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Alan JerrardVC, MVB (b. 03 Dec 1897, d. 14 May 1968)Alan JerrardVC, MVB (son of Herbert Jerrard and Jane Remington Hobbs) was born 03 Dec 1897 in , Lewisham, and died 14 May 1968 in , Lyme Regis, Dorset.He married Eliza Maria Kathleen.
Notes for Alan JerrardVC, MVB:
Holder of VC.Gazetted 1 May 1918.On 30 March 1918 near Mansue, Italy , with two other officers on offensive patrol, shot down one of five enemy aircraft.
Then flying at 50 feet he attacked an aerodrome with some 19 machines either
landing or attempting to take off.After attacking one of these he was
attacked by more enemy aircraft but, seeing a brother-officer in difficulties,
went to assist him, destroying a third enemy machine, then continued his
attacks, only retreating, with five machines in pursuit, on the orders of the
patrol leader.Even then he repeatedly turned to beat off the enemy until
finally forced down.Ashes interred at Hillingdon, Uxbridge, Middlesex. Letter
from RAF 22 April 1981.
Name:Alan Jerrard Country: England Rank:Lieutenant Service:Royal Flying Corps
Royal Air ForceSquadrons:19, 66Victories: 7 Born :3 December 1897 Place of Birth:London Died:14 May 1968 Place of Death:Weston Super MareVictoria Cross (VC)
: Bronze Medal for Military Valor
In 1915, Jerrard was a student at Birmingham University when he volunteered for the army. Commissioned in the South Staffordshires on 2 January 1916, he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in August. A year later, he was sent to France to join 19 Squadron. On his second patrol over the lines, he was seriously injured when his SPAD VII crashed on 5 August 1917. After recovering from a broken nose and fractured jaw, Jerrard was assigned to 66 Squadron in Italy on 22 February 1918. For his actions on 30 March 1918, he was credited with three victories for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. On that day, Peter Carpenter and Harold Eycott-Martin accompanied him on his last patrol of the war. After engaging several Albatros scouts and attacking the Austro-Hungarian aerodrome at Mansue, Jerrard's Sopwith Camel was shot down by Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg of Flik 51J. Jerrard was captured but managed to escape several months later. When the war ended, he remained in the Royal Air Force and retired as a Flight Lieutenant in 1933.
66 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Nationality British / English
Birthdate Friday, 3 December 1897
Birthplace 13, Vicar's Hill, Ladywell, in the Borough of Lewisham, South London
Father Herbert Jerrard, Headmaster of Bishop Vesey's Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield
Mother Jane Remington (née Hobbs)
Commissioned in the 5th South Staffordshire Regiment on 2 January, 1916
Transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 16 August 1916, studying at Oxford's School of Military
Continued studies at No. 25 (Reserve) Squadron, Thetford
From there to No. 9 (Reserve) Squadron, Mousehold Heath, Norwich on 20 November 1916
Posted to 59 Squadron at Narborough on 5 December 1916
Became unwell and was temporarily posted to No. 50 (Reserve) Squadron in Narborough, Norfolk
On recovery he was posted to the Central Flying School at Upavon where he graduated as an RFC pilot
on 14 June 1917
Posted to N0. 40 (Training) Sqaudron at Croydon, Beddington, Surrey, and then to Spittlegate (now spelt
Spitalgate) for training on RE8 army co-operation machines with No. 20 Training Squadron
Promoted Lieutenant on 2 July 1917
Joined 19 Sqadron in Liettres, France on 24 July 1917
Served in France at St. Omer, with 19 Squadron in 1917 and took part in the Thrid Battle of Ypres
Seriously injured when his SPADVII crashed on 5 August 1917 during his second patrol (suffered a
broken nose and a fractured jaw)
Assigned to 66 Squadron in Italy on 22 February 1918
After the war he served in the RAF Murmansk detachment in Russiaand at RAF Henlow, Sealand,
When the war ended, he remained in the Royal Air Force and retired due to poor health as a Flight
Lieutenant in 1933. He had a 100% disability pension since 1919
Orders, Decorations, Medals
British War Medal 1914-20
Victory Medal 1914-19
Bronze Medal for Military Valour (Italy)
Educated at Bishop Vesey's Grammar School, Sutton Coldfield
Later at Oundle
Studied at Birmingham University
Pre Service Employment
Post Service Employment
The award of the Victoria Cross, for services displaying outstanding bravery, was published on p.5287
of London Gazette No. 30663, dated 30 April 1918.
The citation read :
Lt. Alan Jerrard, Royal Air Force (formerly of the South Staffordshire Regiment).
