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John Barrett's Victoria Cross

Leicester Urologist who won the VC

John Cridlan Barrett was born on 10 August 1897 in Leamington Spa. He joined the Leicestershire Regiment in the First World War. Barrett won the Victoria Cross in the War for his actions during the attack on Pontruet in France on 24 September 1918:

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the 24th September 1918, during the attack on Pontruet.

"Owing to the darkness and smoke barrage a number of men lost direction, and Lieutenant Barrett found himself advancing towards Forgan's Trench which contained numerous machine guns. Without hesitation he collected all available men and charged the nearest group of machine guns, being wounded on the way. In spite of this, he gained the trench and vigorously attacked the garrison, personally disposing of two machine guns and inflicting many casualties. He was again severely wounded, but nevertheless climbed out of the trench in order to fix his position and locate the enemy. This he succeeded in doing and, despite exhaustion from wounds, gave detailed orders to his men to cut their way back to the battalion, which they did. He himself refused help and was again wounded, so seriously that he could not move and had to be carried out. In spite of his wounds he had managed to fight on, and his spirit was magnificent throughout. It was due to his coolness and grasp of the situation that any of his party were able to get out alive.

After the War, Barrett finished his medical studies at St Thomas's Hospital. In 1929, he moved to Leicester, working at the Leicester Royal Infirmary and Leicester General Hospital as well as Hinckley Hospital. He had an interest in urology and was a member of BAUS.

The notice of his election to BAUS in 1953 is shown below:

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