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 Surname   Forename   Rank   N   Unit 
KnightHenry JamesCorporalHe was born in Yeovil on 5th November 1878 and enlisted as a band boy under the name of Henry James Knight, at the age of 14 in The King's Liverpool Regiment.  He was awarded the Victoria Cross for services in South Africa [London Gazette, 4 January 1901]: 'H J [sic] Knight, Corporal, 1st Battalion The Liverpool Regiment, No 1 Company, 4th Division, Mounted Infantry.  On the 21st August during the operations near Van Wyk's Vlei, Corporal Knight was posted in some rocks with four men, covering the right rear of a detachment of the same company, who, under Captain Ewart, were holding the right of the line.  The enemy, about fifty strong, attacked Captain Ewart's right and almost surrounded, at short range, Corporal Knight's small party.  That non-commissioned officer held his ground, directing his party to retire one by one to better cover, while he maintained his position for nearly an hour, covering the withdrawal of Captain Ewart's force, and losing two of his four men.  He then retired, bringing with him two wounded men.  One of these he left in a place of safety, the other he carried for nearly two miles.  The party were hotly engaged during the whole time'.  He was presented with his VC at Pretoria on 8th June 1902 by General Lord Kitchener and was later promoted Colour Sergeant.  After 19 years service he retired from the regiment but following the outbreak of the Great War he enlisted on 25 August in the 11th (Empire Battalion) Royal Fusiliers, later renumbered 17th Royal Fusiliers, and was rapidly promoted Regimental Sergeant Major.  In January 1915 he was commissioned as temporary Lieutenant in the 20th Battalion Manchester regiment being promoted temporary Captain May 1915.  He relinquished this commission in October 1915 and then re-enlisted the following month as a Private under the name of James Huntley Knight in the London Scottish Regt.  He was promoted to Lance Corporal and then Corporal before being wounded at Gommecourt in the Somme on 26th June 1916.  He was discharged from the army on 15th March 1917.  He spent the remainder of his life in his wife's home village of Milbourne St Andrew in Dorset.  He was a friend of T E Lawrence who lived near by, and was actively involved with the local British Legion.   He died on 24th November 1955 and his medals were later presented to The Kings Regt for safe keeping.  There is a memorial to him in the church yard at Milbourne St Andrew.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
(King's) Liverpool Regiment
LawrenceBrian Turner TomSergeantHe served in the Boer War, 1899-1901, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 15 January 1901]: 'T Lawrence, Sergeant, 17th Lancers.  Date of Act of Bravery: 7 August 1900.  On the 7th August 1900, when on patrol duty near Essenbosch Farm, Sergeant Lawrence and a Private (Hayman) were attacked by twelve or fourteen Boers.  Private Hayman's horse was shot, and the man was thrown, dislocating his shoulder.  Sergeant Lawrence at once came to his assistance, extricated him from under the horse, put him on his own horse, and sent him on to the picket.  Sergeant Lawrence took the soldier's carbine, and with his own carbine as well, kept the Boers off until Private Hayman was safely out of range.  He then retired for some two miles on foot, followed by the Boers, and keeping them off till assistance arrived'.  Sergeant Lawrence was decorated by King Edward on 12 August 1902, in London.  He became Sergeant and Riding Master in the 18th Hussars, and was promoted Honorary Lieutenant and later Captain. 
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
17th (The Duke of Cambridge's Own) Lancers
LodgeIsaacGunnerLODGE, ISAAC, Gunner.  'We most of us seem to have been named out of the Bible; my father's name was Elijah Lodge, my mother's was Rhoda.  She was the daughter of William Ward, who lived at the farm down by the gates of Elusion Park, where Lord Warwick lives.  I was born at Great Canfield, near Dunmow, in Essex, and went to Great Canfield School.  When I was eleven years old I was out at work; first on a farm, doing milking, and then I did various other things, tanning the barks of trees, and later on I was a gamekeeper, and my employer gave me two woods.  It was a good job, but I had to be a soldier.  Nothing put it into my head; it was there.  And if I had my time over again I should be a soldier again.  If I weren't so deaf I should be in it now.  I enlisted in with the Royal Garrison Artillery on the 29th December 1888, at Warley Barracks; that was the way you got into the Royal Horse Artillery in those days; and after a few weeks was transferred to the RHA, and came to St John's Wood into a service battery, and then went to India with B Battery.  We were at Meerut in Mount Rocket lines, and then marched up to Rawalpindi, and were there two years.  I was transferred from B Battery to Q Battery.  General Brunker that is now, made Q Battery efficient.  He worked very hard at it; not a pin could be out of place nor a round of ammunition, and every man had to know where everything was and how much there was of everything.  The horses were trained over jumps, singly and in pairs.  If he ordered a parade at ten o'clock he was there to the second, and he expected everyone else to be there too.  General Fanshawe was just the same.  A Staff officer came to inspect us one day, and he asked one man how many shells there were in a portable magazine, and the gunner just held up three fingers and that was all the answer he got.  He laughed and asked Major Brunker if that was how he trained his men, and he said, 'Something like that, sir'.  Everything in Q Battery had to be ready and there, as I said.  Once in Sialkot the alarm went like it does when there is a mutiny.  Our horses were half harnessed, so we were out a few minutes before the Major could get up, and he was up to time.  It was a treat to see the way the guns went out that day, here and there, where they were wanted, and all at full gallop.  I used to sometimes sit on the end of the gun because my horse couldn't keep up.  Q Battery came home from India to Ireland to Newbridge Barracks, and from there to Aldershot, and then to the South African War.  We were thirty-eight days on the voyage.  The propeller broke, and I began to think that we were looking for Boers on the water.  They got the guns off first, of course; we were a bit late and they were wanted.  U Battery marched across the Karn.  We were on guard at De Aar, and then at Modder River.  The Cavalry Brigade moved off in the middle of the night and outflanked Cronje's position at Magersfontein, and went on to the Relief of Kimberley, and then to Paardeberg, and then headed off Cronje into the river-bed.  I was laying my gun on his laager when the order came that he'd surrendered.  After that we had to go and outflank De Wet at Poplar Grove.  He led us a dance like that one that's in London now, General Smuts.  From Poplar Grove we went to Driefontein, where we were in a place shaped like a horse-shoe.  It was there they fought the fight for Bloemfontein.  The order came to go and take Bloemfontein.  Next morning we chased De Wet from his position and out of it altogether.  The cavalry manoeuvred through Bloemfontein and the battery kept working all the time.  We went to Thaa'-Banchu, and were there some time till the order was given for the convoy to move off to the Waterworks and for us to stand fast till 7.3O.  No matches to be lit, no pipes, no smokes.  We marched twenty-five miles from Thaa' Banchu to the Waterworks in the night, rested our horses by taking the saddles off till daybreak, when the guns opened fire.  The convoy moved off at once; the order was given to harness up.  The battery moved off in sections; then when Major Phipps-Hornby was told the Boers were in the spruit, he ordered 'Subsections left about wheel,' and 'Gallop'.  The range was under 1,000 yards.  No 6 gun was brought down in the mouth of the donga, and one of my horses out of No 5 was shot.  I jumped off and unhooked it and threw it out, and then went up to where Major Phipps-Hornby had brought his guns into action.  No 4 gun joined in to make the section, which was commanded by Lieutenant Ashmore and was firing at 1,500 yards.  Lieutenant Ashmore was lying down observing, and was shot in the shoulder, and Senior Sergeant Armstrong took his place.  He got shot, and Sergeant Shimmons took his place.  He was shot, and then there was me and that Norfolk fellow left by ourselves.  