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Alfred Joseph Knight ["Tales of the V.C."]
Post Office Rifles VC
Article with annotations.
Alfred Joseph Knight VC MBE (24 August 1888 – 4 December 1960) 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. Knight was 29 years old, and a Sergeant in the 2/8th (City of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (Post Office Rifles), British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. On 20 September 1917 at 'Alberta Section', Ypres, during the Battle of 3rd Ypres, when his platoon came under very heavy fire from an enemy machine gun, Sergeant Knight rushed through our own barrage and captured it single-handed. He performed several other acts of conspicuous bravery single-handed, all under heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and without regard to personal safety. All the platoon officers of the company had become casualties before the first objective was reached, and this NCO took command not only of all the men of his own platoon but of the platoons without officers and his energy in consolidating and reorganising was untiring. He later achieved the rank of Second Lieutenant. This 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: 13 December 1917 and __ January 1918.