Tag: DSO

William Barnsley Allen VC. DSO. MC*.

 William Barnsley Allen (08/06/1892 – 27/08/1933) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions with the Royal Field Artillery, near Mesnil, France.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29802 Page: 10394, reads

“Captain William Barnsley Allen, M.C., M.B., Royal Army Medical Corps.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty.  
When gun detachments were unloading H.E. ammunition from wagons which had just come up, the enemy suddenly began to shell the battery position. The first shell fell on one of the limbers, exploded the ammunition and caused several casualties. 

Captain Allen saw the occurrence and at once, with utter disregard of danger, ran straight across the open, under heavy shell fire, commenced dressing the wounded, and Undoubtedly by his promptness saved many of them from bleeding to death.

He was himself hit four times during the first hour by pieces of shells, one of which – fractured two of his ribs, but he never even mentioned this at the time, and coolly went on with his work till the last man was dressed and safely removed. 

He then went over to another battery and tended a wounded officer. It was only when this was done that he returned to his dug-out and reported his own injury”

Lt. William Barnsley Allen. VC. DSO, MC*

He was also awarded the DSO and Military Cross, and later, a bar to his Military Cross.

He died of an accidental drug overdose in 1933 and is buried in Earnley Churchyard, Brackleham, Sussex and is commemorated on a plaque at the National Memorial Arboretum.

DRW © 2017-2018. Created 12/07/2017. 

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:16

Oliver Cyril Spencer Watson VC, DSO

Oliver Cyril Spencer Watson (07/09/1876 – 28/03/1918), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 28 March 1918 at Rossignol Wood, north of Hebuterne, France while an Acting Lieutenant-Colonel commanding the 2nd/5th Battalion, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30675, Page: 5555, reads:

“Maj (A /Lt -Col ) Oliver Cyril Spencer Watson. D S O (R of O ), late K O Yorks LI.

For most conspicuous bravery, self-sacrificing devotion to duty, and exceptionally gallant leading during a critical period of operations.

His command was at a point where continual attacks were made by the enemy in order to pierce the line, and an intricate system of old trenches in front, coupled with the fact that his position was under constant rifle and machine-gun fire, rendered the situation still more dangerous.

A counter-attack had been made against the enemy position, which at first achieved its object, but as they were holding out in two improvised strong points, Lt -Col Watson saw that immediate action was necessary and he led his remaining small reserve to the attack, organising bombing parties and leading attacks under intense rifle and machinegun fire.

Outnumbered, he finally ordered his men to retire, remaining, himself in a communication trench to cover the retirement, though he faced almost certain death by so doing.

The assault he led was at a critical moment, and without doubt saved the line. Both in the assault and in covering his men’s retirement, he held his life as nothing, and his splendid bravery inspired all troops in the vicinity to rise to the occasion and save a breach being made in a hardly tried and attenuated line Lt -Col Watson was killed while covering the withdrawal.”

He was Mentioned in Despatches and awarded the DSO in May 1917, having been wounded at Bullecourt on 3 May 1917.

He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial to the Missing Bay 7.

Arras Memorial to the Missing. Image courtesy of Ralph McLean and the South African War Graves Project


© DRW 2017-2018. Created 01/05/2017. Inscription image courtesy of Mark Green. 

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:10

Edward Corringham “Mick” Mannock VC, DSO, MC.

Edward Corringham “Mick” Mannock (24/05/1887 – 26/07/1918) Was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while serving with the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 31463, Page: 9136, reads:

“His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the late Captain (acting Major) Edward Mannock, D.S.O., M.C., 85th Squadron Royal Air Force, in recognition of bravery of the first order in Aerial Combat:

— On the 17th June, 1918, he attacked a Halberstadt machine near Armentieres and destroyed it from a height of 8,000 feet.

On the 7th July, 1918, near Doulieu, he attacked and destroyed one Fokker (red-bodied) machine, which went vertically into the ground from a height of 1,500 feet. Shortly afterwards he ascended 1,000 feet and attacked another Fokker biplane, firing 60 rounds into it, which produced an immediate spin, resulting, it is believed, in a crash.

On the 14th July, 1918, near Merville, he attacked and crashed a Fokker from 7,000 feet, and brought a two-seater down damaged.