Before long we ran short of ammunition, so I went to the old galvanized iron shed where our waggons were under cover.  I go some ammunition and brought it back and served the guns with it.  Of course, when I went there were two of us, but the other man got shot, so I was the only one left in my section in action who stuck to the guns.  Major Phipps-Hornby was in the middle all the time, very cool and collected, giving orders.  He now gave the order to get the guns out.  Glasock, a plucky little lad, who came in to help try to get the guns out, had one horse shot from him.  He went by the tin hut and got another horse from somewhere.  I have sometimes wondered where he got it.  Anyhow, he came in and tried again to get the guns out of action.  We got them out by hand and with a pair of wheeler horses and limbers.  Then Glasock—who was sitting on his horse—said, 'I'm shot'.  I said, 'Where?'   It had gone in behind the saddle, and he said, 'I guess they've got me in a soft place'.  I went up to the old tin shed to see if there were any orders, and saw a mounted orderly escort some of the Mounted Infantry, though one of his people said they were Roberts's Horse, and one officer said they were commanded by Major Pack-Beresford, my old officer in India.  But they were Mounted Infantry, and though Major Pack-Beresford was somewhere about, he was not there.  If he had been I should have gone and spoken to him, firing or no firing.  Then we came up out of the donga.  After getting clear of the trap, Major Phipps-Hornby collected his layers and gunners together and came into action again.  The firing was then taken from him on the extreme left by the reinforcement.  After that he watered the horses, and General Broadwood had what was left of us formed up, and said he was very pleased with the way the Major had commanded us, and then he said: 'Major Phipps-Hornby, you ought to be proud of the men that you have got working under you'.  After that we got our orders to go into Bloemfontein and there get refitted, men, horses, guns, and whatever old things were smashed up, and then started out again on the road towards Kroonstadt.  I greased my gun and waggon before going into Kroonstadt, and then was made go sick because I had ague and fever.  We were in a sort of school, or church, lying on the floor, and Lord Roberts came and got mattresses for us to lie on.  When I was better I went to Cape Town, and then back up to Bloemfontein.  I took charge of the 'luxuries', and smuggled them in to Pretoria, and then got a span of bullocks and took them from Pretoria to the battery.  They were forbidden things, but the boys were smoking tea leaves.  It was tobacco and smokes and Quaker oats, and a few little things like that, but perhaps you'd better say nothing about it.  General Phipps-Hornby and the rest of us were given our VC's by Lord Roberts at Pretoria in October.  After that we were holding the Nek at Pretoria, and then from Rustenburg to Ollivant's Nek, fought our way on to Wolverdene Station, and from there to Potchefstroom, where we fought De La Rey.  From Potchefstroom we came up in the New Year and joined in a big trek under Lord French.  Lord French commanded one force and Sir Ian Hamilton another under him, so they had the Boers on two sides, and what one General couldn't do the other could.  For nineteen dayQ Battery, RHA
MackayJohn FrederickMACKAY, JOHN FREDERICK, University student, joined the 1st Gordon Highlanders.  He served with the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders in the campaign on the North-West Frontier, India, and with the Tirah Expeditionary Force 1897—98, taking part in all the principal engagements, including Dargai, Tirah Maidan, Warran Valley, Bara River, and operations in Dwatoi country.  For these services he received the Tirah Medal and the Punjab Frontier Medal with two clasps.  He served with the 1st Battalion Gordon Highlanders, and afterwards with the King's Own Scottish Borderers in the South African War of 1899-1901.  He was present in the advance on Kimberley, 1899, including the action at Magersfontein; the operations in the Orange Free State, including the actions at Paardeberg and Zand River; the operations in the Transvaal, including the actions of Johannesburg, Pretoria and Belfast, 1900; the operations in the east of the Transvaal in 1901.  For these services he received the Queen's Medal with five clasps, the King's Medal with two clasps, was twice mentioned in Despatches, and was awarded the Victoria Cross in connection with the action at Doornkop, near Johannesburg, South Africa, 28 May, 1900, the particulars of which are given in the London Gazette of 10 August 1900.  His Victoria Cross was gazetted 10 August 1900: 'John Frederick MacKay, Gordon Highlanders.  Date of Act of Bravery: 20 May 1900.  On the 20th May, 1900, during the action at Doornkop, near Johannesburg, MacKay repeatedly rushed forward, under a withering fire at short range, to attend to wounded comrades, dressing their wounds whilst he himself was without shelter, and in one instance carrying a wounded man from the open under a heavy fire to the shelter of a boulder'.  His name was again submitted for the Victoria Cross in connection with an act of gallantry in the action at Wolverkrantz, near Krugersdorp, on 11 July, 1900.  Captain MacKay was seconded for service May, 1903, with the Southern Nigeria Regiment.  He accompanied the expeditions to the Ime River, Cross River and Ibibio Country, 1904 and 1905.  He accompanied the Bende Hinterland Expedition in 1905 and 1906.  He also served with the Northern Nigeria Regiment in 1907, in command of the Ogumi Patrol.  He received the West African General Service Medal with four clasps, and was twice mentioned in Despatches.  He was transferred on promotion in 1907 from the King's Own Scottish Borderers to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.  In the European War he served in France in 1915 and 1916.  Returning in 1916, he was promoted to the command of the 2/6th Battalion Highland Light Infantry, which appointment he held until the battalion was disbanded.  Lieutenant Colonel MacKay was, in August 1919, serving with his regiment, the 1st Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Gordon Highlanders
Mansel-JonesConwynCaptainMANSEL-JONES, CONWYN, Captain, was born at Beidington, Surrey, on 14 June, 1871, youngest son of Herbert Riversdale Mansel-Jones, Judge of County Courts, and Emilia, daughter of John Davis, of Cranbrook Park, Essex.  He was educated at Haileybury and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and obtained his commission in The Prince of Wales's Own West Yorkshire Regiment 8 October 1890.  He served with his regiment in the Ashanti Expedition of 1895-90, and in British Central Africa in 1898-99, and he took part in the Expedition against Quamba in August and September 1809, under the Foreign Office.  He became Captain 20 March, 1899.  On the outbreak of the South African War he rejoined his regiment in Natal, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 27 July, 1900]: 'Conwyn Mansel-Jones, Captain, West Yorkshire Regiment.  On the 27th February 1000, during the assault on Terrace Hill, north of the Tugela, in Natal, the companies of the West Yorkshire Regiment on the northern slope of the hill met with a severe shell, Vickers-Maxim and rifle fire, and their advance was for a few minutes checked.  Captain C Mansel-Jones, however, by his strong initiative, restored confidence, and in spite of his falling very seriously wounded, the men took the whole ridge without further check; this officer's self-sacrificing devotion to duty at a critical moment having averted what might have proved a serious check to the whole assault'.  He was DAAG for Recruiting at Headquarters from 1901 to 1906; Recruiting Staff Officer, London Area, 1908 to 1910, and was placed on retired pay on account of ill-health, caused by wounds, 9 March, 1910.  In 1913 he married Marion, daughter of William Barton-Wright and Janet, daughter of General Forlonge, and he was called to the Bar of Lincoln's Inn in 1914.  On the outbreak of the Great War he was mobilized and proceeded with the Expeditionary Force to France as DAAG at General Headquarters (3rd Echelon), becoming AAG and temporary Lieutenant Colonel in the Army in December 1915.  He served throughout the war in France.  He was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order on 3 June, 1915.  In 1917 he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel by brevet; and created Officier de la Legion d'Honneur by the President of the French Republic.  In 1918 he was awarded the CMG, and he was six times mentioned in Despatches. 
