Wigan and Leigh Archives Online

Private Thomas Woodcock (1888-1918) VC

Private Thomas Woodcock


On 12 and 13 September 1917 Wiganer Thomas Woodcock of the 2nd Battalion, Irish Guards displayed great courage in Broenbeek, Belgium.

Despite heavy enemy fire attacking him from all sides he held his post for 96 hours. He had then safely crossed a river when he heard cries from a fellow soldier. He ‘waded into the stream amid a shower of bombs from the enemy and rescued another member of the party. The latter he then carried across the open ground in broad daylight towards our front line regardless of machine gun fire that was opened on him’. Thomas was awarded the Victoria Cross and returned to a hero’s welcome on 3 March 1918. He left to fight in France a few days later.

Thomas Woodcock was killed in action on 27 March 1918 and is buried in the British Military Cemetery at Douchy-Les-Ayette.