David Rowlands: Military Artist
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The action at Nimy railway bridge, near Mons, 23rd August 1914   The action at Nimy railway bridge, near Mons, 23rd August 1914

Positioned along the canal at Nimy, near Mons, 4th Battalion The Royal Fusiliers faced an overwhelming German advance on the morning of 23rd August 1914. Lieutenant Maurice Dease commanded the machine-gun section (2 Maxim guns) at the railway bridge. Under artillery and rifle fire, casualties mounted. Though hit several times, Dease remained at his post, directing his guns until mortally wounded. The battalion was ordered to withdraw, but Private Sidney Godley, despite his own serious wounds, worked his machine gun single-handedly, holding the bridge for another two hours to enable the battalion to complete its withdrawal.

The Victoria Cross was awarded to both Lt Dease (posthumously) and Pte Godley, the first two VCs of the Great War.

This painting was commissioned by 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. In my research, I was given access to accounts written by eye-witnesses and letters in the possession of the nephew of Maurice Dease VC.

Medium: Oil on Canvas

Printed image size(s): B2 (58 x 38 cm) or B3 (52 x 36 cm)

Owner: Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

Price(s): B2 size 65; B3 size 55