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
(Prince of Wales's Own) West Yorkshire Regiment
Martin-leakeArthurSurgeon CaptainMARTIN-LEAKE, ARTHUR, Surgeon Captain.  Arthur Martin-Leake, fifth son of Stephen Martin-Leake, of Thorpe Hall, Essex, and Marshalls, Ware, Herts, was born at Marshalls, on 4 April, 1874.  He was educated at Westminster School, and University College, London, and qualified for the Medical Profession in 1898.  When the South African War of 1899-1902 broke out he had recently been given charge of the District Hospital at Hemel Hempstead.  As soon as it was settled to form the Imperial Yeomanry for service in South Africa he left the hospital and joined the Hertfordshire Company as a Trooper.  Leake remained with this Company during its year's service in South Africa, taking part in several important engagements, notably Princeloo's surrender and the relief of Hoar's laager.  When the Company went home he remained in South Africa, and was employed with the Army as a civil surgeon.  Later, when the South African Constabulary was formed by General Baden-Powell, he joined that force in the rank of Surgeon Captain, and served with it until he was invalided home on account of wounds.  The following account of the action during which Surgeon Captain Martin-Leake won his first VC is taken in an abbreviated form from a report by the Inspector General, South African Constabulary.  On the 8th February 1902, a line of posts held by the C Division, South African Constabulary, near Van Tenders Hoek, in the Transvaal, was to be moved forward, as a force of Boers was known to be at that place.  At 3.30 am a reconnoitring party, consisting of 130 mounted men, under Captain Capell, moved out and took up a position over­looking Van Tenders Hoek.  At daybreak Captain Capell found himself within 400 yards of the Boer laager, and opened a heavy fire on it.  The Boers were in strong force, replied by a determined attack on his front and left flank, and succeeded in rushing that flank, having come close up under cover of a donga in superior numbers.  Captain Capell withdrew a portion of his centre to a second position, whence he was able to cover the retirement of his left flank.  Seeing that he was largely outnumbered by the enemy, he endeavoured to withdraw his extreme right flank, which, under Lieutenant Swinburne, was holding a strong position, but the orderly conveying the message was shot while on his way, so that it never reached Lieutenant Swinburne, and consequently he did not leave his post.  The Boers attacked him in a determined way, but he drove them off with loss.  They then sent him a message advising him to surrender, otherwise they would give him no quarter; this he declined, and held his post the whole day, up to night­fall, and then withdrew his party safely in the dark.  Captain Capell, meanwhile, being pressed by overwhelming numbers of Boers, withdrew the remainder of his force with great skill and coolness, and retired, contesting the ground, back to his line of block-houses, some seven miles distant.  Captain Capell says, in his report: 'I cannot speak too highly of every officer and man, the latter being cool and splendid while in the firing line.  Cases of gallantry were numerous; Captain Leake, Medical Officer, was wounded in three places while attending Lieutenant Abraham under murderous fire; Sergeant Hoffe and 2nd Class Trooper Marks distinguished themselves by their good work with Lieutenant Swinburne; Corporal Reeves, No 4 Troop, during the retirement rode back under heavy fire, picking up a man whose horse had been shot, and was riding away with him when his own horse was shot dead; he and the other man were captured, resisting to the end; Hospital Orderly Odell, No 5 Troop, did good service in carrying a message to Lieutenant Swinburne while under fire.  Our losses were heavy, viz: 2 officers and 6 men killed; 1 officer and 10 men wounded; 24 horses killed and missing.  The Boers admit they were 800 strong, and had 12 casualties.  I deeply regret the loss that the Corps has sustained in the death of Lieutenant D O P Abraham, Lieutenant A C Blackett, Sergeant G Robinson, 1st Class Trooper M H Hutchins, Trooper McLarity, Trooper A E Scott, Trooper C Morton, Trooper A Pearl.  But by their gallant self-sacrifice they have added another honour to the many which the South African Constabulary has gained for itself.  I am highly pleased with the gallant and steady conduct of all ranks in this particularly trying engagement, especially as a large number of them were under fire for the first time, and I congratulate them all upon their very complete vindication of their action.  The gallant conduct of Leake in tending wounded under murderous fire, and that of Corporal Reeves, in going back under heavy fire to rescue a comrade, will be the subject of special report to the Commander-in-Chief'.  Surgeon-Captain A M Leake's name appeared in the War Office list of Casualties of 12 February' 1902, as 'Severely wounded, right arm and left thigh'.  His wounds necessitated his return to England, where his right arm was very successfully operated on by Sir Victor Horsley.  On 13 May, 1902, the following notice appeared in the London Gazette: 'The King has been graciously pleased to signify His intention to confer the Decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned officer, whose claims have been submitted for His Majesty's approval, for his conspicuous bravery in South Africa, as stated against his name: Arthur Martin-Leake, Surgeon-Captain, South African Constabulary.  For great devotion to duty and self-sacrifice at Vlakfontein, 8 February 1902, when he went out into the firing-line to dress a wounded man under very heavy fire from about forty Boers only 100 yards off.  When he had done all he could for him, he went over to a badly wounded officer, and while trying to place him in a more comfortable position he was shot three times.  He only gave up when thoroughly exhausted, and then he refused water until other wounded men had been served'.  The Victoria Cross was presented to Surgeon-Captain Leake by King Edward VII at St James's Palace on 2 June, 1902.  As soon as he was able to do so he resumed his professional studies, and having passed the necessary examination, was admitted a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in June 1903.  In the autumn of 1903 he went to India to take up an appointment as Administrative Medical Officer of the Bengal-Nagpur Railway—an appointment which was eminently suited to his taste for all descriptions of sport and his devotion to his profession.  With his headquarters at Calcutta and the facilities of a railway extending through the Central Provinces from east to west almost across India, he is able to employ much of his spare time in big game shooting, and has collected many fine trophies; as the Chief Medical Officer of the line he has under his charge a fine hospital and unlimited practice in surgery; the railway personnel provides two battalions of Infantry Volunteers, of which he is the Medical Officer.  The Balkan War of 1912-13 commenced on the 8th October 1912, by Montenegro declaring war on Turkey, Leake was then at home on leave from India.  The formation by the British Red Cross Society of a unit for service with the Moutenegran Army afforded him another opportunity for seeing active service.  He managed to see a great deal of the fighting, which took place round Scutari and Tarabosh Mountain, and was awarded the Montenegran Red Cross decoration by King Nicholas.  On the morning of 5 August 1914, the declaration of war against Germany was known in Calcutta.  Leake obtained leave of absence from his railway duties, and by good fortune found a companion—Captain Benson, ADC to the Viceroy—who was also anxious to be in time to break a lance with the Hun.  They left Calcutta together on the following afternoon, and, after a few days' delay in Bombay, caused by the report that a German cruiser was in the vicinity, sailed for Europe in the P & O SS Caledonia on 22 August 1914.  As this ship was not to call at Marseilles, they landed at Malta.  The question of a passage onward to Marseilles proved a difficult one.  The French fleet was at Malta, and the Admiral promised to take them, but, unfortunately, just then the Fleet was South African Constabulary
