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  • Christina Drummond

Lieutenant Frank de Pass VC, British Indian Army

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Lieutenant Frank de Pass VC, British Indian Army, was killed in action in France. He had attended the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich, was commissioned into the Royal Horse Artillery in 1906, and being skilled in Indian languages he transferred to the 34th Prince Albert Victor’s Own Poona Horse in 1909. The British and French victory at the First Battle of Ypres had marked the end of movement on the Western Front, both sides dug in and a line of trenches soon ran from the Channel to the Swiss frontier. Two days before his death his regiment, part of the recently arrived Indian Corps sent to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force, found themselves in the trenches at the small village of Festubert. The following morning the Germans attacked both them and the adjacent British and Indian Army units. Lieutenant de Pass entered a German trench and destroyed a traverse in the face of the enemy's bombs. Under heavy fire he rescued a wounded man who was lying in the open exposed to enemy fire, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The following day he was killed as he attempted to repair his own trench and was hit by a sniper. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Army Museum in Chelsea. Frank, from Kensington, was 27 years old and engaged to be married.

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