Frank Gerald Blaker was born at Kasauli, Punjab, India on 8 May 1920, son of Gerald Hugh Blaker and his wife Nora Mildred (née Fox). Initially, he was educated at St Paul’s School, Darjeeling. On 22 March 1937, he disembarked at the Port of London, having boarded the P&O liner, SS Strathmore, in Bombay, in order to attend the Wireless College, Colwyn Bay, North Wales. He later attended Taunton School, where he was a prefect, a sergeant in the Officer Training Corps and also represented the school at football, cricket and water polo. Blaker volunteered to join the Army soon after the declaration of war and, after attending OCTU, was commissioned into the Highland Light Infantry on 28 June 1941. Having requested a transfer to India, he was posted to C Company, 3rd Battalion, 9th Gurkha Rifles and was awarded a Military Cross for his skill and success when leading his platoon in patrolling operations near Taung Bazar on 19 May 1943 (gazetted on 22 July 1943).
Supplement to The London Gazette of Friday, the 22nd of September, 1944
War Office, 26th September, 1944
The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to:
Captain (temporary Major) Frank Gerald Blaker, M.C. (193864), The Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) (attached 9th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army).
In Burma on 9th July, 1944, a Company of the 9th Gurkha Rifles was ordered to carry out a wide, encircling movement across unknown and precipitous country, through dense jungle, to attack a strong enemy position on the summit of an important hill overlooking Taungni.
Major Blaker carried out this movement with the utmost precision and took up a position with his Company on the extreme right flank of the enemy, in itself a feat of considerable military skill.
Another Company, after bitter fighting, had succeeded in taking the forward edge of the enemy position by a frontal assault, but had failed to reach the main crest of the hill in the face of fierce opposition.
At this crucial moment Major Blaker’s Company came under heavy and accurate fire at close range from a medium gun and two light machine-guns, and their advance was also completely stopped.
Major Blaker then advanced ahead of his men through very heavy fire and, in spite of being severely wounded in the arm by a grenade, he located the machine-guns, which were the pivot of the enemy defence, and single handed charged the position. When hit by a burst of three rounds through the body, he continued to cheer on his men while lying on the ground.
His fearless leadership and outstanding courage so inspired his Company that they stormed the hill and captured the objective, while the enemy fled in terror into the jungle. Major Blaker died of wounds while being evacuated from the battlefield. His heroism and self-sacrifice were beyond all praise and contributed in no small way to the defeat of the enemy and the successful outcome of the operations.
Frank Blaker is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Yangon, Myanmar.