Victoria Cross memorials near you.

#1
I was out walking the dogs recently and stopped to admire the war memorial outside St Margarets Church, Ifield, Kent (less than a mile away). I noticed that even though there were few names on it (not surprising considering such a small hamlet) there was one VC:

Thomas Riversdale Colyer Fergusson VC.

Although born in London his family were from Kent and Northampton, hence the regiment and the memorial.





Wiki entry:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Riversdale_Colyer-Fergusson

Born in London on 18 February 1896 to Thomas Colyer Colyer Fergusson and the late Beatrice Stanley. He was 21 years old, and an acting captain in the 2nd Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment, British Army when performed the deed on 31 July 1917 at Bellewaarde, Belgium which earned him the Victoria Cross. He was shot dead by a sniper that day.
For most conspicuous bravery, skilful leading and determination in attack. The tactical situation having developed contrary to expectation, it was not possible for his company to adhere to the original plan of deployments, and owing to the difficulties of the ground and to enemy wire, Captain Colyer Fergusson found himself with a Serjeant and five men only. He carried out the attack nevertheless, and succeeded in capturing the enemy trench and disposing of the garrison. His party was then threatened by a heavy counter-attack from the left front, but this attack he successfully resisted. During this operation, assisted by his Orderly only, he attacked and captured an enemy machine gun and turned it on the assailants, many of whom were killed and a large number driven into the hands of an adjoining British unit. Later, assisted only by his Serjeant, he again attacked and captured a second enemy machine gun, by which time he had been joined by other portions of his company, and was enabled to consolidate his position. The conduct of this officer throughout forms an amazing record of dash, gallantry and skill, for which no reward can be too great, having regard to the importance of the position won. This gallant officer was shortly afterwards killed by a sniper.

—The London Gazette," No. 30272, dated 4 September 1917
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Museum of The Northamptonshire Regiment (48th & 58th Foot), Northampton, England and he is buried in Menin Road South Military Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.



Thought it might be nice (and educational) if you could put details of any VC memorial/grave near your home on this thread with pics and citation where possible.

Cheers, K13
 
#3
The original wooden cross from Colyer Fergusson's grave is in his family home: Ightham Mote, near Tonbridge. Tunbridge Wells has a memorial grove with one tree for each VC (15 I think) associated with the town.
 
#5
oldnotbold said:
The original wooden cross from Colyer Fergusson's grave is in his family home: Ightham Mote, near Tonbridge. Tunbridge Wells has a memorial grove with one tree for each VC (15 I think) associated with the town.
Interesting! A long way from Ifield ... don't know what his connection is? Apparantly he is also listed on the memorial in Gravesend?
 

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#6
I notice also there is a Lt Gen Broadwood on the war memorial. Not often you get the Div Comd listed!
 
#8
I've just learned that my local cemetery has the grave of former local postman Thomas Elsdon Ashford VC :

Thomas Ashford

He was the first man in the old county of Leicestershire to be awarded the Victoria Cross, and England's only postman entitled to wear the award. He won it for bravery during the Afghan Wars (1880 edition!) whilst serving as a private with the Royal Fusiliers.

His grave in Whitwick Cemetery remained unmarked until 1992 when the Whitwick Branch of the Royal British Legion arranged for a memorial to be erected.

Top work by the Legion!
 
#9
Just found this site, which lists all the VC winners, and locations of burial and medal etc.

Interestingly, there are three in the same cemetary in Gillingham, and one in chatham that ive found so far.


Linky




Edited to add

Obviously, ive messed up, and that link is just the known Kent winners, if you click on "home" it gives you a list by area down the left hand side.
 
T

Tremaine

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#10
Glad to say that Guzz has its share of VC holders.

Some have been buried or lost at Sea.

Plymouth Graves
V.C. ......VICTORIA CROSS - ARMY- FROM THE CRIMEA
Captain Andrew Henry V.C., Royal Garrison Artillery, died at the Royal Citadel in Plymouth 14th. October 1870.

