John Pennington Harman

John Pennington Harman

John Pennington Harman VC (20 July 1914 -9 April 1944) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.


He was 29 years old, and a Lance-Corporal in the 4th Battalion, The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, British Army during the Second World War when the following deed took place for which he was posthumously awarded the VC.

On 8/9 April 1944 at Kohima, India, Lance-Corporal Harman was commanding a section of a forward platoon where soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army had established a machine-gun post within 50 yards of his company and were becoming a menace. Since it was not possible to bring fire on to the enemy post the lance-corporal went forward by himself and threw a grenade into the position, destroying it. He returned carrying the enemy machinegun as a trophy. Early next morning, having ordered covering fire from his Bren gun team, he went out alone, with Lee Enfield and fixed bayonet and charged a party of Japanese soldiers who were digging in. He shot four and bayoneted one. On his way back, Lance Corporal Harman was severely wounded by a burst of enemy machine-gun fire and died soon after reaching British lines.

A plaque is displayed on a house in Shrewsbury Road, Beckenham (in the London Borough of Bromley) his place of birth. There is also a memorial to him in VC Quarry, on the east side of Lundy Island. His medals are in the collection of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum in Maidstone, England.

The medal

His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment Museum "(Maidstone, Kent, England)".


*British VCs of World War 2 (John Laffin, 1997)
*Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
*The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
* [ Photo of John Pennington]

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