Category: Hampshire Memorials

Richard John Hammersley Ryan GC, RN

Richard John Hammersley Ryan (23/07/1903-21/09/1940). was awarded the George Cross for his actions on 16-21 September 1940 in Dagenham, Essex.

“He was 37 years old and serving in the Royal Navy when he was one of two officers who dealt with a Type C magnetic mine that fell at Clacton. When the first magnetic mines fell on London, Lt Cmdr Richard Ryan, with Chief Petty Officer Reginald Ellingworth, came forward without hesitation for the perilous work of making them safe, although with their unrivaled knowledge they were well aware of the dangers. The clock of the bomb fuse was normally timed to explode 21 seconds after impact. If it failed to do so, it might be restarted by the slightest movement. Together they dealt with 6 of these mines, one of them in a canal where they worked waist-deep in mud and water, making any escape impossible. The fuse could only be found and removed by groping for it under water. At Hornchurch they made safe a very hazardous mine which threatened the aerodrome and an explosives factory, and then they went to Dagenham to tackle a mine hanging from a parachute in a warehouse. Tragically, it exploded, killing them both.”

He is buried in Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery

DRW © 2014-2018. Created 16/03/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:36

Reginald Vincent Ellingworth GC

Reginald Vincent Ellingworth (28/01/1898-21/09/1940) and Richard Ryan were awarded the GC for their actions during operations between 16 and 21 September 1940 at Clacton, Essex.

“He was 42 years old and serving in the Royal Navy when he was one of two officers who dealt with a Type C magnetic mine that fell at Clacton. When the first magnetic mines fell on London, Richard Ryan GC, with Chief Petty Officer Reginald Ellingworth, came forward without hesitation for the perilous work of making them safe, although with their unrivalled knowledge they were well aware of the dangers. The clock of the bomb fuse was normally timed to explode 21 seconds after impact. If it failed to do so, it might be restarted by the slightest movement. Together they dealt with 6 of these mines, one of them in a canal where they worked waist-deep in mud and water, making any escape impossible. The fuse could only be found and removed by groping for it under water. At Hornchurch they made safe a very hazardous mine which threatened the aerodrome and an explosives factory, and then they went to Dagenham to tackle a mine hanging from a parachute in a warehouse. Tragically, it exploded, killing them both.”

He is buried in Milton Cemetery in Portsmouth.

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 15/03/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:38

William Charles Williams VC

William Charles Williams (15/09/1880 – 25/04/1915) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the landings at Gallipoli in 1915.

The Citation reads:

“On 25 April 1915 during the landing on V Beach, Cape Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey, Williams, with three other men (George Leslie Drewry, Wilfred St. Aubyn Malleson and George McKenzie Samson) was assisting the commander (Edward Unwin) of their ship, HMS River Clyde (previously the SS River Clyde) at the work of securing the lighters. He held on to a rope for over an hour, standing chest deep in the sea, under continuous enemy fire. He was eventually dangerously wounded and later killed by a shell whilst his rescue was being effected by the commander who described him as the bravest sailor he had ever met.”

His body was lost in the carnage of Gallipoli, and he is Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial panel 8 column 1

 

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 28/02/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:41

Gerard Broadmead Roope VC

Gerard Broadmead Roope (13/03/1905 – 08/04/1940) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while commanding  HMS Glowworm in 1940, in the Norwegian Sea. The recommendation for the award and supporting evidence was provided by the enemy. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 37170 Page: 3557 reads:

“The late Lieutenamt-Commandar Gerard Broadmead ROOPE, Royal Navy

On the 8th April, 1940, H.M.S. Glowworm was proceeding alone in heavy weather towards a rendezvous in West Fjord, when she met and engaged two enemy destroyers, scoring at least one hit on them. The enemy broke off the action and headed North, to lead the Glowworm on to his supporting forces. The Commanding Officer, whilst correctly appreciating the intentions of the enemy, at once gave chase. The German heavy cruiser, Admiral “Hipper, was sighted closing the Glowworm at high speed and an enemy report was sent which was received by H.M.S. Renown. Because of the heavy sea, the Glowworm could not shadow the enemy and the Commanding Officer therefore decided to attack with torpedoes and then to close in order to inflict as much damage as possible. Five torpedoes were fired and later the remaining five, but without success. The Glowworm was badly hit; one gun was out of action and her speed was much reduced, but with the other three guns still firing she closed and rammed the Admiral’ Hipper. As the Glowworm drew away, she opened fire again and scored one hit at a range of 400 yards. The Glowworm, badly stove in forward and riddled with enemy fire, heeled over to starboard, and the Commanding Officer gave the order to abandon her. Shortly afterwards she capsized and sank. The Admiral Hipper hove to for at least an hour picking up survivors but the loss of life was heavy, only 31 out of the Glowworm’s complement of 149 being saved.
Full information concerning this action has only recently been received and the VICTORIA CROSS is bestowed in recognition of the great valour of the Commanding Officer who, after fighting off a superior force of destroyers, sought out and reported a powerful enemy unit, and then fought his ship to the end against overwhelming odds, finally ramming the enemy with supreme coolness and skill.”

His body was lost at sea and he is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial panel 36 column 3.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 28/02/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:06

Alfred Edward Sephton VC

Alfred Edward Sephton (19/04/1911 – 19/05/1941), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Second World War On 18 May 1941 in the Mediterranean, south of Crete, while serving with HMS Coventry when she went to the assistance of a hospital ship which was being attacked by German dive-bombers. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 35365 Page: 6889, reads:

“The late Petty Officer Alfred Edward Sephton, P/JX.I3082I, H.M.S. Coventry.
Petty Officer Sephton was Director Layer when H.M.S. Coventry was attacked by aircraft, whose fire grievously wounded him. In mortal pain and faint from loss of blood he stood fast doing his duty without fault until the Enemy was driven off. Thereafter until his death his valiant and cheerful spirit gave heart to the wounded. His high example inspired his shipmates and will live in their memory.”

His body was not brought ashore for burial and presumably was buried at sea. He is Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, panel 46 column 2

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 28/02/2016

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:10

Frederick Thornton Peters VC, DSO, DSC*

Frederick Thornton Peters (17/09/1889 – 13/11/1942) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during Operation Reservist,  an attempt to capture Oran Harbour, Algeria during the Second World War. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 36019 Page: 2215  reads:

“The late Acting Captain Frederick Thornton Peters, D.S.O., D.S.C., Royal Navy,
For valour in taking H.M.S. Walney, in an enterprise of desperate hazard, into the harbour of Oran on the 8th November, 1942. Captain Peters led his force through the boom towards the jetty in the face of point-blank fire from shore batteries, a Destroyer and a Cruiser. Blinded in one eye, he alone of the seventeen Officers and Men on the bridge survived. The Walney reached the jetty disabled and ablaze, and went down with her colours flying”

On 8 November 1942 Captain Peters, commanding in Walney, led his force through the boom towards the jetty in the face of point-blank fire from shore batteries, the sloop La Surprise, and the destroyer Epervier. Blinded in one eye, he alone of 11 officers and men on the bridge survived. Besides him, 13 ratings survived Walney sinking. The destroyer reached the jetty disabled and ablaze and went down with her colours flying. Captain Peters and a handful of men managed to reach the shore, where they were taken prisoner. Hartland came under fire from the French destroyer Typhon and blew up with the loss of half her crew. The survivors, like those of Walney, were taken prisoner as they reached shore.”

The survivors were released on 10 November 1942 when the French garrison surrendered. While coming back to Britain, Captain Peters was killed when the Sunderland he was on crash landed in Plymouth Sound in thick fog on 13 November 1942. His body was not recovered.

He is Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, panel 61 column 3

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 28/02/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:15

William Goate VC

William Goate (12/01/1836 – 24/10/1901) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Siege of Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22212, Page: 5512, reads:

“9th Lancers, Lance-Corporal W. Goat Date of Act of Bravery, 6th March, 1858

For conspicuous gallantry at Lucknow, on the 6th of March, 1858, in having dismounted, in the presence of a number of the enemy, and taken up the body of Major Smyth, 2nd Dragoon Guards, which he attempted to bring off the field, and after being obliged to relinquish it, being surrounded by the enemy’s cavalry, he went a second time under a heavy fire to recover the body. Despatch from Major-General Sir James Hope Grant, K.C.B., dated 8th April, 1858.”

