The Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross was founded by Royal Warrant on 29 January 1856, and was originally intended to be awarded to members of the Royal Navy and British Army who, serving in the presence of the enemy, should have performed some signal act of valour or devotion to their country.
As Queen Victoria pointed out, it was not an Order, such as the Garter of the Bath. It offered no knighthood, bore no religious significance and contained no ranks within itself. It was intended solely as a decoration "to be highly prized and eagerly sought after by the officers and men of Our naval and military services".
In 1881, a new VC warrant was signed which stated "Our Will and Pleasure is that the qualification (for the award of the Victoria Cross) shall be "Conspicuous bravery or devotion to the country in the presence of the enemy". It was this last stipulation that necessitated the introduction of the George Cross in 1940.
In 1902 King Edward VII approved the extremely important principle of awarding the VC posthumously. In 1911 King George V admitted native officers and men of the Indian Army to eligibility, and in 1920, it was extended to include the Royal Air Force, and "matrons, sisters, nurses ... serving regularly or temporarily under the orders, direction or supervision" of the military authorities. It was against emphasised that the VC "... shall only be awarded for most conspicuous bravery or some daring pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy." REFERENCE :- http://www.stephen-stratford.co.uk/vc_awards.htm
INDIAN MUTINY 1857
General Sir Hugh Henry GOUGH VC, GCB East India College Haileybury
He was the third son of George Gough of Raltronan House, County Tipperary and brother of Sir C. J. S Gough. He won the VC for gallantry at Alanbagh in 1857 and became a general in 1894. He married Annie Margaret Hill (Dame Gough) in Sept. 1863 and there were four sons. Born on 14th November, 1833 in Calcutta, India. Died on 12th May, 1909 in London, England. Memorial on grave in Kensal Green Cemetery, London. General Sir Hugh Gough VC also was a holder of the Knight Grand Cross of the Bath. (GCB). From 1898-1909 he was the Keeper of the Crown Jewels at the Tower of London.
London Gazetted on 24th December 1858. Hugh Henry Gough, Lieutenant, 1st Bengal Light Cavalry. Lieutenant Gough, when in command of a party of Hodson's Horse, near Mumbagh, on 12 November, 1857, particularly distinguished himself by his forward bearing in charging across a swamp and capturing two guns although defended by a vastly superior body of the enemy. On this occasion he had his horse wounded in two places and his turban cut through by sword cuts, while engaged in combat with three sepoys. Lieutenant Gough also particularly distinguished himself near Jallalabad, Lucknow, on 21 February 1858, by showing a brilliant example to his Regiment when ordered to charge the enemies guns, and by his gallant and forward conduct he enabled them to effect their object. On this occasion he engaged himself in a series of single combats, until at length he was disabled by a musket ball through the leg, while charging two sepoys with fixed bayonets. Lieutenant Gough on that day had two horses killed under him, a shot through his helmet and another through his scabbard, besides being severely wounded. REFERENCE :- Picture displayed with the kind permission of the family
Ross Lowis MANGLES,VC East India College Haileybury
Mr Ross Lowis Mangles, of the Bengal Civil Service, Assistant Magistrate at Patna. Mr Mangles volunteered and served with the force consisting of detachments of Her Majesty's 10th and 37th Regiments and some native troops, despatched to the Kelief of Arrah in July 1857, under the command of Captain Dunbar of the 10th Regiment. The force fell into an ambuscade on the night of 20 July 1857, and during the retreat on the next morning Mr Mangles, with signal gallantry and general self-devotion, and not withstanding that he had himself been previously wounded, carried for several miles out of action a wounded soldier of Her Majesty's 37th Regiment after binding up his wounds under a murderous fire which killed or wounded almost the whole detachment, and he bore him in safety to the boat. Reference:- Source of picture - "THE VC & DSO BOOK- THE VICTORIA CROSS 1856 - 1920"
William Fraser McDONELL VC East India College Haileybury
Mr William Fraser McDonell of the Bengal Civil Service, Magistrate of Sarun: During the retreat from Arrah on 30 July 1857, he climbed under incessant fire outside the boat, in which he and several soldiers were, up to the rudder and with considerable difficulty cut through the lashing which secured it to the side of the boat. On the lashing being cut the boat obeyed the helm, and thus thirty-five European soldiers escaped certain death. Reference :- Picture displayed with the kind permission of the National Army Museum
Lieutenant Arthur Thomas MOORE VC
East India College Haileybury
Lieutenant and Adjutant 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry.
