The Great War
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On October 31st 1914, the day of the great German onslaught in the first battle of Ypres, Lieutenant James Anson Otho Brooke, of the 2nd Battalion The Gordon Highlanders, was sent across with a message from the right flank to the centre of the defence. He arrived just as the British were once more being driven back by the sheer weight of overwhelming numbers. Seeing that a general counter attack could not be organised to prevent the Germans breaking through, he gathered a handful of men, consisting of servants, cooks and orderlies, from the rear: and amidst a storm of bullets from rifles and machine guns, dashed forward and recaptured a lost British trench. He and nearly all his men were killed, but for his most gallant conduct Lieutenant Brooke was awarded the V.C.