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Alfred George Drake ["Tales of the V.C."]
Rifle Brigade VC Belgium
Article with annotations.
Alfred George Drake VC (10 December 1893 – 23 November 1915) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. He was 21 years old, and a corporal in the 8th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own), British Army during the First World War, and was awarded the VC for his actions on 23 November 1915, near La Brique, Belgium. He was killed in his VC action. Citation: For most conspicuous bravery on the night of 23rd Nov., 1915, near La Brique, France. He was one of a patrol of four which was reconnoitring towards the German lines. The patrol was discovered when close to the enemy who opened heavy fire with rifles and a machine gun, wounding the Officer and one man. The latter was carried back by the last remaining man. Corporal Drake remained with his Officer and was last seen kneeling beside him and bandaging his wounds regardless of the enemy's fire. Later a rescue party crawling near the German lines found the Officer and Corporal, the former unconcious (sic) but alive and bandaged, Corporal Drake beside him dead and riddled with bullets. He had given his own life and saved his Officer. —The London Gazette No. 29447, 21 January 1916 The attached account of his actions was written by James Price Lloyd of the Welsh Regiment, who served with Military Intelligence. After the war, the government to destroyed all the archives relating to this propaganda (section MI 7b (1)). They were regarded as being too sensitive to risk being made public. Remarkably these documents have survived in the personal records of Captain Lloyd. Many of these papers are officially stamped, and one can trace the development of many individual articles from the notes based on an idea, to the pencil draft which is then followed by the hand-written submission and the typescript. The archive "Tales of the VC" comprises 94 individual accounts of the heroism that earned the highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross. These are recounted deferentially and economically, yet they still manage to move the reader. Date stamp: 8 February 1918.