|On 29 April 1917
near Oppy, France, Lance-Corporal Welch entered an enemy trench and
killed one man after a severe hand-to-hand struggle. Then, armed only
with an empty revolver, he chased four of the enemy across the open and
captured them single-handed. He handled his machine-gun with the utmost
fearlessness, and more than once went into the open, exposed to heavy
fire, to search for and collect ammunition and spare parts in order to
keep his guns in action, which he succeeded in doing for over five
hours, until wounded by a shell.
James Welch, who later achieved rank of Sergeant, was born at
Stratfield Saye on 7 July 1889 and died on 28 June 1978 at Bournemouth
where he was cremated. His Victoria Cross is on public display at
the Glocs, Berks & Wilts Regiment Museum, Salisbury.