MartineauHorace RobertSergeantMARTINEAU, HORACE ROBERT, Sergeant, was born 31 October 1874, in Bayswater, London, fifth son of Mr William Martineau, of Hornsey.  He was educated at University College School, and went out to South Africa, where he served under Sir Robert Baden-Powell in the successful campaign against the Matabele.  He became first a Volunteer in the Cape Police and later in the Protectorate Regiment , which he joined in 1889.  With this regiment he served in the South African Campaign of 1899-1902, and took part in the defence of Mafeking.  He was mentioned in Despatches, received the South African Medal, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 6 July, 1900]: 'Horace Robert Martineau, Sergeant, the Protectorate Regiment.  On the 26th December 1899, during the fight at Game Tree, near Mafeing, when the order to retire had been given, Sergeant Martineau stopped and picked up Corporal Le Camp, who had been struck down about ten yards from the Boer trenches, and half dragged, half carried him towards a bush about 150 yards from the trenches.  In doing this Sergeant Martineau was wounded in the side, but paid no attention to it, and proceeded to stanch and bandage the wounds of his comrade, whom he afterwards assisted to retire.  The firing while they were retiring was very heavy, and Sergeant Martineau was again wounded.  When shot the second time he was absolutely exhausted from supporting his comrade, and sank down unable to proceed farther.  He received three wounds, one of which necessitated the amputation of his arm near the shoulder'.  He subsequently gave up soldiering and engaged in business in the African Boating Company, a large concern in Durban.  He served in the Bambata Rebellion of 1906.  When the European War broke out he joined up again, and served as Lieutenant in the Transport Service with the Anzacs at Suez and Gallipoli.  He fell ill and was invalided back to New Zealand.  The ‘Times' of 8 May, 1916, says: 'Lieutenant Horace Robert Martineau, VC, of the Transport Section, New Zealand Force, died at Dunedin on 8 April, as the result of fever contracted in Gallipoli.  He served in the second Matabele War and in Natal during the last native rising, and won the Victoria Cross for an act of heroism in the South African War'.  He was buried in the Anderson's Bay Cemetery, Dunedin.  VC, BSACM (1) Rhod 1896, QSA (3) DofM, OFS, Tr, KSA (2), Natal 1906, 1914-15 Star, BWM, VM, 1911 Coronation Medal.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Protectorate Regiment
MastersonJames Edward IgnatiusLieutenantMASTERSON, JAMES EDWARD IGNATIUS, Lieutenant, was born on 20 June 1862.  He was educated by the Marist Brothers, and entered the Royal Irish Fusiliers in 1881.  He served in Egypt in 1882, including Tel-el-Kebir, and received the Medal with clasp and the Khedive's Star.  He was commissioned into the 2nd Devonshire Regiment in 1891.  He served in Burmah from 1891 to 1902, and received the Burma Medal and clasp.  He served on the North-West Frontier of India from 1897 to 1898, including operations in the Khankia Valley, the Battle of Gunda Kai and the action in the Sampagha Pass.  For his services in this campaign he received the Medal with two clasps.  He became Captain in 1900.  He served in the Boer War of 1899-1902, and was present at the Battle of Elandslaagte and at the actions of Reitfontein and Lombard's Kop, and at the Defence of Ladysmith, including the action of Waggon Hill.  During this campaign he was wounded, and was mentioned in Despatches three times.  He received the Brevet of Major, the Queen's Medal with two clasps, and the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 4 June, 1901]: 'James Masterson, Lieutenant, 1st Battalion The Devonshire Regiment.  Date of Act of Bravery: 6 January 1900.  During the action at Waggon Hill, on the 6th January 1900, Lieutenant Masterson commanded, with the greatest gallantry and dash, one of the three companies of his regiment which charged a ridge held by the enemy, and captured their position.  The companies were then exposed to a most heavy and galling fire from the right and left front.  Lieutenant Masterson undertook to give a message to the Imperial Light Horse, who were holding a ridge some hundred yards behind, to fire to the left front and endeavour to check the enemy's fire.  In taking this message he crossed an open space of a hundred yards which was swept by a most heavy cross-fire, and, although badly wounded in both thighs, managed to crawl in and deliver his message before falling exhausted into the Imperial Light Horse trench.  His unselfish heroism was undoubtedly the means of saving lives'.  In 1911 he was promoted Major into the King's Own Royal Lancashire Regiment , and in 1912 he was placed on retired pay.  It was a Sergeant Patrick Masterson of the 87th who captured the first French Eagle taken during the Peninsular War, and Major Masterson, VC, played his namesake's part in the Army pageant of 1910 at Fulham Palace.  He served in the European War in 1914 and 1915 as Transport Officer.  His favourite recreation was golf.  Masterson died at Waterlooville, Hampshire, on 24 December 1935.  A tablet was placed in Exeter Cathedral in his memory.  VC, Egypt (1) Tel el Kebir, IGS 1854 (1) Burma 1889-92, IGS 1895 (2) PF, Tirah, QSA (2) Eland, DofL, Khedive Star.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Devonshire Regiment
MaxwellFrancis AylmerLieutenantMAXWELL, FRANCIS AYLMER, Lieutenant, was born on the 7th September 1871, son of Surgeon Major Thomas Maxwell, The Grange, Guildford.  He was gazetted to the Royal Sussex Regiment on 24 November 1893; joined the Indian Staff Corps on the 15th December 1893, and served in Waziristan in 1895 (Medal with clasp), and in Chitral 1895 (Medal and clasp); on the North-West Frontier as ADC to the GOC Tirah Expeditionary Force from the 23rd December 1897 to 1898; was mentioned in Despatches; was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 20 May, 1898]: 'Francis Aylmer Maxwell, Lieutenant, Indian Staff Corps'.  The insignia was presented to him by the Queen at Windsor 25 June 1898.  He served in South Africa with Roberts's Horse, and as ADC to Lord Kitchener, Chief of Staff, South Africa, 1 November 1900 to 28 November 1900, and as ADC to Lord Kitchener, General Officer Commanding in Chief the Forces in South Africa, 29 November 1903 to 12 July, 1902.  For his services in this campaign he received the Queen's Medal with six clasps, the King's Medal with two clasps, a Brevet Majority 22 August 1902, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 6 March, 1901]: 'Francis Aylmer Maxwell, Lieutenant, Indian Staff Corps (attached to Roberts's Light Horse).  Lieutenant Maxwell was one of three officers, not belonging to Q Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, specially mentioned by Lord Roberts as having shown the greatest gallantry and disregard of danger in carrying put the self-imposed duty of saving the guns of that battery during the affair of Korn Spruit on the 31st March, 1900.  This officer went out on five different occasions, and assisted to bring in two guns and three limbers, one of which he, Captain Humphreys, and some gunners dragged in by hand.  He also went out with Captain Humphreys and Lieutenant Stirling to try and get the last gun in, and remained there till the last gun was abandoned.  During a previous campaign (the Chitral Expedition of 1895) Lieutenant Maxwell displayed gallantry in the removal of the body of Lieutenant Colonel Battye, Corps of Guides, under fire, from which, though recommended, he received no reward.  Lieutenant Maxwell became Captain, Indian Army, 10 July, 1901.  On the 28th November 1902, he was given the appointment of ADC to Lord Kitchener, Commander in-Chief.  East Indies.  In 1903 he went to the Staff College, Camberley, and in 1906 married Charlotte Alice Hamilton, third daughter of P H Osborne of Currandooley, New South Wales, and they had two daughters.  He attained his Majority in the Indian Army 7 November 1909; served as Brigade Major from the 7th November 1900 to the 3rd March 1910, and as Major, Australian Commonwealth Military Forces from the 4th March 1910.  From the 23rd December 1910 until 1916, he was Military Secretary to Lord Hardinge, Governor-General of India.  He was created a CSI in 1911 and became Brevet Lieutenant Colonel 29 November 1915.  In the European War he commanded the 12th Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment from June to October 1916 and on the 25th November 1916, he was awarded a bar to the Distinguished Service Order: 'Francis Aylmer Maxwell, VC, CSI, DSO, Major and Brevet Lieutenant Colonel (temporary Lieutenant Colonel), 18th Lancers, Indian Army.  He led his battalion with the greatest courage and initiative.  Later he reorganized three battalions and consolidated the position under very heavy tire.  He has previously done very fine work'.  For his services in the taking of Thiepval on 26 September he was appointed to the command of the 18th (KGO) Lancers, Indian Army, in October 1916, but he continued serving with the 12th Middlesex.  Brigadier-General F A Maxwell was killed in action near Ypres on 21 September 1917.  'Many will have seen with a pang the name of Brigadier General F A Maxwell, VC, on the roll of honour.  The third of several brothers, his brilliant military career is well known.  Before he was thirty he had the VC (for which he was twice recommended), the DSO, and the Medals of the Chitral and South African campaigns.  Later he was given the Order of the Star of India, and during this war he had been given a bar to his DSO for 'conspicuous bravery and leadership'.  He served on Lord Kitchener's Staff in South Africa and India, and later was Military Secretary to the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge.  But those who knew him best and loved him most know that they have lost more than a brilliant soldier and charming companion.  It seems impossible to believe that that gallant spirit and intense vitality have passed beyond this world.  He could ever be counted on for encouragement and sympathy — once a friend always a friend — and only those who knew him intimately could appreciate his wonderful capacity for friendship.  His great appreciation of others was as marked as his intense modesty and reserve about himself.  It is impossible to think of Frank Maxwell as dead.  He assuredly, with all that gallant band who have passed on, must 'come transfigured back secure from change in their high-hearted ways.  And in the possession of his endless friendship those who mourn for him will rest content''. 
