The Tank Museum | Recipient

H.P. Bray

L/Cpl. Horace Percival Bray, 112321, 1st Gun Carrier Company

Born in Cornwall in Boscaswell, St. Just, on 28th November 1892, the fourth child (and first son) of Charles Bray and Mary Ann (nee Julian). His father was a policeman serving in the Cornwall Constabulary.

By 1899 the family had returned to the St. Austell area of mid-Cornwall where Percy was employed in the China Clay industry.

By the time war broke out in 1914 Percy was almost 22 years old. He was awarded the Military Medal for actions on 12th September 1918 near Havrincourt.

He married Ida Hore on 27th November 1920 and they had three children - a son and two daughters. Ida sadly died on 26th December 1955 aged 58.

For many years he farmed a smallholding at Penwithick until ill health forced retirement when he went to live with his elder daughter in a house which he called "Havrincourt" after the place in france where he won his meal.

Died 4th March 1964 aged 72 years at Penwithick near St. Austell.

Tales of valour

Military Medal

For great initiative and devotion to duty near Havrincourt on 12th September 1918.

Pte. Bray was brakesman on a carrier tank. When returning to refill after having taken up supplies to the line, the tank was hitby a shell which severely wounded the officer and the sergeant, and also wounded Pte. Bray in a lesser degree. Pte. Bray was now the only one of the crew left who was at all capable of carrying on. The tank had been hit while on the sky-line and was now in full view of the enemy and was being shelled. Pte. Bray showed great initiative : he lifted the wounded officer and sergeant out of the tank, and although himself wounded, drove the tank down the reverse slope and out of observation. He then returned and dressed the wounds of the officer and sergeant. The officer was unable to walk and tghe sergeant could only limp with assistance, nevertheless Pte. Bray, by great determination, carried the officer and at the same time assisted the sergeant to the aid post about 800 yards away. To get to the aid post it was necessary to pass through a valley which was being shelled with gas. Having handed over the officer and sergeatnt to the R.A.M.C., Pte. Bray reported himself and was sent on to the dressing station, where his wounds were dressed, and he was told that he would be detained. He begged to be allowed to return to duty at once, and eventually was allowed to do so. Pte. Bray's initiative in getting the tank out of observation and his devotion to the wounded are deserving of the highest praise. This man has been brought to notice on a previous occasion for gallantry and devotion to duty.


1914-15 STAR