"he received the second victoria cross awarded to the royal regiment of artillery for successfully defending his gun at the battle of inkerman against heavy odds . although severely wounded for this action he was also commissioned in the field"

And one George Hinckley V.C. buried in Plymouth
George Hinckley V.C. died on December 31st. 1904
After winning his Victoria Cross in China in 1862 George Hinckley was invested with his VC by CinC Plymouth, Admiral Houston Stewart, at Devonport on the 7th July 1863. At the time Hinckley was serving as Quartermaster on HMS 'Royalist' and in November of the same year he reported the loss of his VC whilst attending a funeral in Plymouth. The War Office informed the Admiralty on the 23rd November 1863 that Hinckley's Cross would be replaced subject to the Admiralty being satisfied that conditions for replacement were complied with.
Hinckley died on the 31st December 1904 and was buried in Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth. His Victoria Cross surfaced when it was sold at auction on the 1st January 1925 for £43, and again on 19th July 1962 when it was bought by the respected medal dealer Baldwin's, who purchased the VC at a Glendining's auction for £440. The VC was engraved "GEORGE HINCKLEY, ABLE SEAMAN, 9TH, OCTR, 1862".

Three Devonians won the Victoria Cross in the First World War, rejoicing in the names of Veale, Sage and Onions.
http://www.victoriacrosssociety.com/sample_articles.htm

GRAVE LOCATION FOR HOLDERS OF THE VICTORIA CROSS
IN THE COUNTY OF : DEVONSHIRE
http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/devonshi.htm

Plymouth War Memorial
http://www.plymouth.gov.uk/warmemorials

Stonehouse Barracks Plymouth Memorial
Norman Augustus Finch, V.C.
Sergeant, Royal Marines
Joined Marines: 15th January 1908
Medal Won: 23rd April 1918, Zeebrugge, Belgium
Gazetted: 23rd July 1918
Born: 26th December 1890, Handsworth, Birmingham,
Died: 15th March 1966, St Mary's Hospital, Milton, Portsmouth, aged 75
Medal: Royal Marines Museum, Eastney [red ribbon] (Bequeathed to the Corps)
Details of the Award
Serjeant Finch was second-in-command of the pompoms and Lewis guns in the foretop of Vindictive, under Lieutenant Charles N. B. Rigby, R.M.A. At one period the Vindictive was being hit every few seconds, chiefly on the upper works, from which splinters caused many casualties. It was difficult to locate the guns which were doing the most damage, but Lieutenant Rigby, Serjeant Finch and the Marines in the foretop, kept up a continuous fire with pompoms and Lewis guns, changing rapidly from one target to another, and thus keeping the enemy's fire down to some considerable extent.
Unfortunately two heavy shells made direct hits on the foretop, which was completely exposed to enemy concentration of fire. All in the top were killed or disabled, except Sergeant Finch, who was, however, severely wounded; nevertheless he showed consummate bravery, remaining in his battered and exposed position. He once more got a Lewis gun into action, and kept up a continuous fire, harassing the enemy on the mole, until the foretop received another direct hit, the remainder of the armament being then completely put out of action. Before the top was destroyed Serjeant Finch had done invaluable work, and by his bravery undoubtedly saved many lives.
This very gallant serjeant of the Royal Marine Artillery was selected by the 4th Battalion of Royal Marines, who were mostly Royal Marine Light Infantry, to receive the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Royal Warrant, dated 29th January 1856
A further 6 participants in the action also received the Victoria Cross by ballot.
A memorial plaque to Norman Finch was unveiled in St Andrews Church, Eastney on 23rd April 1967. The church has since been converted into housing and the memorial was removed to the Chapel in Stonehouse Barracks in Plymouth.Portsmouth City Council named a new road in Eastney after him.
An anchor from HMS Vindictive is on display in the Memorial Garden at the Royal Marines Museum.
 
#11
Great statue in Liverpool to honour Noel Chavasse,double VC winner with Liverpool Scottish,WW1.
 