Battle of Khoosh-ab in Persia
Arthur Thomas Moore, Lieutenant and Adjutant, John Grant Malcolmson, Lieutenant 3rd Bombay Light Cavalry. On the occasion of an attack on the enemy on 8 February 1857 led by Lieutenant-Colonel Forbes C.B., Lieutenant Moore, the Adjutant of the Regiment, was perhaps the first of all by a horse's length. His horse leaped into the square, and instantly fell dead, crushing down his rider and breaking his sword as he fell amid the broken ranks of the enemy. Lieutenant Moore speedily extricated himself, and attempted with his broken sword to force his way through the press; but he would assuredly have lost his life had not the gallant young Lieutenant Malcolmson, observing his peril, fought his way to his dismounted comrade through a crowd of enemies, to his rescue, and giving him his stirrup, safely carried him through everything out of the throng. The thoughtfulness for others, cool determination, devoted courage, and ready activity shown in extreme danger by this young officer. Lieutenant Malcolmson, appear to have been most admirable, and to be worthy of the highest honour.REFERENCE:- Picture displayed with the kind permission of the family
ZULU WAR 1879
Nevill Josiah Aylmer COGHILL VC Haileybury College, Trevelyan 1865.2 - 1869.3
Lieutenant - 1/24th (2nd Warwickshire Regiment.)
Killed at Isandlwana 22nd January 1879. Aged 26.
Born 25 January 1852. Son of Sir John Coghill, of Drumcondra, County Dublin. He was buried with Lieutenant. Melvill. His Memorial reads :-"In memory of Lieutenant. and Adjutant. Teignmouth Melvill and Lieutenant. Nevill J. A. Coghill, 1st Battalion. 24th Regiment., who died on this spot 22nd January. 1879, to save the Queen's Colour of their Regiment." -
Lieutenant Melvill, of the 1st Battalion 24th Foot, on account of his gallant effort on 22 January 1879 to save the Queen's Colour of his regiment after the disaster at Isandhiwana and also Lieutenant Coghill. 1st Battalion 24th, Foot. On account of his heroic conduct in endeavouring to save his brother officer's life, would have been recommended to Her Majesty for the Victoria Cross had they survived. Subsequently awarded 15 January 1907. references Picture from Imogen Thomas's book "Haileybury 1806-1987".
Brigadier General The Honourable Alexander Gore Arkwright HORE-RUTHVEN, VC, CB, GCMG, DSO & Bar, Croix de Guerre (France and Belgium) . Earl of GOWRIE & Viscount Ruthven of Canberra United Services College 1882.2
NILE EXPEDITION 1898-9
Captain, 3rd Battalion., The Highland Light Infantry, British Army Campaign Sudan Campaign. Aged 26. Born 6th July 1872. Son of 8th Baron Ruthven. Cameron Highlands 1899, Nile Expedition 1898 VC 1899 , East Africa 1902-4. Served with 1st Royal Dragoon Guards & Welsh Guards in First World War. CB, CMG, DSO 1916 & Bar 1919. Later achieved rank of Brigadier General. Governor South Australia 1928-33, Governor NSW 1935. Governor General of Australia 1936-44. Created Earl 1944 . Died 2nd May 1944.