On the 19th July, 1918, near Merville, he fired 80 rounds into an Albatross two-seater, which went to the ground in flames.

On the 20th July, 1918, East of La Bassee, he attacked and crashed an enemy two-seater from a height of 10,000 feet.

About an hour afterwards he attacked at 8,000 feet a Fokker biplane near Steenwercke and drove it down out of control, emitting smoke. On the 22nd July, 1918, near Armentieres, he destroyed an enemy triplane from a height of 10,000 feet.

Major Mannock was awarded the undermentioned distinctions for his previous combats in the air in France and Flanders: — Military Cross. Gazetted 17th September, 1917.

Bar to Military Cross. ‘Gazetted 18th October, 1917.

Distinguished Service Order. Gazetted 16th September, 1918.

Bar to Distinguished Service Order (1st). Gazetted 16th September, 1918.

Bar to Distinguished Service Order (2nd). Gazetted 3rd August, 1918.

This highly distinguished officer, during the whole of his career in the Royal Air Force, was an outstanding example of fearless courage, remarkable skill, devotion to duty and self sacrifice, which has never been surpassed. The total number of machines definitely accounted for by Major Mannock up to the date of his death in France (26th July, 1918) is fifty —the total specified in the Gazette” of 3rd August, 1918, was incorrectly given as 48, instead of 41″

He was killed in action dogfighting too close to the ground on 26 July 1918 and has no known grave, and is Commemorated on the Royal Flying Corps Memorial to the Missing at the Faubourg d’Amiens CWGC Cemetery in Arras. It is speculated that the remains in Grave 12, Plot III, Row F, of Laventie CWGC war cemetery, could be those of Mick Mannock.

The Wartime service and deaths of James McCudden VC and Edward Mannock VC were the subject of a documentary on the BBC entitled “Aces Falling

Arras Memorial to the Missing. Image courtesy of Ralph McLean and the South African War Graves Project

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 01/05/2017. Inscription image courtesy of Mark Green. 

Updated: 12/01/2018 — 07:10

Daniel Burges VC, DSO

Daniel Burges (1 July 1873 – 24 October 1946) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War during the battle of Battle of Doiran.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 31067, Page: 14774, reads:

“Maj. (T./Lt.-Col.) Daniel Burges, D.S.O., Glouc. R., Commanding 7th (S) Bn., S. Wales Bord.

For most conspicuous bravery, skilful leading and devotion to duty in the operations at Jumeaux (Balkans) on the 18th September. 1918. His valuable reconnaissance of the enemy first line trenches enabled him to bring his battalion without casualties to the assembly point, and from thence he maintained direction with great skill, though every known landmark was completely obscured by smoke and dust. When still some distance from its objective the battalion came under severe machine-gun fire which caused many casualties amongst company leaders. Lt.-Col. Burges, though himself wounded, quite regardless of his own safety, kept moving to and fro through his command, encouraging his men and assisting them to maintain formation and direction. Finally, as they neared the enemy’s position, he led them forward through a decimating fire until he was again hit twice and fell unconscious.

His coolness and personal courage were most marked throughout and afforded a magnificent example to all ranks.”

He was cremated at Arnos Vale Crematorium in Bristol where his ashes are interred. A memorial plaque was unveiled on 24 October 2006


Crematorium Memorial. Arnos Vale Cemetery

DRW © 2016 – 2020. Created 21/09/2016, edited 02/05/2017

Updated: 05/01/2020 — 14:50

James Forbes-Robertson VC, DSO, MC, DL

James Forbes-Robertson, 07/07/1884 – 05/08/1955) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 11/12 April 1918 near Vieux Berquin, France.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30697, Page: 6057 reads: 

“Captain (A./Lt.-Col.) James Forbes-Robertson, D.S.O., M.C., Bord. R.

For most conspicuous bravery whilst commanding his battalion during the heavy fighting. Through his quick judgement, resource, untiring energy and magnificent example, Lt.- Col. Forbes-Robertson on four separate occasions saved the line from breaking and averted a situation which might have had the most serious and far-reaching results.

On the first occasion, when troops in front were falling back, he made a rapid reconnaissance on horse-back, in full view of the enemy, under heavy machine-gun and close range shell fire. He then organised and, still mounted, led a counter-attack which was completely successful in re-establishing our line. When his horse was shot under him he continued on foot.

