“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.
“Lt. (A./Capt.) Thomas Tannatt Pryce, M.C., G. Gds. For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty, and self-sacrifice when in command of a flank on the left of the Grenadier Guards. Having been ordered to attack a -village, he personally led forward two platoons, working from house to house, killing some thirty of the enemy, seven of whom he killed himself.
The next day he was occupying a position with some thirty to forty men, the remainder of his company having become casualties. As early as 8.15 a.m. his left flank was surrounded and the enemy was enfilading him. He was attacked no less than four times during the day, and each time beat off the hostile attack, killing many of the enemy.
Meanwhile, the enemy brought up three field guns to within 300 yards of his line, and were firing over open sights and knocking his trench in. At 6.15 p.m. the enemy had worked to within sixty yards of his trench. He then called on his men, telling them to cheer and charge the enemy and fight to the last. Led by Captain Pryce, they left their trench and drove back the enemy, with the bayonet, some 100 yards. Half an hour later the enemy had again approached in stronger force. By this time Captain Pryce had only 17 men left, and every round of his ammunition had been fired. Determined that there should be no surrender, he once again led his men forward in a bayonet charge, and was last seen engaged in a fierce hand-to-hand struggle with overwhelming numbers of the enemy.
With some forty men he had held back at least one enemy battalion for over ten hours. His company undoubtedly stopped the advance through the British line, and thus had great influence on the battle.”
“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.
John “Jack” Harrison (12/11/1890 – 03/05/1917) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on the 3rd of May 1917 when ordered, with the rest of his brigade, to attack a wood near Oppy, Pas-de-Calais.
For most conspicuous bravery and self sacrifice in an attack.
Owing to darkness and to smoke from the enemy barrage, and from our own, and to the fact that our objective was in a dark wood, it was impossible to see when our barrage had lifted off the enemy front line.
Nevertheless, 2nd Lt. Harrison led his company against the enemy trench under heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, but was repulsed. Reorganising his command as best he could in No Man’s Land, he again attacked in darkness under terrific fire, but with no success.
Then, turning round, this gallant officer single-handed made a dash at the machinegun, hoping to knock out the gun and so save the lives of many of his company.
His self-sacrifice and absolute disregard of danger was an inspiring example to all. (He is reported missing, believed killed.)”
He was also awarded the Military Cross for his actions on 25 February 1917, when he lead a patrol into no man’s land.
The Citation reads:
“Temp. 2nd Lt. John Harrison, E. York. R. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He handled his platoon with great courage and skill, reached his objective under the most trying conditions, and captured a prisoner. He set a splendid example throughout.”
“For most conspicuous bravery. During recent operations Capt. Ackroyd displayed the greatest gallantry and devotion to duty. Utterly regardless of danger, he worked continuously for many hours up and down and in front of the line tending the wounded and saving the lives of officers and men. In so doing he had to move across the open under heavy machine-gun, rifle and shell fire. He carried a wounded officer to a place of safety under very heavy fire.
On another occasion he went some way in front of our advanced line and brought in a wounded man under continuous sniping and machine-gun fire. His heroism was the means of saving many lives, and provided a magnificent example of courage, cheerfulness, and determination to the fighting men in whose midst he was carrying out his splendid work. This gallant officer has since been killed in action.”
He was killed in action on 11 August 1917 at Glencorse Wood, Ypres, and is buried at Burr Cross Roads Cemetery, Zillebeke, Belgium.
“Second Lieutenant Herbert James, 4th Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment.
For most conspicuous bravery during the operations in the Southern Zone of the Gallipoli Peninsula. On the 28th June, 1915, when a portion of a Regiment had been checked owing to all the Officers being put out of action, Second Lieutenant James, who belonged to a neighbouring unit, entirely on his own initiative gathered together a body of men and led them forward under heavy shell and rifle fire. He then returned, organised a second party, and again advanced. His gallant example put fresh life into the attack. On the 3rd July, in the same locality, Second Lieutenant James headed a party of bomb throwers up a Turkish communication trench, and, after nearly all his bomb throwers had been killed or wounded, he remained alone at the head of the trench and kept back the enemy single-handed till a barrier had been built behind him and the trench secured. He was throughout exposed to a murderous fire.”
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
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
Memorial Stone at the National Memorial Arboretum.