Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

Lieutenant-Colonel John Elisha Grimshaw (1893-1980) VC

Lieutenant-Colonel John Elisha Grimshaw


John Elisha Grimshaw from Abram was honoured for his actions at W Beach, Cape Helles, Gallipoli on 25 April 1915. Alongside others, including William Kenealy, he attempted to cut through the barbed wire under heavy fire. The cliffs were won and John became one of the famous ‘Six VCs Before Breakfast’.

He explained the action in his own words ‘In boats we got within 200 or 300 yards from the shore when the Turks opened a terrible fire. Sailors were shot dead at their oars. With rifles held over our heads we struggled through the barbed wire in the water to the beach and fought a way to the foot of the cliffs leaving the biggest part of our men and wounded.’

John Elisha survived the war and retired from the army in 1953.

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