|James Dacres Belgrave|
27 September 1896|
Kensington, London, England
|Died||13 June 1918
Near Albert, France
|Buried||Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, France|
Royal Air Force
|Years of service||1914–1918|
|Unit||Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
No. 45 Squadron RFC
No. 61 Squadron RAF
No. 60 Squadron RAF
|Battles/wars||World War I|
|Awards||Military Cross and Bar|
James Dacres Belgrave was born in Kensington, London, the second son of the barrister and writer Dalrymple James Belgrave and his wife Isabella Richardson. His older brother, Sir Charles Dalrymple Belgrave, also served in the Army during the First World War, and was later advisor to the rulers of Bahrain from 1926 until 1957. His grandfather was Commander Thomas Belgrave, RN, of Kilworth, Leicester, who had married Charlotte, the daughter of Rear-Admiral James Richard Dacres, who had in turn married Arabella Boyd, daughter of General Sir Hew Dalrymple.
Belgrave attended the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry on 16 December 1914. He was wounded in action in November 1915, and was promoted to Lieutenant on 13 February 1916.
On 18 July 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross. His citation read:
- Lieutenant James Dacres Belgrave, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and Royal Flying Corps.
- For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On at least five occasions he successfully engaged and shot down hostile aeroplanes, and has consistently shown great courage and determination to get to the closest range; an invaluable example in a fighting squadron.
On 1 September 1917 he was appointed flight commander with the temporary rank of Captain. After serving in 61 Squadron on Home Defence duties, he returned to France in April 1918 to serve in 60 Squadron, and flying the S.E.5a he shot down twelve more aircraft in May and June, bringing his total up to 18.
The bar to his Military Cross was gazetted in September 1918, three months after his death. The citation read:
- Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) James Dacres Belgrave, MC, Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, attached Royal Air Force.
- For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty whilst leading offensive patrols. In four days he destroyed two enemy machines and drove down four others. The odds were heavy against him, and he did magnificent work.
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