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Roberts' Horse
MaygarLeslie CecilLieutenantMAYGAR, LESLIE CECIL, Lieutenant, was born on the 26th May 1871, at The Dean Station, Victoria, New South Wales, son of Mr Edwin Willis Maygar, formerly of Bristol, and of Helen Maygar.  He was educated privately, and entered the Victorian Mounted Rifles, 1 March, 1891, becoming Lieutenant in July, 1900, and serving in South Africa from 1 February 1901 to 31 July, 1902, under Major Daly, OC, 5th VMR, and Colonel Pulteney.  For his services in this campaign in the Transvaal, Orange River Colony and Cape Colony, he received the Queen's Medal with four clasps, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 11 February 1902]: 'Leslie Cecil Maygar, Lieutenant, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles.  At Geelhoutboom, on the 23rd November 1901, Lieutenant Maygar galloped out and ordered the men of a detached post, which was being outflanked, to retire.  The horse of one of them being shot under him, when the enemy were within 200 yards, Lieutenant Maygar dismounted and lifted him on to his own horse, which bolted into boggy ground, causing both of them to dismount.  On extricating the horse and finding that it could not carry both, Lieutenant Maygar again put the man on its back, and told him to gallop for cover at once, he himself proceeding on foot.  All this took place under a very heavy fire'.  His Victoria Cross was presented to him at Pretoria on 8 June, 1902, by Lord Kitchener.  He joined the Australian Imperial Force 20 August 1914, and served with the 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment, 3rd ALH Brigade, arriving in Egypt with the 1st Division, Australian Imperial Force, in December 1914.  He served with his command in the field continuously without being wounded or a day away from his command on sick leave, so he said when he sent particulars of his services for this book.  For his services in Palestine he was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in June 1917.  He also received the Volunteer Decoration in July, 1917.  Lieutenant Colonel Maygar was mortally wounded on 31 October 1917, during the fighting at Beersheba.  A newspaper account runs as follows: 'Particulars of the death of Colonel Maygar, VC, who was mortally wounded by an aeroplane bomb near Beersheba on 31 October, have been received by his brother, Mr A E Maygar, of Longwood.  Major A W G McLaurin wrote: 'We were in the firing-line all day, and were relieved by the 11th Regiment about 4 o'clock in the afternoon.  We were then retired to near Desert Corps Headquarters, where we arrived just about dusk.  Your brother went to headquarters to report, and I took the regiment on some little distance to await him.  We had dismounted, and he had just joined us, and was talking to some of the men in the rear of the regiment, when an enemy aeroplane came up and bombed some transport in our rear.  The Colonel at once galloped forward, and was extending us when he was hit, and his horse bolted with him.  That was the last I saw of him, although I sent out men to look for him.  A man brought his horse back, and said he was severely wounded, and had been taken to a field ambulance.  The regiment had immediate orders to go out to a certain position, and I was unable to see him.  We were then attached to another brigade, and were fighting for two days and a night, and when we got back I inquired at the Beersheba Hospital, and was told that he was sent back to Karm; we went back there a couple of days later, and on arrival was told he had died.  I was told that his arm had been amputated, and that he was getting on well; in fact, a little before his death he was laughing and joking with the men in the hospital, when a sudden haemorrhage set in, and he died shortly afterwards (17 November 1917).  He was buried near the hospital at Karm.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Victoria, 5th Mounted Rifles Contingent
MeiklejohnMatthew Fontaine MauryCaptainMEIKLEJOHN, MATTHEW FONTAINE MAURY, Captain, was born on 27 November 1870, son of Professor Meiklejohn, of St Andrew's University, and was educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh.  He joined the Gordon Highlanders in India on 17 June, 1891, and four years later saw his first active service with his regiment when Sir Robert Low's Field Force advanced to the relief of Chitral, by way of the Swat Valley.  Two years later the Gordons were again actively employed on the Indian Frontier, and young Meiklejohn was slightly wounded when his regiment gallantly cleared the heights of Dargai of an Afridi lashkar.  He saw much more fighting during the campaign in Tirah, especially in the Bara Valley.  He received the Indian Medal with three clasps.  On the outbreak of the South African War the Gordons came with the Infantry Brigade sent from India, and Meiklejohn was still with them.  He was wounded early in the campaign at the battle of Elandslaagte, where he won the decoration of the Victoria Cross, and was desperately wounded.  Brought back into Ladysmith, which was shortly afterwards invested by the Boers, he there shared the privations of a close and exhausting siege.  It was wonderful, considering the hard­ships the garrison of Ladysmith suffered before they were relieved, that Captain Meiklejohn survived his severe wounds, which entailed the loss of his right arm.  It was for gallantry in this advance that Captains Mullins and Johnstone, of the Imperial Light Horse, as well as Captain Meiklejohn, received the Victoria Cross.  His own decoration was gazetted on the 20th July, 1900, for the following act of bravery: 'Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn, Captain, Gordon Highlanders.  Date of Act of Bravery: 21 October 1899.  At the battle of Elandslaagte, on the 21st October 1899, after the main Boer position had been captured, some of the men of the Gordon Highlanders, when about to advance, were exposed to a heavy cross-fire, and, having lost their leaders, commenced to waver.  Seeing this, Captain Meiklejohn rushed to the front and called on the Gordons to follow him.  By his conspicuous bravery and fearless example he rallied the men and led them against the enemy's position, where he fell, desperately wounded in four places'.  Captain Meiklejohn was mentioned in Despatches and received the Queen's Medal.  In 1901 he was Garrison Adjutant at St Helena, whence he returned to enter the Staff College.  In 1904 he married Vera Marshall, daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Lionel Marshall.  They had one son and two daughters.  Captain Meiklejohn was later on the General Staff at Army Headquarters, during which service he was promoted to his majority.  Major Meiklejohn died on 4 July, 1913, in the Middlesex Hospital, from the effects of an accident in Hyde Park on 28 June.  His horse bolted.  Major Meiklejohn, handicapped by the loss of his right arm, just managed to steer him into the rails bordering Rotten Row, opposite Knightsbridge Barracks, in order to avoid some children and their nurse, who probably would otherwise have been killed or seriously injured.  The mother of these children wrote to the ‘Times' of July 7, 1913: 'As my nurse was the only eye-witness of the tragic accident which led to Major Meiklejohn's death, I think it right to acquaint the public with her story.  She and my children were in Hyde Park on Saturday afternoon, 28 June.  They had reached a spot opposite to Knightsbridge Barracks, and, as they were walking along the path, Major Meiklejohn on his runaway horse suddenly came upon them from between the trees.  In order to avoid danger to the children, he turned his horse against the railings of Rotten Row, which he must have known he could not clear.  He thus gave his life for theirs, and added one more to the long roll of his brave and unselfish deeds'.  He was buried on Brookwood Cemetery.  VC, IGS (1) Tirah 1897-8, QSA (2) Eland, DofL, 1902 Coronation Medal, 1911 Coronation Medal.  RHQ.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Gordon Highlanders
