. when it was formed in October 1915. He had won his first M.M. in the capture of High Wood on 15th September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme where he was described as acting with great gallantry. His Bar to the Medal was won near Arras in May 1917 where he held a trench against heavy German attacks after all his comrades had become casualties. He had fallen before he could receive his award and so his mother was presented with it at Berwick Barracks. The M.G.C. used the Vickers Mk1 water cooled gun which could be used in both defensive and offensive roles. The photo shows gunners taking a break.

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