Attachments

#12
Private William Jones and private George Stringer, (VCs awarded in Rourkes Drift and during Es Sinn in Mesopotamia respectively ) are buried in Philips Park cemetery in Manchester. Both graves are well tended by the VC Society, and there are a couple of memorial plaques on one of the derelict chapels

Ive just found this site with details of a few more, including one just down the road from me. Thats found me something to do with my camera tomorrow
http://www2.prestel.co.uk/stewart/manchest.htm
 
T

Tremaine

Guest
#14
passing_crab said:
I've just learned that my local cemetery has the grave of former local postman Thomas Elsdon Ashford VC :

Thomas Ashford

He was the first man in the old county of Leicestershire to be awarded the Victoria Cross, and England's only postman entitled to wear the award. He won it for bravery during the Afghan Wars (1880 edition!) whilst serving as a private with the Royal Fusiliers.

His grave in Whitwick Cemetery remained unmarked until 1992 when the Whitwick Branch of the Royal British Legion arranged for a memorial to be erected.

Top work by the Legion!
Also: http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Leicestershire/Countesthorpe.html
BUCKINGHAM, VC William Private, 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment (6276). Killed in action 15th September, 1916, aged 29. Born Bedford, resident Countesthorpe, enlisted Leicester. Commemorated at Thiepval. Awarded Victoria Cross for conspicuous acts of bravery and devotion to duty in rescuing and rendering aid to the wounded whilst exposed to heavy fire, especially at Neuve Chapelle on the 10th and 12th March, 1915. Born in 1886, William Buckingham was taken into care of the Local authority at the age of 6, and spent his childhood at the Countesthorpe Cottage Homes. He joined the Leicester Regiment as a regular soldier in 1901, at the age of 15, and served in Egypt and India. In 1914, when the regiment was mobilised, he went to France with the Indian Expeditionary Force.

On the 12th March 1915, he was shot in the chest, but the bullet was deflected by a pack of postcards, and again by his cartridge case eventually lodging in his right arm.

Also a good link here: Burial location of VC holders in UK and Ireland
http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/vcross.htm
 
#15
Canadian winner and a medic to boot, Fred Topham. Has a park named after him near my house, I'll see about getting a picture of the plaque. His grave is out in the west end of the city, there's a picture on the wiki (which is where I nicked the citation from).

Frederick George Topham, VC (August 10, 1917 - May 31, 1974) was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

He was 27 years old, and a corporal (medical orderly) in the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion, Canadian Army during the Second World War when the following deeds took place for which he was awarded the VC:

Department of National Defence, Ottawa. 3rd August, 1945.

THE CANADIAN ARMY.

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the VICTORIA CROSS to: —

No. B.39039 Corporal Frederick George TOPHAM, 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.

On 24th March, 1945, Corporal Topham, a medical orderly, parachuted with his Battalion on to a strongly defended area east of the Rhine. At about 1100 hours, whilst treating casualties sustained in the drop, a cry for help came from a wounded man in the open. Two medical orderlies from a field ambulance went out to this man in succession but both were killed as they knelt beside the casualty.

Without, hesitation and on his own initiative, Corporal Topham went forward through intense fire to replace the orderlies who had been killed before his eyes. As he worked on the wounded man, he was himself shot through the nose. In spite of severe bleeding and intense pain, he never faltered in his task. Having completed immediate first aid, he carried the wounded man steadily and slowly back through continuous fire to the shelter of a wood.

During the next two hours Corporal Topham refused all offers of medical help for his own wound. He worked most devotedly throughout this period to bring in wounded, showing complete disregard for the heavy and accurate enemy fire. It was only when all casualties had been cleared that he consented to his own wound being treated.

His immediate evacuation was ordered, but he interceded so earnestly on his own behalf that he was eventually allowed to return to duty.

On his way back to his company he came across a carrier, which had received a direct hit. Enemy mortar bombs were still dropping around, the carrier itself was burning fiercely and its own mortar ammunition was exploding. An experienced officer on the spot had warned all not to approach the carrier.

Corporal Topham, however, immediately went out alone in spite of the blasting ammunition and enemy fire, and rescued the three occupants of the carrier. He brought these men back across the open and although one died almost immediately afterwards, he arranged for the evacuation of the other two, who undoubtedly owe their lives to him.