MilbankeJohn Peniston (Sir)CaptainMILBANKE, SIR JOHN PENISTON, Major, was born 9 October 1872, at 30 Eccleston Street, London, the son of Sir Peniston Milbanke, 9th Baronet, JP, DL, Sussex, and Elizabeth, daughter of the Honourable Richard Denman.  He was educated at Castlemount, Dover, and at Harrow, and joined the 10th Hussars on 26 November 1892.  He succeeded his father in November 1899.  He served in the South African War of 1699-1002, as ADC to General French; was mentioned in Despatches; received the South African Medal with six clasps; was promoted Captain (1900); awarded the Victoria Cross for the services thus described by a newspaper correspondent: 'Another gallant act was that performed by Sir John Milbanke, ADC to General French.  It was on the day of the Suffolk abortive charge.  Sir John asked to be allowed to patrol for the purpose of reconnoitring a hill, and for this took a corporal of the 10th Hussars and three men with him.  They came in for an exceptionally heavy fire, during which the corporal's horse was shot underneath him, and Sir John Milbanke, turning round in a perfect hail of bullets, found the rider was lying on the veldt some distance in the rear; notwithstanding the fierce fusilade, moreover that he himself was wounded, the aide-de-camp turned right about, galloped up to the corporal and rescued him.  The return journey was performed safely, and none other of the enemy's missiles taking effect.  Viewed from Coles Kop, our informant said they regarded it as impossible to return alive after exposure to such a fearful shower of bullets'.  A letter says: 'He was unconscious when he got back.  Had he been able to deliver his message the Suffolks would not have been captured'.  Sir John Milbanke received the South African Medal with clasps.  His Victoria Cross was gazetted 6 July, 1900: 'Sir John Peniston Milbanke Baronet, 10th Hussars.  Date of Act of Bravery: 5 January 1900.  On the, 5th January 1900, during a reconnaissance near Colesburg, Sir John Milbanke when retiring under fire with a small patrol of the 10th Hussars, notwithstanding the fact that he had been severely wounded in the thigh, rode back to the assistance of one of the men whose pony was exhausted, and who was under fire from some Boers who had dismounted.  Sir John Milbanke took the man up on his own horse under a most galling fire, and brought him safely back to camp'.  On 6 December 1901, at St Peter's, Eaton Square, Sir John Milbanke married Leila, only daughter of Colonel the Honourable Charles Crichton (son of the 3rd Earl of Erne) and of Lady Madeline Taylour (daughter of the 3rd Marquis of Headfort).  Their children were John Charles Peniston, born 9 January 1902, and Ralph Mark, born 11 April, 1907.  In 1910 Sir John Milbanke retired from the Army.  In August 1914, he rejoined.  In October 1914, he was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Foresters), and went to Egypt in command of the regiment in April, 1915.  Major Sir John Milbanke was killed in action 21 August 1915, in the Dardanelles, in charge at Hill 70.  The following account is taken from part of an article by Mr Ashmead Bartlett in the 'Globe' of 4 September 1915: 'The Yeomanry moved forward in a solid mass, forming up under the lower western and northern slopes.  It was now almost dark and the attack seemed to hang fire, when suddenly the Yeomanry leapt to their feet, and as a single man charged right up the hill.  They were met by a withering fire, which rose to a crescendo as they neared the northern crest, but nothing could stop them.  They charged at amazing speed without a single halt from the bottom to the top, losing many men and many of their chosen leaders, including gallant Sir John Milbanke.  It was a stirring sight, watched by thousands in the ever-gathering gloom.  One moment they were below the crest, the next on top.  A moment after many had disappeared inside the Turkish trenches, bayoneting all the defenders who had not fled in time, while others never stopped at trench-line, but dashed in pursuit down the reverse slopes.  From a thousand lips a shout went up that Hill 70 was won.  But night now was rapidly falling, the figures became blurred, then lost all shape, and finally disappeared from view.  The battlefield had disappeared completely, and as one left Chocolate Hill one looked back on a vista of rolling clouds of smoke and huge fires, from the midst of which the incessant roar of the rifle-fire never for a moment ceased.  This was ominous, for although Hill 70 was in our hands, the question arose could we hold it throughout the night in the face of determined counter-attacks?  In fact, all through the night the battle raged incessantly, and when morning broke Hill 70 was no longer in our possession.  Apparently the Turks were never driven off a knoll on the northern crest, from which they enfiladed us with machine guns and artillery fire, while those of the Yeomanry who had dashed down the reverse slopes in pursuit were counter-attacked and lost heavily and had been obliged to retire.  In the night it was decided it would be impossible to hold the hill in daylight, and the order was given for the troops to withdraw to their original positions.  Nothing, however, will lessen the glory of that final charge of England's Yeomen'.  For a picture, see 'Black & White Budget' (Vol 3, p750) of 15 Sep 1900.  VC, QSA (6), 1914-15 Star, BWM, VM, 1911 Coronation Medal, 1937 Coronation Medal.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
10th (The Prince of Wales's Own Royal) Hussars
MullinsCharles HerbertCaptainMULLINS, CHARLES HERBERT, Captain, was born in 1869, at Grahamstown, Cape Colony, son of the Reverend Canon Mullins.  He was educated at St Andrew's College, Grahamstown, and at Keble College, Oxford, and was called to the Bar at the Inner Temple in 1893.  He served in the South African Campaign of 1899 to 1902, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 12 February 1901]: 'Charles Herbert Mullins, Captain, Imperial Light Horse.  On the 21st October 1899, at Elandslaagte, at a most critical moment, the advance being momentarily checked by a severe fire at point-blank range, these two officers very gallantly rushed forward under this heavy tire and rallied the men, thus enabling the flanking movement which decided the day to be carried out.  On this occasion Captain Mullins was wounded'.  He was also created a CMG (1900).  Captain Mullins was wounded at Elandslaagte, when he won the VC, and a second time later on in the war, when he was literally riddled with bullets, and it seemed an even chance whether he would live or die.  His pluck and his magnificent physique pulled him through at last, but his spine had been injured, and he remained a cripple on crutches to the day of his death.  He married in 1902, Norah Gertrude, third daughter of S Haslam, Brooklands, Uppingham, and they had two sons.  Crippled and handicapped by constant illnesses, Captain Mullins faced his life as he had before faced death, and resolutely resumed his place in the life of the Rand.  He took up his broken practice at the Bar, employed himself in various schemes of development, was an indefatigable supporter of the Church as it gradually revived after the war under Bishop Carter and Bishop Furse, and maintained a constant interest in his old corps, the ILH, which he had helped to found and to make famous.  It was unthinkable, after all that he had suffered, that his life should be a long one, but he made the very utmost of it, not only in the glorious days of the war, but in the dull and often difficult times that followed.  He died in the spring of 1916, and the ‘Times' of 20 April, 1916, said that his death was a real loss to South Africa, which could ill spare men of his sterling character, and that there were many of his old comrades in England and in the field at that time who would find time in the midst of a greater struggle to honour a gallant soldier and an unfailing friend.  VC, CMG, QSA (3) Elands, DofL, RofM, KSA (2), 1911 Coronation Medal
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Imperial Light Horse
NickersonWilliam Henry SnyderLieutenantNICKERSON, WILLIAM HENRY SNYDER, Lieutenant, was born 27 March, 1875, at New Brunswick, Canada, son of the Reverend  D Nickerson, MA, Chaplain to HM's Forces, and Catherine Snyder, daughter of Reverend W H Snyder, MA.  He was educated at Portsmouth Grammar School, and at Owens College, Manchester University (MB, ChB, 1896), and entered the Royal Army Medical Corps on 27 July, 1898; serving in South Africa during every day of the Boer War from 11 August 1899, to 31 May, 1902, attached to the Mounted Infantry.  Brigadier General Sitwell says that one of the two Victoria Crosses won the day he seized Bwab's Hill, near Dewetsdorp, was that 'awarded to Lieutenant Nickerson, RAMC, for going out under shell and rifle fire and stitching up a man's stomach whose entrails were protruding, thereby saving his life.  The man belonged to the Worcestershire Regiment and was lying in the open, and the enemy were concentrating their fire on this spot to prevent reinforcements from coming up to support the Mounted Infantry, who had been busily engaged all day.  The man could not be moved and stretcher-bearers could not reach him until the fire slackened'.  For his services in the South African War Lieutenant Nickerson was mentioned in Despatches April, 1901; promoted Captain, and awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 12 February 1901]: 'William Henry Snyder Nickerson, Lieutenant, Royal Army Medical Corps.  At Wakkerstroom on the evening of the 20th April, 1900, during the advance of the infantry to support the mounted troops, Lieutenant Nickerson went in a most gallant manner, under a heavy shell and rifle fire, to attend a wounded man, dressed his wounds, and remained with him until he had him conveyed a place of safety'.  He became Major 25 July 1909.  Major Nickerson served in the European War from 1914, with Cavalry during the retreat from Antwerp, first and second battles of Ypres, Neuve Chapelle, in the trenches at Ypres, and on other occasions; on the Somme from September to November 1915, and in Salonika from December 1915.  During the latter part of the war he held the appointment of ADMS, 2nd Division.  He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, 1st March, 1915, and was created a CMG in 1916; was three times mentioned in Despatches: 16 February 1915; 1 January 1916, and October 1916. 
