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Sir Hereward Wake, Bt, soldier and landowner – obituary

Hereward Wake in 1937

Major Sir Hereward Wake, 14th Bt, who has died aged 101, was a countryman and a soldier who was awarded a Military Cross in the North Africa Campaign.

On the night of August 31 1942, Wake was serving with the 1st Bn King’s Royal Rifle Corps (1 KRRC) when Axis forces broke through the minefield at the village of Himeimat, Egypt, and threatened to cut off the withdrawal of Allied units on the high ground. Wake, then a captain, was ordered to counter-attack with his lightly armoured Bren-gun carriers.

He led them through the hills with great dash and charged the enemy, driving them before him and inflicting considerable casualties. His small force held the minefield until dawn and throughout the action he was under heavy fire from a 20-mm gun and a tank. He was awarded an Immediate MC. The citation stated that his boldness and leadership had averted a dangerous situation and had enabled the...

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