b. 08/03/1892 Manchester. d. 28/11/1941 Mersa Matruh, Egypt.
Lyall was born in Manchester and joined the Royal Navy to study mechanical engineering. However he was discharged from the Navy after suffering an ear infection. He emigrated to Canada, settling in Welland, Ontario, then moving to Chippawa, where he worked for a Power Company.
Lyall was 26 years old, and a lieutenant in the 102nd (North British Columbians) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War at the battle of the Canal du Nord when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 27 September 1918 north of Cambrai, France, Lieutenant Lyall led his platoon in the capture of a strong-point, together with 13 prisoners, one field-gun and four machine-guns. Later, leading his men against another strong-point he rushed forward alone and captured the position single-handed, taking 45 prisoners and five machine-guns. The completion of his final objective resulted in the capture of 41 prisoners. On 1 October in the neighbourhood of Blecourt, he captured a strongly defended position which yielded 60 prisoners and 17 machine-guns. During both these operations, on attaining his objectives, Lieutenant Lyall tended the wounded under fire.
Lyall later returned to the UK and joined the British Army, achieving the rank of Colonel during World War II. He died of a heart attack at Mersa Matruh, Egypt, on 28 November 1941.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: REME MUSEUM OF TECHNOLOGY, ARBORFIELD, BERKSHIRE.
BURIAL PLACE: HALLFAYA SOLLUM WAR CEMETERY, EGYPT.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
PLOT XIX, ROW B, GRAVE 2
St Catharine's, Ontario
Lyall VC Memorial plaque at Bourlon
Airdrie High Church
Manchester Cenotaph (courtesy of Steve Hoar)
Freemasons Memorial, London (Brian Drummond)