Personal info

  • Name: Francis Octavus GRENFELL
  • D.O.B: 4th September, 1880
  • D.O.A: 24th August, 1914
  • D.O.D: 24th May, 1915
  • Award: Victoria Cross
  • Occupation at time of action: Captain, 9th (Queen’s Royal) Lancers, 1st Cavalry Brigade, Cavalry Division

Elouges and Audregnies, Belgium 24 August 1914

24 August 1914

More details about:
The First World War 1914 

The successful withdrawal of the 2nd Army Corps, BEF, before the overwhelming German attack on 23 August 1914 along the line of Mons-Condé Canal, largely depended for its success on the ability of its flank guard, consisting of 1st Battalion The Cheshire Regiment, and 1st Battalion The Norfolk Regiment, supported by artillery and cavalry, to hold its position at Elouges, about ten miles west-south-west of Mons, where it faced the entire German 4th Army Corps. One of the RA units supporting the flank guard was 119th Battery Royal Field Artillery, commanded by Major E W Alexander. The Battle of Elouges began at noon on 24 August 1914. The flank guard slowed the German advance but it soon became clear that the sheer weight of German infantry would eventually lead to the capture of its guns. Although all the battery’s horses were dead, Alexander managed to save the guns with the help of his few surviving men and cavalry volunteers led by Captain F O Grenfell VC of the 9th Lancers. This enabled the 5th Division to retire without serious loss. On the same day, at Audregnies, two miles south-west of Elouges, Grenfell rode with the regiment in a charge against a large body of German infantry. There were heavy casualties and the captain was left as senior officer. He was rallying part of the regiment behind a railway embankment when he was twice hit in the hand and thigh and seriously wounded.

Citation

 For gallantry in action against unbroken infantry at Andregnies, Belgium, on 24th August, 1914, and for gallant conduct in assisting to save the guns of the 119th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, near Doubon the same day. 

Third Supplement to The London Gazette of 13 November 1914. 16 November 1914, Numb. 28976,p. 9373. Repeated in The London Gazette of 17 November 1914, Numb. 28977, p. 9402

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