Deed On 22 September 1898 during the action at Gedarif, Sudan, Captain Hore-Ruthven saw an Egyptian officer lying wounded within 50 yards of the advancing Dervishes who were firing and charging. He picked up the wounded officer and carried him towards the 16th Egyptian Battalion. He had to drop his burden several times in order to fire upon the Dervishes and check their advance, but his action undoubtedly saved the officer's life.
BOER WAR 1899 - 1902
Edward Douglas BROWNE-SYNGE-HUTCHINSON, VC , CB
United Services College Day Boy 1875.3
changed his name from Edward Douglas Brown in 1904.
Born 6th March 1861. Son of Major D. P. Brown 7th Hussars. Served with the 18th Hussars in 1883, & the 14th Hussars in 1899. Boer War 1899-1902. Mentioned in Dispatches, Brevet Colonel. VC 1901.
Edward Douglas Brown, Major, 14th Hussars. On 13 October 1900 at Geluk, when the enemy were within four hundred yards, and bringing a heavy fire to bear, Major Brown, seeing that Sergeant Hersey's horse was shot, stopped behind the last squadron, as it was retiring, and helped Sergeant Hersey to mount behind him, carrying him for about three quarters of a mile to a place of safety. He did this under a heavy fire, Major Brown afterwards enabled Lieutenant Browne, 14th Hussars, to mount, by holding his horse which was very restive under the heavy fire, Lieutenant Browne could not otherwise have mounted. Subsequently Major Brown carried L. Corporal Trumpeter Leigh out of action.
Brigadier General Francis Aylmer MAXWELL, VC, CSI, DSO & Bar
United Services College 1883.1 -1890.2
Boer War 1900
Born 7th September 1871. Son of Surgeon Major T. Maxwell. Royal Sussex Regiment 1891, NW Frontier 1894-5 & 1897-98 Mentioned in Dispatches, DSO 1898. ADC to Lord Kitchener (C in C India). Boer War 1900 -02 . VC 1901. Military secretary to Lord Hardinge (Governor General India) Temporary Lieutenant Colonel 1910. Companion of Star of India (CSI) 1911. Temporary Brigadier General 1916 bar to DSO 1916.Killed in Action Ypres 21 September 1917.
Francis Aylmer Maxwell, Lieutenant, Indian Staff Corps (attached to Roberts' 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 out the self-imposed duty of saving the guns of that battery during the affair of Kom Spruit on 31 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 F. D. Battyc, Corps of Guides, under fire, for which, though recommended, he received no reward.
REFERENCE:-Source of picture - "THE GREAT WAR" 13 volumes published just after WW1 authors & publisher not listed. Copyright expired.
Conwyn MANSEL-JONES, VC CMG DSO
Haileybury College, Batten 1885.1-1888.2
BOER WAR 1900
Born 14th June 1871 , son of H. R. Mansel- Jones of London SW7. Ashanti Expedition 1895-6, Expedition 1899. South African War 1899-1900 - Mentioned in Dispatches, Queen's Medal with 2 clasps, VC as a Brevet Major. Retired 1910 rejoined in 1914 - CMG, DSO, Mentioned in Dispatches, Legion of Honour. Gentleman at Arms. Died 29th May 1942.
Conwyn Mansel-Jones, Captain, West Yorkshire Regiment. On 27 February 1900 during the assault on Terrace Hill, north of Tugcia, 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 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.
