Alan Jerrard VC

Name: Alan Jerrard

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: May 1, 1918

Service: Army/Royal Flying Corps/Royal Air Force

Alan Jerrard
Alan Jerrard VC
Alan Jerrard Medals
Medal group

Place/date of birth: Lewisham, London/December 3, 1897

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Lieutenant (later Flight Lieutenant)

Date of bravery: March 30, 1918

London Gazette citation:

Lt. Alan Jerrard, Royal Air Force (formerly of the South Staffordshire Regiment)

When on an offensive patrol with two 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 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.

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.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death: Lyme Regis, Dorset/May 14, 1968

Grave/memorials: Exeter & Devon Crematorium, Devon (Headstone at Hillingdon & Uxbridge Cemetery, London); RAF Memorial, St Clement Danes, London; Lewisham Civic Centre, London

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2010

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