John Sutherland

Medals awarded

  • Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • Military Medal
  • 1914-1915 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal 1914-19

As a Private, John Sutherland was awarded the Military Medal in August 1916 for ‘bravery in the field’, along with 39 other men serving with the Yorkshire Regiment.

His bravery was rewarded again, this time a Distinguished Conduct Medal, in connection with action he saw in France in the spring of 1918.

The London Gazette of September 1918 records:
“13007 Sergeant J Sutherland MM 5th Battalion. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He rallied and took command of two Lewis gun sections, and at a critical period of the fighting placed them in such a position as to materially assist the defence. His general cheerfulness on all occasions was a fine example to his men and increased their morale very materially.”

The combat referenced occurred on the days of 10 and 11 April 1918, north-west of Sailly-sur-la-Lys in France. The 5th Battalion’s War Diary tells us of the brutality of the fighting at that point in the war in that area of the Western Front.  It records that during those two days, the 5th Battalion suffered 10 Other Ranks killed, with three officers and 79 Other Ranks wounded with a further four officers missing. Casualties across the whole Brigade were so severe that the three battalions were merged into the 150th Brigade Battalion, with each individual battalion forming a Company.

Sutherland’s 1914-15 Star, War Medal 1914-20 & Victory Medal 1914-19 have been separated from the rest of his medal group so are not in the museum collection. If you have any knowledge of them, please get in touch with the museum as we would love to reunite the full group.