BEAK Daniel Marcus William
Major General Daniel Marcus William Beak, VC, DSO, MC & Bar (27 July 1891 – 3 May 1967)
Beak joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a rating on 2 February 1915, but before seeing action was commissioned as a temporary sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Division in May 1915. He was posted to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, but it is not clear from his service record if he saw action in that theatre. He arrived in France in May 1916, and after being appointed adjutant of the Drake Battalion on 2 March 1917, he ended up commanding his battalion as an acting commander between 19 March 1917 and 3 April 1917. He was promoted to temporary lieutenant commander on relinquishing command, and attached to headquarters.
He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) in January 1917, and a Bar to his MC on 18 July 1917
He attended the Senior Officers' Course in Aldershot in late 1917 and on 31 December was promoted temporary commander, and appointed as commanding officer of the Howe Battalion.
Beak remained in command of the Howe Battalion, then briefly commanded the Anson Battalion in the first week of March 1918, and then transferred back to the Drake Battalion on 13 March 1918. He was Mentioned in Despatches on 20 May, and awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) on 26 July 1918.
He was sick for four days with the flu in July 1918, and was granted a period of home leave in August, returning on 10 August. During the period 21/25 August and on 4 September 1918 at Logeast Wood, France, Commander Beak led his men and captured four enemy positions under heavy fire. Four days later, although dazed by a shell fragment, in the absence of the brigade commander, he reorganised the whole brigade under extremely heavy gun fire and led his men to their objective. When an attack was held up, accompanied by only one runner he succeeded in breaking up a nest of machine-guns, personally bringing in nine or ten prisoners. His initiative and the confidence with which he inspired all ranks, contributed very materially to the success of these operations. In recognition of his efforts, Beak was awarded the Victoria Cross. The full citation was published in a supplement to the London Gazette of 12 November 1918 (dated 15 November 1918
War Office, 15th November, 1918.
His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officers, Noncommissioned Officers and Men: —
T./Comdr. Daniel Marcus William Beak, D.S.O., M.C., R.N.V.R.
For most conspicuous bravery, courageous leadership and devotion to duty during a prolonged period of operations.
He led his men in attack, and, despite heavy machine-gun fire, four enemy positions were captured. His skilful and fearless leadership resulted in the complete success of this operation and enabled other battalions to reach-their objectives.
Four days later, though dazed by a shell fragment, in the absence of the brigade commander, he reorganised the whole brigade under extremely heavy gun fire and led his men with splendid courage to their objective.
An attack having been held up he rushed forward, accompanied by only one runner, and succeeded in breaking up a nest of machine guns, personally bringing back nine or ten prisoners. His fearless example instilled courage and confidence in his men, who then quickly resumed the advance under his leadership.
On a subsequent occasion he displayed great courage and powers of leadership in attack, and his initiative, coupled with the confidence with which he inspired all ranks, not only enabled his own and a neighbouring unit to advance, but contributed very materially to the success of the Naval Division in these operations.
He received a second Mention in Despatches on 20 December 1918. With the war now over he was granted several periods of home leave, returned home permanently in May 1919, and was demobilised in June.
Signed note measuring 3 ¼” x 5 ¼”
This comes from a large collection of WWI VC autographs, all clippings that I recently obtained. As you know I am first and foremost a collector myself and along side Knights Cross autographs VC autographs are something that I am equally preoccupied with.
VC autographs are much harder to find as fewer were awarded . This autograph came from a large long time collection that was put up by an auction house , all the autographs that I obtained are WWI recipients, all clippings. Some of the autographs are duplicates for me so you have an opportunity to add some very hard to find VC autographs to your own collections
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