20 May 2011

( select to enlarge )

Medal entitlement of Flight Lieutenant Alan Jerrard,
66 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

  • Victoria Cross
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • King George VI Coronation Medal ( 1937 )
  • Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal ( 1953 )
  • Knight, Order of St Anne ( Russia )
  • Medal of Military Valour ( Italy )

The Victoria Cross and campaign medals awarded to Flight Lieutenant Alan Jerrard, South Staffordshire Regiment and 66 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, have been acquired by the Michael Ashcroft Trust the holding institution for Lord Ashcroft's VC Collection. The VC group is currently on display in the Imperial War Museum's Lord Ashcroft Gallery. ( The Jerrard VC group had previously been on a long loan to the Royal Air Force Museum, Hendon, North London ).

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 1 May 1918 ], Near Mansue, Italy, 30 March 1918, Lieutenant ( later Flight Lieutenant ) Alan Jerrard, 66 Squadron Royal Flying Corps ( late South Staffordshire Regiment ).

When on an offensive patrol with two other officers he attacked five enemy aeroplanes and shot down one in flames, following it down to within one hundred feet of the ground. He then attacked an enemy aerodrome from a height of only fifty feet from the ground, and, engaging single-handed some nineteen machines, which were either landing or attempting to take off, succeeded in destroying one of them, which crashed on the aerodrome.

A large number of machines then attacked him, and whilst thus fully occupied he observed that one of the pilots of his patrol was in difficulties. He went immediately to his assistance, regardless of his own personal safety, and destroyed a third enemy machine. Fresh enemy aeroplanes continued to rise from the aerodrome, which he attacked one after another, and only retreated, still engaged with five enemy machines, when ordered to do so by his patrol leader.

Although apparently wounded, this very gallant officer turned repeatedly, and attacked single-handed the pursuing machines, until he was eventually overwhelmed by numbers and driven to the ground.

Lieutenant Jerrard had greatly distinguished himself on four previous occasions, within a period of twenty-three days, in destroying enemy machines, displaying bravery and ability of the very highest order.

Alan Jerrard was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 5th April 1919.

Alan Jerrard died on the 14th May 1968, aged 70, at the Buckfield Nursing Home, Lyme Regis, Dorset. Three days later he was cremated at the Exeter and Devon Crematorium and his ashes interred into the family grave at the Hillingdon & Uxbrige Cemetery, Middlesex.


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Iain Stewart, 20 May 2011