His surname is misspelt in the original citation. 

He died of cancer at Southsea and was buried in Highland Road Cemetery in Portsmouth, plot E, row 5, grave 20. His grave has been reused twice since and  a memorial stone was erected in October 2003

Portsmouth Highland Road Cemetery

© DRW 2016-2018, Created 29/10/2016, edited 13/05/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 07:54

Israel Harding VC.

Israel Harding (21/10/1833 – 22/05/1917) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Anglo Egyptian War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 25147, Page: 4260, reads:

Mr. Israel Harding, Gunner, of Her Majesty’s Ship; “Alexandra”.

At about nine o’clock, on the morning of the 11th July, whilst Her Majesty’s Ship “Alexandra” was engaging the Forts at Alexandria, a 10-inch spherical shell passed through the ship’s side and lodged on the main deck. Mr. Harding hearing the shout “there is a live shell just above the hatchway,” rushed up the ladder frorn below, and, observing that the fuze was burning, took some water from a tub standing near, and threw it over the projectile, then picked up the shell and put it into the tub. Had the shell burst, it would probably have destroyed many lives.

He is buried in Highland Road Cemetery, Portsmouth

Portsmouth Highland Road Cemetery

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 28/10/2016. Edited 13/05/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 07:54

William Nathan Wrighte Hewett VC, KCB, KCSI

William Nathan Wrighte Hewett  (12/08/1834 – 13/05/1888) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Crimean War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 21971, Page: 652 reads:

“Wm. Nathan Wright Hewett, Lieutenant.

1st. On the occasion of a repulse of a sortie of Russians by Sir De Lacy Evans’ Division on the 26th October, 1854, Mr. Hewett, then Acting-Mate of Her Majesty’s Ship “Beagle,” was in charge of the Right Lancaster Battery before Sebastopol. The advance of the Russians placed the gun in great jeopardy, their skirmishers advancing within 300 yards of the Battery, and pouring in a sharp fire from their Minié rifles. By some misapprehension the word was passed to spike the gun and retreat; but Mr. Hewett, taking upon himself the responsibility of disregarding the order replied, that “Such order did not come from Captain Lushington, and he would not do it till it did.” Mr. Hewett then pulled down the parapet of the Battery, and with the assistance of some soldiers, got his gun round, and poured upon the advancing column of Russians a most destructive and effective fire.

For the gallantry exhibited on this occasion, the Board of Admiralty promoted him to the rank of Lieutenant.

2nd. On the 5th November, 1854, at the Battle of Inkerman, Captain Lushington again brought before the Commander-in-chief the services of Mr. Hewett, saying, “I have much pleasure in again bringing Mr. Hewett’s gallant conduct to your notice.”

(Sir S. Lushington to Vice-Admiral Sir J. D. Dundas, inclosed in. despatches of 1st November, 1854, and 8th November, 1854).”

He is buried in Highland Road Cemetery in Portsmouth.

Portsmouth Highland Road Cemetery

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 28/10/2016. Edited 13/05/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 07:54

Hugh Stewart Cochrane VC

Hugh Stewart Cochrane (04/08/1829 – 23/04/1884) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the the Indian Mutiny in 1858

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22212, Page: 5518, reads:

“86th Regiment (now the 16th Regiment)

Lieutenant and Adjutant (now Captain) Hugh Stewart Cochrane Date of Act of Bravery, 1st April, 1853.

For conspicuous gallantry near Jhansi, on the 1st of April, 1858, when No. 1 Company of the Regiment was ordered to take a gun, in dashing forward at a gallop, under a heavy musketry and artillery fire, driving the enemy from the gun, and keeping possession of it till the Company came up. Also for conspicuous gallantry in attacking the rear-guard of the enemy, when he had three horses shot under him in succession.

Despatch from Major-General Sir Hugh Henry Rose, G.C.B., dated 23rd April, 1858″

He is buried in Highland Road Cemetery in Portsmouth.

 

Portsmouth Highland Road Cemetery

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 28/10/2016, edited 13/05/2017

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 07:54
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