Canadian War Museum acquires Victoria Cross from the last days of the First World WarDecember 10, 2013
Ottawa, Ontario, December 10, 2013 — The Canadian War Museum is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Victoria Cross awarded to First World War soldier Sergeant Herman James Good. His was one of four Victoria Crosses awarded to Canadians on the first day of the Amiens Offensive, a pivotal assault that ultimately led to the end of the First World War.
The Amiens Offensive, part of Canada’s Last Hundred Days, was a series of attacks launched on August 8, 1918. Four Canadians earned Victoria Crosses for their valour on that day — three posthumously. Sergeant Good survived the war and returned to his native New Brunswick, where he died in 1969 at age 80.
With this acquisition, the Canadian War Museum now holds 34 of the 96 Victoria Crosses awarded to Canadians. The medal is bestowed “for the most conspicuous bravery, a daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty, in the presence of the enemy.” The Victoria Cross remains the highest award for military valour in Britain and much of the Commonwealth.
“Medals such as Sergeant Good’s Victoria Cross help us tell the story of Canada’s role in the First World War,” said James Whitham, Director General of the Canadian War Museum. “As we approach the centenary, it is more important than ever to continue telling their stories.”
During the Amiens Offensive in 1918, Sergeant Good, then a corporal, was part of the 13th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. On the first day of battle, August 8, with his company pinned down by heavy fire, Good single-handedly attacked a German machine-gun nest, overwhelming the occupants and their three machine-guns. Later the same day, after encountering a German artillery battery, he led three men of his section to successfully capture the guns and their crews.
The Victoria Cross medal is part of a collection of items belonging to Sergeant Good, including his khaki field jacket and regimental Balmoral cap, an inscribed gold watch awarded to him by the town of Bathurst, N.B., and photographs of Herman Good and his brother, Ernest Robert Good, who was killed in action.
The medal was purchased with the assistance of the Museum’s National Collection Fund. The Fund is supported by donors who help the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum acquire important artifacts of Canada’s cultural and military history that might otherwise be purchased by private collectors or museums outside Canada.
The Good Victoria Cross will remain on display at the Museum until January 5, 2014.
The Canadian War Museum is Canada’s national Museum of military history. Its mission is to promote public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national, and international dimensions.
Avra Gibbs Lamey
Canadian War Museum
Telephone: 819 776-8608
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