Major General William George WALKER VC CB
Haileybury College, Colvin 1876.3 -1881.2
Born 29th May 1863 son of Surgeon General W. Walker. Suffolk Regiment 1885, 4th Gurkhas 1887, Miranzai Expedition 1891 Medal with clasp, Waziristan 1894 - 5 clasp , operations in Somalia VC, Mentioned in Dispatches,. Brevet Lt. Colonel East africa General Service Medal, Second in Command Prince of Wales Gurkhas 1907- 09, commanding 4th Gurkhas 1910 CB, in WW1 Major General Commanding 2nd division in 1916 mentioned in dispatches. Retired 1919 . died 16th February 1936
William George Walker, Captain, Indian Army, and George Murray Rolland, Captain, Indian Army, Berbera Bohottle Flying Column. During the return of Major Gough's column to Donop on 22 April, 1903, after the action at Daratoleh, the rearguard got considerably in the rear of the column, owing to the thick bush, and to having to hold their ground while wounded men were bring placed on camels. At this time Captain Bruce was shot through the body from a distance of about twenty yards, and fell on the path unable to move. Captains Walker and Rolland, two men of the 2nd Battalion King's African Rifles, one Sikh, and one Somali of the Camel Corps were with him when he fell. In the meantime the column, being unaware of what had happened, were getting farther away. Captain Rolland then ran back some 500 yards, and returned with assistance to bring off Captain Bruce, while Captain Walker and the men remained with that officer; endeavouring to keep off the enemy, who were all round in the thick bush. This they succeeded in doing though not before Captain Bruce was hit a second time, and the Sikh wounded. But for the gallant conduct displayed by these officers and men, Captain Bruce must have fallen into the hands of the enemy. Reference :-Picture displayed with the kind permission of the National Army Museum
Major Richard Raymond WILLIS, VC Haileybury College, Staff 1921.1 - 1921.3
Richard Raymond Willis, Captain, 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army Campaign First World War. On 25 April 1915 west of Cape Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey, three companies and the Headquarters of the 1st Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, when landing on W Beach, were met by a very deadly fire from hidden machine-guns which caused a large number of casualties. The survivors, however, rushed up and cut the wire entanglements notwithstanding the terrific fire from the enemy and after overcoming supreme difficulties, the cliffs were gained and the position maintained.
VC Publicly Displayed Fusilier Museum Lancashire at Bury, Lancashire Remarks Captain Willis was one of the six members of the regiment elected for the award. Later achieved rank of Major. Reference :- Source of picture - "THE GREAT WAR" 13 volumes published just after WW1 authors & publisher not listed. Copyright expired.
Anketell Moutray READ, VC, United Services College 1898.3 -1902.2
WESTERN FRONT LOOS 1915
Born 27th October 1984. Son of Colonel J. M. Read. Gloster Regiment 1903. 7th Hariana Lancers Indian Army 1907. Northamptonshire Regiment 1911. RFC 1912. Heavyweight Boxing Champion India 8 times. Army & Navy Champion 1909, 11, 12. WW1 Mentioned in Dispatches wounded 1914. Killed in action, Loos 25th September 1915 VC.
Anketell Moutray Read, Captain 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery during the first attack near Hulloch on the morning of 25 September 1915. Although partially gassed, Captain Read went out several times in order to rally parties of different units which were disorganized and retiring. He led them back into the firing line, and, utterly regardless of danger, moved freely about, encouraging them, under a withering fire. He was mortally wounded while carrying out this gallant work. Captain Read had previously shown conspicuous bravery during digging operations on 29, 30 and 31 August, 1915, and on the night of 29, 30 July be carried out of action in officer who was mortally wounded, under a hot fire of rifles and grenades. Reference :- Source of picture - "THE GREAT WAR" 13 volumes published just after WW1 authors & publisher not listed. Copyright expired.
Second Lieutenant Rupert Price HALLOWES, VC, MC
Haileybury College, Le Bas 1894.2 -1897.2
WESTERN FRONT Hooge 1915
Born 6th May 1881. Son of F. B. Hallowes. 2nd Lieutenant Mid
Rupert Price Hallowes, Temporary Second Lieutenant, 4th Battalion, The Middlesex Regiment. For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the fighting at Hooge between 25 September and 1 October 1915. Second Lieutenant Hallowes displayed throughout these days the greatest bravery and untiring energy, and set a magnificent example to his men during four heavy and prolonged bombardments. On more than one occasion he climbed up on the parapet, utterly regardless of danger, in order to put fresh heart into his men. He made daring reconnaissance of the German positions in our lines. When the supply of bombs was running short he went back under very heavy shell fire and brought up a fresh supply. Even after he was mortally wounded he continued to cheer those around him and to inspire them with fresh courage. REFERENCE :-Source of picture - "THE GREAT WAR" 13 volumes published just after WW1 authors & publisher not listed. Copyright expired.
