Corporal Filip Konowal, Victoria Cross recipient
Filip Konowal VC was a highly decorated Ukrainian Canadian soldier. He is the only ethnic Eastern European recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award for gallantry in the face of the enemy given to British and Commonwealth forces.
From war hero to accussed killer: The sad take of an Ottawa recipient of the Victoria Cross, The Ottawa Citizen, September 10, 2018
Almost three decades after the end of the First World War, Filip Konowal, an Ottawa and Hull resident who was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour during the Battle of Hill 70, joked that he had very nearly been shot for cowardice.
No. 144039 A./Cpl. Filip Konowal, The London Gazette, Supplement 30400, November 26, 1917
"For most conspicuous bravery and leadership when in charge of a section in attack. His section had the difficult task of mopping up cellars, craters and machine gun emplacements. Under his able direction all resistance was overcome successfully, and heavy casualties inflicted on the enemy. In one cellar he himself bayonetted three enemy and attacked single-handed [sic] seven others in a crater, killing them all.
On reaching the objective, a machine-gun was holding up the right flank, causing many casualties. Cpl. Konowal rushed forward and entered the emplacement, killed the crew, and brought the gun back to our lines.
The next day he again attacked single-handed [sic] another machine-gun emplacement, killed three of the crew, and destroyed the gun and emplacement with explosives.
This non-commissioned officer alone killed at least sixteen of the enemy, and during the two days' actual fighting, carried on continuously his good work until severely wounded."