Bye – Sergeant Robert James

12 December 1889 – 23 August 1962:-

Robert was born in Pontypridd and worked as a miner at, among others, Deep Dyffryn Colliery, Mountain Ash. He enlisted in the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards on 3 April 1915.

On 31st July 1917, on the Yser Canal, Belgium, Sergeant Bye displayed the utmost courage and devotion to duty during an attack on the enemy’s position. Seeing that the leading waves were being troubled by two enemy blockhouses, he, on his own initiative, rushed at one of them and put the garrison out of action. He then rejoined his company and went forward to the assault of the second objective. When the troops had gone forward to the attack on the third objective, a party was detailed to clear up a line of blockhouses which had been passed. Sjt. Bye volunteered to take charge of this party, accomplished his object, and took many prisoners. He subsequently advanced to the third objective, capturing a number of prisoners, thus rendering invaluable assistance to the assaulting companies. He displayed throughout the most remarkable initiative.

Following the war, he went on to serve with the Sherwood Foresters and, after his discharge for medical reasons, returned to mining at Warsop Main, Firbeck and Welbeck Collieries, Nottinghamshire. He again served as a Sergeant Major in the Sherwood Foresters and later in the Home Guard during the Second World War. He retired from mining in 1955.

His Victoria Cross is held by the Welsh Guards Regimental Headquarters, Wellington Barracks, London.

Filed under: WW1