- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1919/12/01
- Latest 1919/12/31
- Inscription 427586 PTE.W.J.MILNE. V.C.; STERLING
- Materials Sterling silver, Silkworm silk
- Rank Private
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit 16th Canadian Infantry Battalion
- Person / Institution Subject, Milne , V.C., Private William Johnstone
- Measurements Length 3.8 cm, Width 3.1 cm, Thickness 0.2 cm
- Caption William Johnstone MILNE, VC (Posthumous)
- Additional Information Milne won his Victoria Cross on 9 April 1917 during the battle at Vimy Ridge. His citation reads: "For conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty in attack. On approaching the first objective, Private Milne observed an enemy machine-gun firing on our advancing troops. Crawling on hands and knees he succeeded in reaching the gun, killing the crew with bombs and capturing the gun. On the line reforming he again located a machine-gun in the support line, and, stalking this second gun as he had the first, he succeeded in putting this crew out of action and capturing the gun. His wonderful bravery and resource on these two occasions undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his comrades. Private Milne was killed shortly after capturing the second enemy gun."
- Caption William Johnstone MILNE, VC
- Additional Information Born at Cambusnethan, Scotland, in 1892, Milne enlisted with the 46th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), in 1915. He proceeded to France with the 16th Battalion on 16 June 1916. Milne was killed in action at Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917 and was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) posthumously.
- Caption Medals Project- Milne, William Johnstone
William Johnstone Milne was born in Cambusnethan, Scotland, on 21 December 1891. He was the third of David and Agnes Milne’s seven children. His father was a carting contractor. Milne immigrated to Canada in 1910.
A farmer, he enlisted in the 46th Battalion in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on 11 September 1915. Shortly after enlisting, Milne embarked for England with his unit on SS Lapland. They left Halifax, Nova Scotia, on 21 October 1915 and disembarked in Davenport on 30 October 1915. Milne was transferred to the 16th Battalion on 16 June 1916. He joined the unit in France four days later. In late November 1916, he was hospitalized, suffering from influenza. He rejoined his unit on 19 December. Milne was killed in action on 9 April 1917 at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. His body was not recovered from the battlefield. He had single-handedly captured two German machine gun positions that had been threatening his unit’s advance. On 8 June 1917, he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for those actions.
William Johnstone Milne is commemorated on the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, on Vimy Ridge, in France.
“On approaching the first objective, Pte. Milne observed an enemy machine gun firing on our advancing troops. Crawling on hands and knees, he succeeded in reaching the gun, killing the crew with bombs, and capturing the gun. On the line re-forming, he again located a machine gun in the support line, and stalking the second gun as he had done the first, he succeeded in putting the crew out of action and capturing the gun. His wonderful bravery and resource on these two occasions undoubtedly saved the lives of many of his comrades. Pte. Milne was killed shortly after capturing the second gun.”
– London Gazette, 8 June 1917, Supplement 30122