19 August 1917 : Acting Major Okill Massey Learmonth

Okill was born in Quebec City, Canada 20 February 1894

Location of Quebec in North America using OpenStreetMaps

Okill's parents William and Martha Learmonth were from Britain. At the time of the 1901 Census we learn that he had an older sister Constance, and at the time 50 year old Catherine Stapleton, a servant from Indiana, lived with them.  At the time of the 1911 Census, Okill is still living with his parents and working as a bank clerk. 

He enlisted as a private in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1914.

In 1916 he was commissioned as an officer.

For his actions 14 August 1917 Okill was awarded the Military Cross.

Canadians soldier in captured German trench during the Battle of Hill 70 in August 1917.Three days later he was involved in an attack on Hill 70, near Lens. He was serving with the 2nd Infantry Battalion.

Despite his wounds he was reported at one stage as catching hand launched bombs thrown their way which he hurled back at the enemy.

Badly wounded he was eventually evacuated to hospital where he died the next day.

Major Learmonth was buried at Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery in France.

A Street in Quebec City is named in his honour.

 Okill Learmonth's medals held at the regimental museum of the Governor General's Foot Guards in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Acting Major Okill Massey Learmonth

19 August 1917 died of his wounds



Archive commemorating overseas WW1 Victoria Cross recipients (accessed 17 August 2016)

1901 and 1911 Census of Canada

The Battle for Hill 70 : The Canadian Encyclopedia

Image: courtesy of public family tree of David Midson, Ancestry.