Published on October 27th, 2014 | by admin
World War 1 centenary: Sir Alfred Knight
Here at the Post Office Shop we are going to be recalling some of the centenary dates which mark significant moments during World War One.
Yesterday was one such poignant moment of the Great War, as it marked 100 years to the day that Sir Alfred Knight joined the Post Office Rifles Regiment which was made up of 12,000 men. 1,800 soldiers perished from the regiment during World War One and a further 4,500 were wounded; and in one battle alone near Longueval in 1918, the Post Office Rifles lost 300 men.
Sir Alfred Knight was the only member of the Post Office Rifles regiment who received the Victoria Cross in recognition of his extraordinary acts of bravery.
As a vivid illustration of why Sergeant Knight was awarded the highest military decoration, it has been documented how his courage at Wurst Farm Ridge during the battle of Ypres led to German soldiers retreating as he captured an enemy gun position.
Indeed a Post Office circular noted that ‘his several single-handed actions showed exceptional bravery, and saved a great number of casualties in the Company. They were performed under heavy machine gun and rifle fire, and without regard to personal risk, and were the direct cause of the objectives being captured.’
Knight was presented with the Victoria Cross, the highest military decoration, at Buckingham Palace on January 3rd, 1918 by King George V.
He worked as a Clerical Assistant for the Post Office in the North Midland Engineering District prior to the Great War and Sergeant Knight returned to his career at the Post Office after the Great War and as well as his Victoria Cross, he was also awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal, as well as 1937 and 1953 coronation medals.
World War One was one of the deadliest conflicts in history and it was the bravery and courage shown by soldiers such as Sir Alfred Knight which eventually led to the successful conclusion of the war on 11th November 1918.