b. 10/06/1891 Alton, Ontario, Canada. d. 11/10/1918 Cambrai, France.
Wallace Lloyd Algie (1891-1918) was born on 10th June 1891 at Alton, Ontario, the son of Dr. James and Rachel Algie (nee Jago) who resided at 1155, King St., Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Wallace was brought up by his parents in the Presbyterian faith. His father originally came from Ayr, Ontario, whilst his mother originated from Lanteglos, Cornwall, England. He graduated from the Royal Military College of Canada. On enlistment in 1916, he listed his civilan employment as a banker.
His former military service prior to April 1916 was 2 months in The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada and 4 months in the 40th Regiment (Lieutenant). On 19th April 1916, Wallace signed an Officers’ Declaration Paper to serve in the Canadian Over-seas Expeditionary Force.
For most conspicuous bravery and self-sacrifice on the 11th October, 1918, north-east of Cambrai, when with attacking troops which came under heavy enfilade machine-gun fire from a neighbouring village. Rushing forward with nine volunteers, he shot the crew of an enemy machine gun, and, turning it on the enemy, enabled his party to reach the village. He then rushed another machine gun, killed the crew. captured an officer and 10 enemy, and thereby cleared the end of the village. Lt. Algie, having established his party, went back for reinforcements, but was killed when leading them forward. His valour and personal initiative in the face of intense fire saved many lives and enabled the position to be held.
In telling of this attack, Colonel Rourke, the C. O. of the 20th, who is also a South African veteran, said: “It was the nerviest thing I have ever seen.” In his words Lieut. Algie was “the man in front” at Cambria. His batman, Pte. Saunders, to whom he was deeply attached, was killed almost at the same instant as himself. Lieut. Algie’s last spoken words to his men were, “Carry On.”
Algie was buried in Niagara Cemetery, Iwuy, near Cambrai, France with full military honours. His VC was sold at auction at Glendinning’s, London in 1995 to Michael Ashcroft, and is displayed on rotation in the Ashcroft Gallery, Imperial War Museum, London.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: NIAGARA CEMETERY, IWUY, FRANCE.
ROW C GRAVE 7
Kevin Brazier – Cemetery Map
Imperial War Museum – Lord Ashcroft Gallery – image of Wallace Algie’s VC.