Francis Octavius GRENFELL, VC Captain, 9th (Queen's Royal) Lancers. Killed in action 24th May 1915. Aged 35. Born 4th September 1880. Son of Pascoe Du Pre Grenfell and Sophia, his wife. Educated at Eton, Francis became "Master of the Beagles" in 1898. Represented his school at cricket. Twin brother of Riversdale (below). On leaving Eton in 1899 he joined the 3rd (Militia) Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders. He saw service in the South African War in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. Awarded the Victoria Cross (V.C.). Buried in VLAMERTINGHE MILITARY CEMETERY, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Plot II. Row B. Grave 14. On 24th August 1914 at Audregnies, Belgium, Captain Grenfell and his regiment had charged a large body of German infantry. Casualties were very heavy and Captain Grenfell was the senior officer left. He was rallying part of the regiment behind a railway embankment when he was twice hit and severely wounded. When the commander of the 119th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, asked for help in saving the guns near Doubon, Grenfell, despite his wounds, gathered some volunteers, and, under a hail of bullets, helped to push the guns out of range of enemy fire. He recovered from those wounds only to be killed in action at Hooge, Belgium, several months later. His medal is on display at the 9th/12th Lancers Regimental Museum in Derby. An extract taken from the London Gazette dated 16th November, 1914 records the following:- "For gallantry in action against un-broken Infantry at Andregnies, Belgium, on 24th August, 1914, and for gallant conduct in assisting to save the guns of 119th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, near Doubon the same day." Extract from Du Ruvigny's Roll of Honour: GRENFELL, FRANCIS OCTAVIUS, V.C., Capt., 9th Lancers, 8th s. of the late Pascoe Du Pre Grenfell, of Wilton Park, Beaconsfield, by his wife, Sophia, dau. of Vice-Admiral John Pascoe Grenfell, Brazilian I.N., and nephew of Francis Wallace, 1st Baron Grenfell, P.C., G.C.B. ; G.C.M.G., Field-Marshal ; b. Hatchlands, Guildford. 4 Sept. 1880 ; ethic. Eton (Mr. Durnford's House, 1894-99); received a commission in the 3rd (Militia) Battn. Seaforth Highlanders, 13 Dec. 1899 ; gazetted 2nd Lieut. King's Royal Rifle Corps, 4 May, 1901 , and Lieut. 28 Jan. 1905 ; transferred to 9th Lancers 6 May, 1905 ; promoted Capt. 7 Sept. 1912 ; was Adjutant 1 Nov. 1912 to 13 Jan. 1914 ; served (1) in the South African War, 1901-2 ; took part in operations in Cape Colony and Transvaal, 1901, and in those in Orange River Colony, Jan. to 31 May, 1902 (Queen's medal with five clasps) ; and (2) with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders ; was twice mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 20 Oct. and 16 Nov. 1914] by F.M. Sir John French, and was killed in action, after being twice wounded at Hooge, 24 May, 1915 ; unm. He was awarded the Victoria Cross "For gallantry in action against unbroken infantry at Andregnies, Belgium, on 24 Aug. 1914, and for gallant conduct in assisting to save the guns of the 119th Battery, near Doubon, the same day," being the first officer to receive it in the European War. At Eton he was in the Cricket XI in 1899, and Master of the Beagles. Like his brother, Capt. R. N. Grenfell, he was one of the finest polo players of his day. He did much for modern polo with his brother, was in the Champion side several times, and was instrumental in forming the Old Etonians Polo Team, which at one time was nominated as the Polo Cup Challenger. One of the best known men in the army, he enjoyed a popularity that few men achieve. Extract from The Bond of Sacrifice Volume 2: CAPTAIN FRANCIS OCTAVIUS GRENFELL, V.C., 9th (QUEEN'S ROYAL) LANCERS, the first officer to be awarded the Victoria Cross in the Great War, was the third member of his family to give his life fighting against Germany. His twin brother, Captain R. Grenfell, 9th Lancers, fell in action on the 14th September, 1914, and his cousin, Captain Julian Grenfell, D.S.O., Royal Dragoons, died of wounds on the 26th May, 1915. Captain Francis Grenfell, who was born on the 4th September, 1880, at Hatchlands, Guildford, was the eighth son of the late Mr. Pascoe Grenfell, of 69 Eaton Place, and of Wilton Park, Beaconsfield, and a nephew of Field-Marshal Lord Grenfell. He was educated at Eton. (Mr. Durnford's House 1894-1899) and was in the Eton XI. in his last year. He was Master of the Beagles at the same time as his brother was Whip, and by raising funds they both played a very important part in the building of the present kennels. Captain Grenfell was a celebrated polo player, and, with his brother, did much for modern polo. He was instrumental in forming the Old Etonian Polo Team, which was at one time nominated as the Polo Cup Challenger. Ho was also an excellent rider, winning several inter-Regimental horse races, and in India won the Point-to-Point Race the day his brother won the Kadir Cup. On leaving Eton Captain Grenfell joined the 3rd (Militia) Battn. Seaforth Highlanders, with which he served over a year, and in May, 1901, he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the King's Royal Rifle Corps. He took part in the South African War 1901-2, including operations in the Orange River Colony, in Cape Colony, and in the Transvaal, and he received for his services the Queen's Medal with five clasps. He was promoted Lieutenant in January, 1905, and in May of that year he exchanged to the 9th Lancers, becoming Captain in September, 1912. Captain Grenfell accompanied his Regiment to Flanders as part of the British Expeditionary Force in August, 1914. “For gallantry in action against unbroken infantry at Andregnies. Belgium, on the 24th August, 1914, and for gallant conduct in assisting to save the guns of the 119th Battery Royal Field Artillery, near Doubon, the same day he received the Victoria Cross. (London Gazette, 16th November, 1914). The gunners had all been struck down, and Captain Grenfell called for volunteers to save the guns, which were safely man-handled out of action amid a storm of shell; and, in an episode where all were brave, Captain Grenfell, wounded in the hand and leg, displayed a high heroic courage, which gained him the crown of every soldier's ambition. He was also mentioned in Sir John French's Despatch of the 8th October, 1914. His wounds proved severe and he returned to England, but at the earliest moment he was back again with his Regiment. A little later he was wounded even more dangerously, and recovered a second time, only to be mortally wounded by shrapnel at Hooge on the 24th May, 1915.