Major General Clifford COFFIN, VC, CB, DSO & Bar
Haileybury College, Lawrence 1884.1 -1886.2
WESTERN FRONT 1917
Born 10th February 1870. Son of Sir I. C. Coffin KCSI. Royal Engineers 1888, South Africa 1899 -1902, Mentioned in Dispatches. Queen's Medal with 4 clasps, King's Medal with 2 clasps. WW1: Lieutenant Colonel 1915. Brigadier General 36th (Ulster) Division; VC, CB, DSO & bar, Mentioned in Dispatches. Order of the Crown of Belgium, Legion of Honour, Order of St. Stanislaus. ADC to HM King 1920 -24. Died 4th February 1959
Clifford Coffin, D.S.0., Lieutenant Colonel (Temporary Brigadier General) Royal Engineers. For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. On 31 July, 1917, when his command was held up in attack owing to heavy machine-gun and rifle fire from front and right flank and was establishing itself in a forward shell-hole line, he went forward and made an inspection of his front posts, Though under heaviest fire from both machine guns and rifles and in full view of the enemy, he showed an utter disregard of personal danger; walking quietly from shell hole to shell hole, giving advice generally and cheering the men by his presence. His very gallant conduct had the greatest effect on all ranks, and it was largely owing to his personal courage and example that the shell hole line was held in spite of the heaviest fire. Throughout the day his calm courage and cheerfulness exercised the greatest influence over all with whom he came into contact, and it is generally agreed that Brigadier General Coffin's splendid example saved the situation, and had it not been for his action the line would certainly have been driven back.Source of picture - "THE GREAT WAR" 13 volumes published just after WW1 authors & publisher not listed. Copyright expired.
Captain Clement ROBERTSON, VC Haileybury College, Colvin 1904.2 -1906.1
WESTERN FRONT 1917
Born 15th November 1889. Son of Major J. A. Robertson. Trinity College Dublin Engineering BA 1909. Captain Queen's Royal Regiment attached Tank Corps VC 1917. Killed in Action October 1917
Clement Robertson, Temporary Lieutenant (Acting Captain), Special Reserve, late Royal West Surrey Regiment, Tank Corps. For most conspicuous bravery on 4 October 1917, in leading his tanks in attack under heavy shelf, machine gun and rifle fire, over ground which had been heavily ploughed by shell fire. Captain Robertson, knowing the risk of the Tanks missing the way, continued to lead them on foot guiding them carefully and patiently towards their objective, although he must have known that his action would almost inevitably cost him his life. This gallant officer was killed after, his objective had been reached, but his skillful leading had already ensured successful action, His utter disregard of danger and devotion to duty afford an example of outstanding valour. REFERENCE :- Picture displayed with the kind permission of the family
Captain Cyril Hubert FRISBY, VC Haileybury College, Hailey 1899.2-1903.2
WESTERN FRONT 1918
Born 17th September 1885. Son of H Frisby, Sussex. Enlisted Hampshire Regiment, Commissioned Coldstream Guards 1917. France 1917 - 18, Mentioned in Dispatches. Captain 1918 VC at Canal du Nord. Died 10th September 1918
Cyril Hubert Frisby, Lieutenant (Acting Captain), Coldstream Guards (Special Reserve), attached 1st Battalion. For conspicuous bravery, leadership and devotion to duty in action on 27th September 1918, across the Canal du Nord, near Grancourt when in command of a company detailed to capture the canal crossing on the Demicourt-Grancourt Road. On reaching the canal, the leading platoon came under annihilating machine-gun fire from a strong machine gun post under the old iron bridge on the far side of the canal, and was unable to advance, despite reinforcing waves. Captain Frisby realised at once that unless this post was captured the whole advance in this area would fail. Calling for volunteers to follow him, he dashed forward, and with three other ranks he climbed down into the canal under an intense point-blank machine gun fire, and succeeded in capturing the post with two machine guns and twelve men. By his personal valour and initiative he restored the situation and enabled the attacking companies to continue the advance. Having reached and consolidated his objective, he gave timely support to the company on his right, which had lost all of its officers and sergeants, organised its defence and beat off a heavy hostile counter-attack. He was wounded in the leg by a bayonet in the attack on the machine gun post, but remained on duty throughout, thereby setting a splendid example to all ranks. REFERENCE :- Source of picture - "THE GREAT WAR" 13 volumes published just after WW1 authors & publisher not listed. Copyright expired.
