Lionel Wilmot Brabazon Rees VC

Name: Lionel Wilmot Brabazon Rees

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: August 5, 1916

Service: Army/Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force

Lionel Wilmot Brabazon Rees VC
Medal group

Place/date of birth: Caernarfon, Caernarfonshire (now Gwynedd)/July 31, 1884

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Temporary Major (later Group Captain)

Date of bravery: July 1, 1916

London Gazette citation:

Capt. (temp. Maj.) Lionel Wilmot Brabazon Rees, R.A. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty.

Whilst on flying duties, Major Rees sighted what he thought to be a bombing party of our own machines returning home. He went up to escort them, but on getting nearer discovered they were a party of enemy machines, about ten in all.

Major Rees was immediately attacked by one of the machines, and after a short encounter it disappeared behind the enemy lines, damaged.

Five others then attacked him at long range, but these he dispersed on coming to close quarters, after seriously damaging two of the machines. Seeing two others going westwards, he gave chase to them, but on coming nearer he was wounded in the thigh, causing him to lose temporary control of his machine. He soon righted it, and immediately closed with the enemy, firing at a close-contact range of only a few yards, until all his ammunition was used up.

He then returned home, landing his machine safely in our lines.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: OBE, MC, AFC

Place/date of death: Nassau, Bahamas/September 28, 1955

Grave/memorials: Nassau War Cemetery, Bahamas; St George’s Royal Garrison Church, Woolwich, London; Caernarfon Council Chambers, Gwynedd; RAF Memorial, St Clement Danes, London; RAF College, Cranwell, Lincolnshire; Royal Artillery Chapel, Woolwich, London

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2013

Current location of VC: Displayed on rotation at The Lord Ashcroft Gallery: Extraordinary Heroes exhibition, Imperial War Museum