First World War Victoria Cross hero honoured

Memorial stone for Commander Daniel Marcus William Beak unveiled

BeakThe Mayor of Southampton, Cllr Stephen Barnes-Andrews, helped commemorate First World War veteran and Victoria Cross hero, Commander Daniel Marcus William Beak, by unveiling a new memorial stone in his honour at The Cenotaph this morning, concluding Southampton’s First World War Centenary ceremonies. Daniel Beak was born in Southampton in 1891 and educated at Taunton's School. He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1915, then commissioned as a temporary sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Division in May 1915.

During the First World War, Beak was awarded the Victoria Cross for “most conspicuous bravery, courageous leadership and devotion to duty during a prolonged period of operations… in which he succeeded in breaking up a nest of machine guns under heavy gun fire”. The Victoria Cross was later presented to him by King George V in December 1918.

100 years later, Beak has been honoured in this ceremony which took place on Thursday, 6 December at The Cenotaph in Southampton. The service started at 11am and the Mayor was joined by Deputy Lieutenant Sir Jonathon Band GCB DL, Commodore Martin Quinn ADC BA (Hons), MA, FCIS, FIoD as Commander Maritime Reserves representing the Royal Navy, and Commander Glynn Johns RN. Readings were also be given by students and representatives from St Denys School and Richard Taunton’s Sixth Form College.

Beak1The Right Worshipful Mayor of Southampton, Councillor Stephen Barnes-Andrews said: "As we mark the centenary of the First World War, it is only right that we take time to think of Daniel Beak’s acts of bravery to protect friends and comrades under his command. I am glad that we are able to commemorate and honour his service with this commemorative stone for future generations to remember.”