Brigadier General George William St. George GROGAN, VC, CB, CMG, DSO & Bar United Service College 1890.3 - 1893.3
WESTERN FRONT 1918
Born 1st September 1875. Son of Brigadier General E. G. Grogan. West Indies Regiment 1896, Sierra Leone 1898-9, Egyptian army 1902 - 1907, transferred to Worcestershire Regiment as Captain 1908, WW1 France & Flanders Mentioned in Dispatches, Brevet Lieutenant Colonel CMG, DSO 1917, & Bar 1918, VC 1918. Commanded 1st Brigade Russian Relief Force CB 1919. Retired 1919. HM's Body Guard 1933. Died 3rd January 1962
George William St. George Grogan, Major and Brevet Lieutenant Colonel (Temporary Brigadier-General), C.M.G., D.S.O., Worcestershire Regiment. For leadership throughout three days of intense firing in May 1918. Brigadier-General Grogan was, except for a few hours, in command of the remnants of the infantry of A Division and various attached troops. His actions during the whole battle can only be described as magnificent. The utter disregard for his personal safety, combined with sound practical ability which he displayed, materially helped to stay the onward thrust of the enemy masses. Throughout the third day of operations, a most critical day, he spent his time under artillery, trench mortar, rifle and machine-gun fire, riding up and down the front line encouraging his troops, reorganizing those who had fallen into disorder, leading back into the line those who were beginning to retire, and setting such a wonderful example that he inspired with his enthusiasm not only his own men, but also the Allied troops who were alongside. As a result the line held and repeated enemy attacks were repulsed. He had one horse shot under him, but nevertheless continued on foot to encourage his men until another horse was brought. He displayed throughout the highest valour, powers of command and leadership. REFERENCE:- Source of picture - "THE GREAT WAR" 13 volumes published just after WW1 authors & publisher not listed. Copyright expired.
Colonel James Power CARNE, VC, DSO Imperial Service College, (Alexander) 1920.1 - 1923.3
11th April 1906. Son of G. N. Carne. Gloster Regiment 1925, Lieutenant 1927, Captain 1935, Major 1942. Attached King's African Rifles - Madagascar 1943. Lieutenant Colonel Burma 1944. Mentioned in Dispatches for Madagascar & Burma. CO Glosters in Korea 1950-1. DSO & VC 1951. POW of the Chinese & released after the Armistice. Retired 1957. Died 19th April 1986.
James Power Came, Lieutenant Colonel, D.S.O., Gloucestershire Regiment. In Korea, on the night of 22-23 April, 1951, and throughout the three following days, Lieutenant Colonel Carne's Battalion was attacked incessantly by vastly superior enemy numbers and was completely cut off. Throughout the entire engagement Lieutenant Colonel Carne showed complete disregard for his own safety. On two occasions, armed with a rifle and grenades, he personally led assault parties which drove back the enemy. He gave an example of courage and coolness, and, showed powers of leadership which can seldom have been surpassed in the history of the Army. He inspired his officers and men to fight beyond the normal limits of human endurance, in spite of overwhelming odds and ever-increasing casualties, shortage of ammunition and of water. REFERENCE:- Picture from Imogen Thomas's book "Haileybury 1806-1987" & Haileybury Records