The First VC of the European War, 1914. Captain Francis Grenfell, 9th Lancers at Audregnies, 24 August 1914.
Oil on canvas, signed lower left ‘R. Caton Woodville’, by Richard Caton Woodville (1856-1927), 1914.
Captain Francis Grenfell led the 9th Lancers in the action at Audregnies, on 24 August 1914 during the Battle of Mons, against a large body of German infantry who were advancing to encircle the 5th Division. This action was later compared to the Charge of the Light Brigade since it demonstrated great bravery but accomplished little. Later in the day Grenfell and his men helped to drag away British guns which were in danger of being captured. In this painting, the artist appears to have combined the two events.