b. 14/01/1893 Kidderminster, Worcestershire. d. 07/11/1929 Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Canada.
John Francis Young (1893-1929) was born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England on 14th January 1893, and is believed to have come to Canada as a young man. On arrival in Canada he worked for Imperial Tobacco in Montreal, Quebec prior to the outbreak of the Great War.
When the First World War began, he enlisted in the 87th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force, serving as a stretcher-bearer.
Private Young was awarded the Victoria Cross for his conduct on 2nd September 1918 during the fighting for the Drocourt-Quéant Line, near Dury in France. On that day, his company suffered heavy casualties from German shell- and machine gun fire. Young went out to treat the wounded despite the complete absence of any cover. When he ran out of dressings, he went back to his company headquarters for more medical supplies and then returned to his task, all the while under enemy fire. Later, when the German fire had slackened somewhat, Young organized and led stretcher parties to bring in the wounded men he had treated. Private Young’s courage throughout this action resulted in many lives being saved.
Following the gazetting of the VC on 14th December 1918, he was presented with his medal by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 30th April 1919. Following his service, he returned to Canada. Sadly, his life was tragically cut short, when on 7th November 1929, aged just 36, he died of tuberculosis in the St Agathe Sanatorium, Quebec. It is believed that his illness was hastened by the gas poisoning that he suffered in the Great War. He was buried in Mount Royal Cemetery, Montreal, Quebec.
In March 2012, the VC of John Francis Young was acquired by the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa. The whereabouts of his British War Medal 1914-20 and Victory Medal 1914-19 are not known.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: CANADIAN WAR MUSEUM, OTTAWA, CANADA.
BURIAL PLACE: MOUNT ROYAL CEMETERY, MONTREAL, CANADA.
SECTION L2, PLOT 2019
Bill Mullen – Image of the Young VC Grave.
Canadian War Museum – Images of the Young VC Medal Group and VC Medal.