Alexander Picton Brereton VC

Name: Alexander Picton Brereton

Conflict: First World War

Gazetted: September 27, 1918

Service: Canadian Expeditionary Force

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Alexander Picton Brereton VC
Alexander Picton Brereton VC Medals
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Place/date of birth: Oak River, Manitoba, Canada/November 13, 1892

Rank when awarded VC (and later highest rank): Acting Corporal (later Company Quartermaster-Sergeant)

Date of bravery: August 9, 1918

London Gazette citation:

No. 830651 Pte. (A./Cpl) Alexander Brereton, Manitoba R.

For most conspicuous bravery during an attack, when a line of hostile machine guns opened fire suddenly on his platoon, which was in an exposed position, and no cover available. This gallant N.C.O. at once appreciated the critical situation and realised that unless something was done at once the platoon would be annihilated. On his own initiative, without a moment’s delay, and alone, he sprang forward and reached one of the hostile machine-gun posts, where he shot the man operating the machine gun and bayonetted the next one who attempted to operate it, whereupon nine others surrendered to him.

Cpl. Brereton’s action was a splendid example of resource and bravery, and not only undoubtedly saved many of his comrades’ lives, but also inspired his platoon to charge and capture the five remaining posts.

Click here to see full Gazette entry.

Other decorations: N/A

Place/date of death: Three Hills, Alberta, Canada/June 11, 1976

Grave/memorials: Elnora Cemetery, Alberta, Canada

Origin of VC to the Lord Ashcroft collection: Purchased privately, 2006

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