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Royal Army Medical Corps
NorwoodJohnLieutenantNORWOOD, JOHN, Lieutenant, was the son of J Norwood, of Pembury Lodge, near Beckenham.  He was educated at Abbey School, Beckenham, at Rugby and at Oxford, and entered the 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards on 8 February 1899.  He served in the Boer War from 1899 to 1900, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 27 July 1900]: 'John Norwood, Lieutenant, 5th Dragoon Guards.  Date of Act of Bravery: 30 October 1899.  On the 30th October 1899, this officer went out from Ladysmith in charge of a small patrol of the 5th Dragoon Guards.  They came under a heavy tire from the enemy, who were posted on a ridge in great force.  The patrol, which had arrived within about 600 yards of the ridge, then retired at full speed.  One man dropped, and Second Lieutenant Norwood galloped back about 300 yards through heavy fire, dismounted, and picking up the fallen trooper, carried him out of fire on his back, at the same time leading his horse with one hand.  The enemy kept up an incessant fire during the whole time that Second Lieutenant Norwood was carrying the man until he was quite out of range'.  He became Captain, 5th Dragoon Guards, and joined the Reserve of Officers 1 February 1911.  Captain J Norwood, 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Captain, Reserve of Officers), attached 5th Dragoon Guards, was killed in action on 8 September 1914, the day before his 38th birthday, at Sablonnieres, France.  He was buried in the new communal cemetery.  Norwood was the first VC recipient killed in the Great War.  There is a memorial to him in Peckham Church.  His son, John, become a Group Captain in the RAF.  VC, QSA (1) DofL, KSA (2), 1914-15 Star, BWM, VM, 1911 Coronation Medal.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards
NurseGeorge EdwardCorporalNURSE, GEORGE EDWARD, Corporal, was born at Enniskilling, Ireland, son of Charles Nurse and Jane Nurse, of Cobo Hotel, Guernsey.  After a course of higher class education at the Chamberlain Academy, Guernsey, George Nurse joined the Royal Artillery, enlisting at St George's Barracks, London, on 6 January 1892.  He served in London till May 1897, and proceeded to South Africa in December 1899.  His unit was commanded by Major W Foster, under Colonel Long, with General Hildyard in brigade command.  Besides the first battle on the Tugela, he fought through almost the whole four colonies, from Durban on the east to Mafeking (Relief) on the north­west.  He was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 2 February 1900]: 'George Edward Nurse, Corporal, 66th Battery, Royal Field Artillery.  At Colenso, on the 15th December 1899, the detachments serving the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, had either been killed, wounded, or driven from their guns by infantry fire at close range, and the guns were deserted.  About 500 yards behind the guns was a donga, in which some of the few horses and drivers left alive were sheltered.  The intervening space was swept with shell and rifle fire.  Captain Congreve, Rifle Brigade, who was in the donga, assisted to limber up a gun.  Being wounded he took shelter, but seeing Lieutenant Roberts fall badly wounded, he went out again and brought him in.  Captain Congreve was shot through the leg, through the toe of his boot, grazed on the elbow and the shoulder, and his horse shot in three places.  Lieutenant Roberts, King's Royal Rifle Corps, assisted Captain Congreve.  He was wounded in three places.  Corporal Nurse also assisted'.  'I got hold of some loose horses and hooked them into the limbers, Lieutenant Roberts holding my horse meanwhile.  Just after we started Lieutenant Roberts was shot.  When we got to the guns, through a tornado of rifle bullet and shell, one gun had the spade clamping gear jammed.  I ran to another gun, and with Captain Schofield's help limbered it up, then ran back to the former gun, found the pin, and managed to limber it up myself.  When we were out of bullet-range I met Captain Reed and four teams, but they were bowled over at the drift at 500 yards' range'.  The ‘Times' of 23 September 1915, says: 'The London Gazette announces the appointment as Temporary Second Lieutenant of George Edward Nurse, VC'.  After the war he was on the cleaning staff at the Liverpool Custom House.  He died at Liverpool on 25 November 1945, aged 72.  He was buried at Allerton Cemetery, Liverpool.  His wife was Kathleen A Nurse, and they had one son, Charles T Colenso Nurse.   VC, QSA, 1914-15 Star, BWM, VM, 1911 Coronation Medal, 1937 Coronation Medal.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Royal Field Artillery
ParkerCharles Edward HaydonSergeantPARKER, CHARLES, Sergeant, son of George Parker (a Crimean veteran, who died 19 June 1899), was born at St John's, Kent, on 11 March, 1870, and entered the Royal Horse Artillery in February 1885, serving in India from 1889 to 1895.  He took part in the South African War from 1899 to 1900: received the Queen's Medal with clasps for Kimberley, Driefontein, Diamond Hill and Wittebergen; was promoted to Sergeant by Lord Roberts for gallantry on 1 April, 1900, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 26 June, 1900]: 'Charles Parker, Sergeant, Royal Horse Artillery.  Date of Act of Bravery: 31 March, 1900.  On the occasion of the action at Korn Spruit on the 31st March, 1900, a British force, including two batteries of the Royal Horse Artillery, was retiring from Tha-banchu towards Bloemfontein.  The enemy had formed an ambush at Korn Spruit, and before their presence was discovered by the main body had captured the greater portion of the baggage column and five out of the six guns of the leading battery.  When the alarm was given, Q Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, was within three hundred yards of the spruit.  Major Phipps-Hornby, who commanded it, at once wheeled about and moved off at a gallop under a very heavy fire.  One gun was upset when the wheel horse was shot, and had to be abandoned, with another waggon, the horses of which were killed.  The remainder of the battery reached a position close to some unfinished railway buildings, and came into action 1,150 yards from the spruit, remaining in action until ordered to retire.  When the order to retire was received, Major Phipps-Hornby ordered the guns and their limbers to be run back by hand to where the team of uninjured horses stood behind the unfinished buildings.  The few remaining gunners, assisted by a number of officers and men of a party of mounted infantry, and directed by Major Phipps-Hornby and Captain Humphreys, the only remaining officers of the battery, succeeded in running back four of the guns under shelter.  One or two of the limbers were similarly withdrawn by hand, but the work was most severe and the distance considerable.  In consequence all concerned were so exhausted that they were unable to drag in the remaining limbers or the fifth gun.  It now became necessary to risk the horses, and volunteers were called for from among the drivers, who readily responded.  Several horses were killed and men wounded, but at length only one gun and one limber were left exposed.  Four separate attempts were made to rescue these, but when no more horses were available the attempt had to be given up and the gun and limber were abandoned.  Meanwhile the other guns had been sent on one at a time, and after passing within seven or eight hundred yards of the enemy, in rounding the head of a donga and crossing two spruits, they eventually reached a place of safety, where the battery was reformed.  After full consideration of the circumstances of the case, the Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief in South Africa formed the opinion that the conduct of all ranks of Q Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, was conspicuously gallant and daring, but that all were equally brave and devoted in their behaviour.  He therefore decided to treat the case of the battery as one of collective gallantry, under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, and directed that one officer should he selected for the decoration of the Victoria Cross by the officers, one non-commissioned officer by the non-commissioned officers, and two gunners or drivers by the gunners and drivers.  A difficulty arose with regard to the officer, owing to the fact that there were only two officers—Major Phipps-Hornby and Captain Humphreys—available for the work of saving the guns, and both of these had been conspicuous by their gallantry and by the fearless manner in which they exposed themselves, and each of them nominated the other for the decoration.  It was ultimately decided in favour of Major Phipps-Hornby, as having been the senior concerned.  Charles Parker, Sergeant, was elected by the non-commissioned officers as described above.  Isaac Lodge, Gunner, and Horace Harry Glasock, Driver, were elected by the gunners and drivers as described above'.  Sergeant Parker had two brothers serving in the same Battery, RHA.  He died on 9 August 1918. 