Later on the same day, when troops to the left of his line were giving way, he went to that flank and checked and steadied the line, inspiring confidence by his splendid coolness and disregard of personal danger. His horse was wounded three times and he was thrown five times.

The following day, when the troops on. both his flanks were forced to retire, he formed a post at battalion headquarters and with his battalion still held his ground, thereby covering the retreat of troops on his flanks. Under the heaviest fire this gallant officer fearlessly exposed himself when collecting parties, organising and encouraging.

On a subsequent occasion, when troops were retiring on his left and the condition of things on his right were obscure, he again saved the situation by his magnificent example and cool judgement. Losing a second horse, he continued alone on foot until he had established a line to which his own troops could withdraw and so conform to the general situation. ”

He is buried in Prestbury Cemetery in Cheltenham. 

James Forbes-Robertson VC, DSO, MC, DL 07/07/1884 - 05/08/1955. Prestbury Cemetery, Cheltenham

Grave Insciption

The Cross of Sacrifice. Prestbury Cemetery, Cheltenham.

DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 08/08/2015, edited 03/05/2017

Updated: 05/01/2020 — 14:55

Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC, MC*, DFC, DSO

Andrew Frederick Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor (04/09/1894 – 21/06/1921), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his  actions between 8 August 1918, and 8 October 1918 while serving with the Royal Flying Corps.  

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 31042, Page: 14204, reads:

Lieut. (A./Capt.) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, D.S.O., M.C., D.F.C., No. 84 Sqn., E.A. Force.

Between August 8th, 1918, and October 8th, 1918, this officer proved himself victor in twenty-six decisive combats, destroying twelve enemy kite balloons, ten enemy aircraft, and driving down four other enemy aircraft completely out of control.

Between October 1st, 1918, and October 5th, 1918, he destroyed two enemy scouts, burnt three enemy kite balloons, and drove down one enemy scout completely out of control.

On October 1st, 1918, in a general engagement with about twenty-eight machines, he crashed one Fokker biplane near Fontaine and a second near Ramicourt; on October 2nd he burnt a hostile balloon near Selvjgny; on October 3rd he drove down, completely out of control, an enemy scout near Mont d’Origny, and burnt a hostile balloon; on October 5th, the third hostile balloon near Bohain.

On October 8th, 1918, while flying home at a low altitude, after destroying an enemy two-seater near Maretz, he was painfully wounded in the arm by machine-gun fire, but, continuing, he landed safely at his-aerodrome, and after making his report was admitted to hospital.

In all he has proved himself conqueror over fifty-four foes, destroying twenty-two enemy machines, sixteen enemy kite balloons, and driving down sixteen enemy aircraft completely out of control.

Captain Beauchamp-Proctor’s work in attacking enemy troops on the ground and in reconnaissance during the withdrawal following on the Battle of St. Quentin from March 21st, 1918, and during the victorious advance of our Armies commencing on August 8th, has been almost unsurpassed in its Brilliancy, and as such has made an impression on those serving in his squadron and those around him that will not be easily forgotten.

Capt. Beauchamp-Proctor was awarded Military Cross on 22nd June, 1918; D.F. Cross on 2nd July, 1918; Bar to M.C. on 16th September, 1918; and Distinguished Service Order on 2nd November, 1918.”

He was killed on 21 June 1921 in a training accident in preparation for an air show at RAF Hendon. His aircraft went into a spin after performing a slow loop, and he was killed in the ensuing crash. He was originally buried at Upavon, Wiltshire, but in August 1921 his body was returned to South Africa where he was given a state funeral and buried in Mafikeng Cemetery.  

The grave of Capt. Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC

The grave of Capt. Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC

Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor was born 4 September 1894 in Mossel Bay,  South Africa.  He served with  The Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Rifles as a signalman in the GSWA Campaign, and later enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps in March 1917 . 

Inscription on the grave

Inscription on the grave

Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum.

DRW © 2004-2020. Created 01/11/2014, updated 05/04/2015. Edited 15/05/2017. The images of the grave of  Flight Lieutenant  Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC, DSO, MC, and Bar, DFC was photographed by Terry Cawood and is used with his permission.

Updated: 05/01/2020 — 14:12
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