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Major-General Daniel Beak VC DSO MC & Bar - Long Garden, Cheltenham, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 53.942 W 002° 04.653
30U E 563468 N 5750210
Quick Description: This plaque, to a Victoria Cross holder, is located adjacent to the war memorial at the centre of Long Garden in Cheltenham.
Location: Southern England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 4/15/2014 11:10:35 AM
Waymark Code: WMKH97
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
Views: 1

Long Description:

The metal plaque that is attached to a ballustraded wall tells us:

To the memory of
Major-General Daniel Beak VC DSO MC & Bar
1891 - 1967 and former Secretary of Cheltenham YMCA

Awarded the Victoria Cross for outstanding barvery
with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in France
during August and September 1918

The Victoria Cross website tells us about this hero:

Daniel Beak was born on the 27th January 1891 at Southampton, son of Mr. and Mrs. W.H. Beak, formerly of West End House, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire. He was educated at Taunton's School, Southampton, and joined the RNVR on the 26th January 1915 as a ranker, and rose swiftly to Petty Officer. Beak was gazetted Sub-Lieutenant on 8th May 1915 in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve for duty with the Royal Naval Division, where he saw service in Gallipoli and was present during the evacuation of the peninsula. He later spent the rest of his active career on the Western Front in France where he was awarded numerous gallantry awards, including the Victoria Cross.

 [ London Gazette, 15 November 1918 ], Logeast Wood, France, 21st, 25th August & 4th September 1918, T / Commander Daniel Marcus William Beak DSO, MC, Commander Drake Battalion, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

    "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."

Daniel Beak was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Valenciennes, France, on 6th December 1918.

 Daniel Beak held several appointments throughout WWI with the Royal Naval Division's Drake, Anson and Howe Battalions, finally commanding Drake Battalion on 12th March 1918 until the demobilization of the Royal Naval Division in June 1919. He joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers, transferring later to the King's Regiment in 1932 with the rank of Major. From 1939-40 Beak commanded the 1st Battalion, the South Lancashire Regiment, was promoted Brigadier in 1940, Acting Major-General in 1941, and was appointed General Officer Commanding at Malta in 1942.

Daniel Beak died on the 3rd May 1967 in the Princess Margaret Hospital, Swindon, Wiltshire, following a long illness, and was buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey. According to family history, Beak wished his grave to remain unmarked.

Website pertaining to the memorial: [Web Link]

List if there are any visiting hours:
Accessible 24/7

Entrance fees (if it applies): Free

Type of memorial: Plaque

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