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Q Battery, RHA
ParsonsFrancis NewtonLieutenantPARSONS, FRANCIS NEWTON, Lieutenant, was born 23 March 1875, at Dover, son of Charles Parsons, MD and Venetia Digby Parsons.  He was educated at King's College School, Cambridge; at Dover College, and at Sandhurst, and joined the 1st Battalion (44th) Essex Regiment, February 1896, being promoted to Lieutenant 1 March, 1898.  He was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 20 November 1900]: 'Francis Newton Parsons, Lieutenant, The Essex Regiment (since deceased).  Date of Act of Bravery: 18 February 1900.  On the morning of the 18th February 1900, at Paardeberg, on the south bank of the Modder River, Private Ferguson 1st Battalion Essex Regiment , was wounded and fell in a place devoid of cover.  While trying to crawl under cover, he was again wounded, in the stomach.  Lieutenant Parsons at once went to his assistance, dressed his wound, under heavy fire, went down twice (still under heavy fire) to the bank of the river to get water for Private Ferguson, and subsequently carried him to a place of safety.  This officer was recommended for the Victoria Cross by Lieutenant General Kelly-Kenny, CB, on the 3rd March last.  Lieutenant Parsons was killed on the 10th March, in the engagement at Driefontein, on which occasion he again displayed conspicuous gallantry'.  He was again noticed for his conspicuous bravery on 10 March, 1900, in the fight at Driefontein, on which occasion he met his death.  His name is recorded, together with those of seven officers, one warrant officer, and 198 non-commissioned officers and men, on a tablet placed there in memory of the officers, non-commissioned officers and men of the Essex Regiment who gave their lives for their country in the Boer War.  Sir Evelyn Wood unveiled this tablet in 1903. His name is also commemorated on the St Mary's Church war memorial at Dover.  VC, QSA (3) RofK, Paard, Drief. His medals were presented to the Regimental Museum at Warley, Essex, by his family in 1962.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Essex Regiment
Phipps-HornbyEdmund JohnMajorPHIPPS-HORNBY, EDMUND JOHN, Major, was born at Lordington, Emsworth, Hants, on 31 December 1857, the second son of Admiral of the Fleet Sir Geoffrey Thomas Phipps-Hornby, GCB, and Emily Frances, daughter of the Reverend  Richard Cowper Coles, of Ditcham, Petersfield, Hants.  He was educated at a private school and at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and entered the Royal Artillery in May, 1878.  He served in Sir Charles Warren's Bechuanaland Expedition in 1884 and 1885, in the 2nd Mounted Rifles, commanded by Colonel Carrington, and became Captain in 1886.  On 31 January 1895, at St Stephen's Church, Gloucester Road, London.  Captain Phipps-Hornby married Anna, eldest daughter of Mr and Mrs Jay, of Blendon Hall, Bexley, Kent, and they had two daughters, Irene and Betty.  He was promoted to Major in 1895, served in the South African War of 1899-1902, was mentioned in Despatches and given the Brevet of Lieutenant Colonel on 30 November 1899; was ADC to Lord Roberts, 1901 to 1903, and won the Victoria Cross as described later in the Gazette.  Brigadier General Phipps-Hornby writes: 'On the night of 30-31 March, 1900, the 2nd Cavalry Brigade, with Q and U Batteries, RHA, retired from Tabanchu on Bloemfontein, followed by a superior force of Boers.  By 4 am the force was across the Modder River at the Waterworks, inside its own line of outposts.  At daylight the heavy rifle-fire commenced and a few shells fell short.  Soon afterwards the shells came over our heads and fell among the transport.  The mules were at once inspanned, and each waggon moved off as soon as it was ready along the road to Bloemfontein.  The two RHA batteries were ordered to cross the Korn Spruit and cover the retirement.  When nearing the drift it was noticed that all the transport was halted at the drift and had spread out fan-like.  U Battery was ordered to trot on.  When I got about 150 yards from the tail of the transport, a man ran out to me and said, 'We are prisoners.  The Boers are all round us'.  I ordered the battery to wheel about and gallop away.  As it did so a heavy fire was opened on it from the spruit and upset one gun and stopped another waggon.  After galloping back about half a mile I saw the Cavalry Brigade moving towards us.  I blew my whistle and brought the battery into action by the tin huts of the railway station.  The battery remained in action till ordered out by General Broadwood, Commanding the Cavalry Brigade.  There were only myself, Captain Humphreys (wounded), and eight NCO's and men left with the guns then.  We had to man handle them back and get infantry to help us'.  He was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 26 June, 1900]: 'Edmund John Phipps-Hornby, Major, Q Battery, Royal Horse Artillery.  Date of Act of Bravery: 31 March, 1900.  On the occasion of the action at Korn Spruit on the 31st March, 1900, a British force, including two batteries of the Royal Horse Artillery, was retiring from Thabanchu, towards Bloemfontein.  The enemy had formed an ambush at Korn Spruit, and, before their presence was discovered by the main body, had captured the greater portion of the baggage column and five out of the six guns of the leading battery.  When the alarm was given, Q Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, was within three hundred yards of the spruit.  Major Phipps-Hornby, who commanded it, at once wheeled about and moved off at a gallop under a very heavy fire.  One gun was upset when the wheel horse was shot, and had to be abandoned with another waggon, the horses of which were killed.  The remainder of the battery reached a position close to some unfinished railway buildings, and came into action 1,150 yards from the spruit, remaining in action until ordered to retire.  When the order to retire was received, Major Phipps-Hornby ordered the guns and their limbers to be run back by hand to where the teams of uninjured horses stood behind the unfinished buildings.  The few remaining gunners, assisted by a number of officers and men of a party of mounted infantry, and directed by Major Phipps-Hornby and Captain Humphreys, the only remaining officers of the battery, succeeded in running back four of the guns under shelter.  One or two of the limbers were similarly withdrawn by hand, but the work was most severe and the distance considerable.  In consequence, all concerned were so exhausted that they were unable to drag in the remaining limbers of the fifth gun.  It now became necessary to risk the horses, and volunteers were called for from among the drivers, who readily responded.  Several horses were killed and men wounded, but at length only one gun and one limber were left exposed.  Four separate attempts were made to rescue these, but when no more horses were available the attempt had to be given up and the gun and limber were abandoned.  Meanwhile the other guns had been sent on one at a time, and after passing within seven or eight hundred yards of the enemy, in rounding the head of a donga and crossing two spruits, they eventually reached a place of safety, where the battery was reformed.  After full consideration of the circumstances of the case, the Field Marshal Commanding-in-chief in South Africa formed the opinion that the conduct of all ranks of 'Q' Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, was conspicuously gallant and daring, but that all were equally brave and devoted in their behaviour.  He therefore decided to treat the case of the battery as one of collective gallantry, under Rule 13 of the Victoria Cross Warrant, and directed that one officer should be selected for the decoration of the Victoria Cross by the officers, one non-commissioned officer by the non-commissioned officers, and two gunners or drivers by the gunners and drivers.  A difficulty arose with regard to the officer, owing to the fact that there were only two officers—Major Phipps-Hornby and Captain Humphreys —available for the work of saving the guns, and both of these had been conspicuous by their gallantry and by the fearless manner in which they exposed themselves, and each of them nominated the other for the decoration.  It was ultimately decided in favour of Major Phipps-Hornby, as having been the senior concerned.  Charles Parker, Sergeant, was elected by the non-commissioned officers, as described above.  Isaac Lodge, Gunner, and Horace Harry Glasock, Driver, were elected by the gunners and drivers as described above.  From 1901 to 1903 Major Phipps-Hornby was ADC to Lord Roberts.  For his services in this campaign he was mentioned in Despatches, and received the Brevet of Lieutenant Colonel.  He became Lieutenant Colonel in 1903, and was given command of the 4th RHA Brigade at Woolwich and Aldershot till 1903, when he was promoted Colonel.  In 1903 he was appointed Brigadier-General to command the artillery of the 4th Division, and remained in command of it till 1913.  In 1911 he was created a CB.  On the outbreak of the European War Brigadier General Phipps-Hornby was appointed to the command of the Artillery 3rd Corps, and went with it to France in August 1914, and commanded the artillery of the Southern Army in England from April 1916, to December 1918.  He was mentioned in Despatches four times during the Great War, and was created a CMG in 1916.  Brigadier-General E J Phipps-Hornby retired on 27 December 1918.  He died on 13 December 1947 at Sonning, Berkshire.  His VC is located in the Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich.
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Q Battery, RHA
PittsJamesPrivatePITTS, J, Private, served in the South African War of 1899-1902, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 26 July 1901]: 'J Pitts, Private, 1st Battalion The Manchester Regiment.  Private R Scott and Private J Pitts.  During the attack on Caesar's Camp, in Natal, on the 6th January 1900, these two men occupied a sangar, on the left of which all our men had been shot down and their positions occupied by Boers, and held their post for fifteen hours without food or water, all the time under an extremely heavy fire, keeping up their fire and a smart look-out, though the Boers occupied some sangars on their immediate left rear.  Private Scott was wounded'.  Private Pitts became a Lance-Corporal, Army Reserve. 
Source: VC recipients (VC and DSO book)
Manchester Regiment
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