THE VICTORIA CROSS GROUP AWARDED TO A / CAPTAIN ANDREW BEAUCHAMP-PROCTOR, 84 SQUADRON, ROYAL AIR FORCE, HAS BEEN ACQUIRIED BY THE LORD ASHCROFT VICTORIA CROSS COLLECTION.
17 October 2016


( select to enlarge )
Medal entitlement of A / Captain Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor,
84 Squadron, Royal Air Force

  • Victoria Cross
  • Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )
  • Military Cross ( MC ) & Bar
  • Distinguished Flying Cross ( DFC )
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 ) + MiD Oakleaf

The Victoria Cross, and other gallantry awards, awarded to A / Captain Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor, 84 Squadron, Royal Air Force, have been acquired by the Lord Ashcroft VC Collection. The full VC medal group will go on display in the Imperial War Museum's Lord Ashcroft Gallery. The Beauchamp-Proctor Victoria Cross group is the 200th acquisition by the Lord Ashcroft VC Collection.


In June 1921 Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor was detached to RAF Upavon where he was detailed to participate in the imminent Royal Air Force Pageant. On 21 June, flying Sopwith Snipe E8220 he was practising for his display item and began a loop. As the Snipe inverted at the top of the arc, it fell away viciously into an inverted spin and crashed into the earth killing Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor instantly. He was initially buried in Upavon Cemetery, Wiltshire, but on the 8 August 1921 his body was reinterred to Cape Province, South Africa, and was re-buried in Mafeking Cemetery.

However, a CWGC type headstone still resides in Upavon Cemetery commemorating Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor. It transpired that no diocesan authority had ever been given for the exhumation of the remains, nor had there been any order from the Home Office. Which grave is the true resting place of Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor VC DSO MC DFC is a bit of a condundrum.


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 30 November 1918 ], Over France, 8 August - 8 October 1918, Lieutenant ( A / Captain ) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, DSO, MC, DFC, 84 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

Between 8th August 1918, and 8th October 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 1st October 1918, and 5th October 1918, he destroyed two enemy scouts, burnt three enemy kite balloons, and drove down one enemy scout completely out of control.

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

On 8th October 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 21st March 1918, and during the victorious advance of our Armies commencing 8th August 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 forgotten.

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

Andrew Beauchamp-Proctor was invested with his Victoria Cross, Distinguished Service Order and Distinguished Flying Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 27th November 1919.


For the award of the Military Cross ( MC )

[ London Gazette, 22 June 1918 ], T / 2nd Lieutenant Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, 84 Squadron, Royal Air Force

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. While on offensive patrol he observed an enemy two-seater plane attempting to cross our lines. He engaged it and opened fire, with the result that it fell over on its side and crashed to earth. On a later occasion, when on patrol he observed three enemy scouts attacking one of our bombing machines. He attacked one of these, and after firing 100 rounds in it, it fell over on its back and was seen to descend in that position from 5,000 feet. He then attacked another group of hostile scouts, one of which he shot down completely out of control, and another crumpled up and crashed to earth. In addition to these, he has destroyed another hostile machine, and shot down three completely out of control. He has at all times displayed the utmost dash and initiative, and is a patrol leader of great merit and resource.


For the award of a Bar to the Military Cross ( MC )

[ London Gazette, 18 September 1918 ], T / 2nd Lieutenant ( T / Captain ) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, MC, 84 Squadron, Royal Air Force

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while leading offensive patrols. He has lately destroyed three enemy machines, driven down one other completely out of control, and carried out valuable work in attacking enemy troops and transport on the ground from low altitudes. He has done splendid service.


For the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross ( DFC )

[ London Gazette, 3 August 1918 ], Lieutenant ( T / Captain ) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, MC, 84 Squadron, Royal Air Force

A brilliant and fearless leader of our offensive patrols. His formation has destroyed thirteen enemy machines and brought down thirteen more out of control in a period of a few months. On a recent morning his patrol of five aeroplanes attached an enemy formation of thirty machines and was successful in destroying two of them. In the evening he again attacked an enemy formation with great dash, destroying one machine and forcing two others to collide, resulting in their destruction.


Created a Companion to the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )

[ London Gazette, 2 November 1918 ], Lieutenant ( T / Captain ) Andrew Weatherby Beauchamp-Proctor, MC, DFC, 84 Squadron, Royal Air Force

A fighting pilot of great skill and a splendid leader. He rendered brilliant service on the 22nd August 1918 when his Flight was detailed to neutralise hostile balloons. Having shot down one balloon in flames, he attacked the occupants of five others in succession with machine-gun fire, compelling the occupants in each case to take to parachutes. He then drove down another balloon to within fifty feet of the ground, when it burst into flames. In all he has accounted for thirty-three enemy machines and seven balloons.

Acquisitions

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Iain Stewart, 17 October 2016