When on an offensive patrol with two 2 other officers he attacked five enemy aeroplanes and shot
one down 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
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.
Lt. 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.
Additional VC Information
He was decorated with the VC by H.M. King George V at Buckingham Palace on 5 April 1919
Audrey Jerrard (father Albert born 1884) has a photo of Alan Jerrard VC, on the back of the original picture it says -- Colonel Jerrard, Lieut Alan Jerrard VC, Herbert Jerrard, Jane R Jerrard. Buckingham Palace, 5th April 1919.I have a copy. She also has letters written from the front to his parents from his Flight Commander and CO, these tell of his action and bravery for which he was awarded the VC
Royal Air Force Museum
First World War 1914-18
Death Died at Buckfield Nursing Home in Weston-Super-Mare on 14 May 1968
Burial Buried with full military honours at Lyme Regis on 17 May 1968
Ashes interred at Hillingdon, Uxbridge, Middlesex.
Memorials There is a Jerrard Hill in North Dorset with Jerrard's Farm near there
Jerrard's Close at Honiton
Marlpits Hospital has a Jerrard Wing
Jerrard transferred from the 5th South Staffordshire Regiment to the RFC in 1916 and in 1917 joined 19
Squadron flying Spads, but was injured in a crash on 5 August 1917. On recovery he was posted to 66
Squadron in Italy on 22 February 1918, where he claimed four victories in one month. On 30 March 1918
he took of in company with Captain P. Carpenter and Lieutenant Eycott-Martin and engaged four Albatros
Scouts and a Rumpler two-seater. A fight developed and several more Austrian single-seaters joined in -
reportedly as many as 19, but now known only to number five or six. In what now appears to be some
confused fighting, Carpenter claimed one shot down and Eycott-Martin two. From this fight Jerrard failed
to return and was later reported a prisoner. The two survivors lodged a report indicating that Jerrard had
fought a gallant fight against several enemy machines, shooting down three of them before he himself
was brought down. For this action he was awarded the Victoria Cross, the only one granted in Italy to
the RFC or RAF, and the only such decoration to be given to a Camel pilot. In fact the action was far from
what the report indicated, Jerrard later stating that he had dived down and shot-up the Austrian
aerodrome at Mansue, shooting up the hangars and firing into several aircraft which either took off or
tried to land. Finally running out of ammunition, he hedge-hopped away, but was attacked and shot
down, crashing into a tree. He was the victim of the Austrian ace Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg (29
victories), who commanded Flik 51J. He was unable to confirm whether he had brought down any of the
Austrian machines. Official records credited Jerrard with three victories for this date, bringing his score
to eight, although he never claimed these himself. He also received the Italian Bronze Medal for Military
Valour. He remained a prisoner until the end of 1918 when he managed to effect an escape at the close
of the war, gaining Allied lines.
The above extracted from Reference 1
"On 30 March 1918 near Mansue, Italy, with two other officers on offensive patrol, shot down one of
five enemy aircraft. Then flying at 50 feet he attacked an aerodrome with some 19 machines either
landing or attempting to take off.After attacking one of these he was attacked by more enemy aircraft
but, seeing a brother-officer in difficulties, went to assist him, destroying a third enemy machine, then
continued his attacks, only retreating, with five machines in pursuit, on the orders of the patrol leader.
Even then he repeatedly turned to beat off the enemy until finally forced down. "
Letter from RAF 22 April 1981 and kindly supplied by Rob Jerrard
The following is an account of what happened to Jerrard after his capture by the Austrians.
His first concern was in the matter of clothing, being clad only in pyjamas under his bulky flying overall.
His chivalrous Austrian captors sympathised with this state, and arranged for a note to be dropped
behind the Allied lines, requesting various items to be air-dropped for Jerrard. When this was received by
66 Squadron, two bundles of personal items, uniform and Sam Browne belt, shoes, socks, cigarettes
etc - were eventually flown across the lines and dropped on an Austrian airfield, addressed to Jerrard.
Once his routine interrogation had been completed, Jerrard was whisked away to a regular prisoner of
war camp at Salzburg.
In his later years he lived with his cousin, Brigadier Charles Jerrard at Uplyme, Dorsetshire
1.Above the Trenches
Christopher Shores, Norman Franks and Russell Guest
Grub Street, London SW11 1HTISBN 0-948817-19-4
2.VCs of the First World War
The Air VCs
Peter G. Cooksley
Sutton Publishing, Stroud, GloucsetershireISBN 0 7509 1212 X
pp. 128 - 135
More About Alan JerrardVC, MVB:
Burial: Unknown, Hillingdon, Uxbridge, Middlesex.
Record Change: 13 Jul 2006