This N.C.O. showed sustained gallantry of the highest order. For six hours, most of the time in great pain, he performed a series of acts of outstanding bravery and his magnificent and selfless courage inspired all those who witnessed it.

Topham died in 1974, and is buried at Sanctuary Park Cemetery, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada.

As a result of fundraising by the Corporal Fred Topham, VC Fundraising Project to retain the medal in Canada, Topham's medals were acquired from his family for $300,000. On March 24, 2005, on the 60th anniversary of Corporal Topham's VC action, the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion Association presented Topham's medals to the Canadian War Museum, where they will be on permanent display.
 
#16
A chap from where I grew up.

.........................................................

This extract from wikipedia.

Harcus Strachan VC MC (November 7, 1884 - May 1, 1982) was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Strachan (pronounced /strɔːn/, 'strawn') was 33 years of age, and serving in the First World War with the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a lieutenant in The Fort Garry Horse, when he performed the action for which he was awarded the VC. It has become traditional for the Garrys to hold a parade every year on the anniversary of Strachan's unlikely cavalry exploit.

During the Battle of Cambrai on 20 November 1917 at Masnières, France, Lieutenant Strachan took command of a mounted squadron of Garrys when the squadron leader, approaching the German front line at a gallop, was killed. Lieutenant Strachan led the squadron through the enemy line of machine-gun posts and then, with the surviving men, led the charge on the German battery, killing seven of the gunners with his sword. When all the gunners were killed and the battery silenced, he rallied his men and fought his way back at night on foot through the enemy's lines, bringing all unwounded men safely in, together with 15 prisoners.

Strachan, having been promoted to captain, received his VC from King George V on January 6, 1918. After the war, he farmed in Edmonton before going into banking.

Strachan later commanded the 1st Battalion, Edmonton Fusiliers during the Second World War. After the war he retired and moved to Vancouver.

He is also enumerated amongst Scottish VC winners since he was born in Bo'ness, Scotland and attended the Royal High School, Edinburgh. Strachan eventually attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Strachan is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Burnaby, British Columbia.

.................................

I saw his entry many years ago in the Guiness Book of Records as the oldest living holder of the VC.

I mentioned this to my Gran, who went ballistic, not wanting his name mentioned in her presence.

I can't remember all the details but a family member was allegedly jilted at the altar. He was unable to be sued because he'd moved to Canada apparently.

Dunno if this is true, and have never tried to substantiate it, but I'd never seen my Gran so angry. Sounds typical of a bloke from Bo'ness though.

Good drills Sir. :D
 
#17
brownhat said:
Great statue in Liverpool to honour Noel Chavasse,double VC winner with Liverpool Scottish,WW1.
Beat me to it used to go past it 5 times a day.
 
#18
Just discovered that one of my customers Grandad was a VC ! strange how things come up in conversation .
James Edgar Leach VC , rests in Mortlake Crematorium , survived the war and became a Policeman .
From reading the citation a very brave man .
 
#20
Lt. James Samuel Emerson V.C., Royal Iniskillen Fusiliers.

From Collon, Co. Louth, Ireland with a memorial in the Church of Ireland graveyard there.

Linky to Wikipedia entry here.

From that entry:

"For repeated acts of most conspicuous bravery. He led his company in an attack and cleared 400 yards of trench. Though wounded, when the enemy attacked in superior numbers, he sprang out of the trench with eight men and met the attack in the open, killing many and taking six prisoners. For three hours after this, all other Officers having become casualties, he remained with his company, refusing to go to the dressing station, and repeatedly repelled bombing attacks. Later, when the enemy again attacked in superior numbers, he led his men to repel the attack and was mortally wounded. His heroism, when worn out and exhausted from loss of blood, inspired his men to hold out, though almost surrounded, till reinforcements arrived and dislodged the enemy."

Still have links with the family (his nieces). Sadly one of them, Victoria Constance (Peggy) Emerson, died last year. Note the initials of her given names, though she was always known as Peggy (but had no idea why!).

The MOB

(edited for a typo)
 

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