Allan Ker

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Allan Ker
Allan Ker VC.jpg
Born 5 March 1883 (1883-03-05)
Edinburgh, Scotland
Died 12 September 1958(1958-09-12) (aged 75)
Hampstead, England
Buried at West Hampstead Cemetery
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Major
Unit Gordon Highlanders
Battles/wars First World War
Awards Victoria Cross (UK) ribbon.png Victoria Cross

Major Allan Ebenezer Ker VC (5 March 1883 – 12 September 1958) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He was 35 years old, and a lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders,[1] British Army, attached 61st Battalion, Machine Gun Corps during the First World War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 21 March 1918 near St. Quentin, France, when the enemy had penetrated the British line, Lieutenant Ker, with one Vickers gun, succeeded in holding up the attack, inflicting many casualties. He then stayed at his post with a sergeant and several men who had been badly wounded, beating off bayonet attacks with revolvers, the Vickers gun having been destroyed. Although exhausted from want of food and gas poisoning, as well as from fighting and attending to the wounded, Lieutenant Ker only surrendered when all his ammunition was spent and the position overrun - he had managed to hold 500 of the enemy off for three hours.[2]

He later achieved the rank of major. Anthony Powell later used him as the inspiration for the character of Colonel Finn in his novels The Soldier's Art (1966) and The Military Philosophers (1968).[3]

The Medal[edit]

His VC is on display in the Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum, London.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "British Empire - Alan ker". Retrieved January 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "No. 31536". The London Gazette. 2 September 1919. p. 11205. 
  3. ^ http://www.anthonypowell.org.uk/home.php?page=M02
  4. ^ "Lord Ashcroft VC Collection". Retrieved January 15, 2013. 

External links[edit]