Category: Memorials elsewhere

Commando Winners of the Victoria Cross

The Commando Winners of the Victoria Cross Plaque may be found at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Lt Col Geoffrey Keyes VC, MC.
Lt Col Charles Newman VC
Sgt Thomas Durrant VC
Maj Patrick Porteus VC
L/Cpl Henry Harden VC
Lt George A Knowland VC
Cpl Thomas Hunter VC
Maj Anders Lassen VC, MC**

DRW © 2018. Created 21/08/2018

Updated: 21/08/2018 — 07:00

John *Jock” Rennie GC

John *Jock” Rennie (1919 – 29/10/1943) was awarded the George Cross for the gallantry he displayed in protecting others during a training accident at Riddlesworth near Slough on 29 October 1943.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 36529, Page: 2417 reads:

“The KING has been graciously pleased, on the advice of His Majesty’s Canadian Ministers, to approve of the posthumous award of the GEORGE CROSS, in recognition of most  conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner, to: —
6.45960 Corporal (acting Sergeant) John Rennie, Canadian Infantry Corps.”

The Citation does not elaborate on the incident, however, it is accepted that: 

“On 29th October 1943, Acting Sergeant Jock Rennie was supervising grenade-throwing by his unit at a Canadian training camp in Slough, then in Buckinghamshire. One grenade had been thrown successfully but a second failed to clear the protective embankment and rolled back to the throwing area. Rennie had time to get clear of the danger but, concerned for the safety of his men, he ran forward and tried to pick up the rolling grenade and throw it clear. However, the grenade exploded as he did so and he was fatally injured. Three other soldiers within 5 yards of the grenade were only slightly hurt.” (Victoriacrossonline)

He was accorded a military funeral and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery in the military section

DRW © 2018, created 14/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green, description of GC action by Victoriacrossonline. 

Updated: 14/08/2018 — 12:51

Lachhiman Gurung VC

Lachhiman Gurung (30/12/1917 – 12/12/2010), a member of the 4th Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles of the Indian Army, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in May 1945 at Taungdaw, Burma.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of 24 July 1945, Supplement:37195, Page: 3861 reads:
“No. 87726 Rifleman LACHHIMAN GURUNG, 8th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.

At Taungdaw, in Burma, on the west bank of the Irrawaddy, on the night of I2th/I3th May, 1945, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning the most forward post of his platoon. At 0120 hours at least 200 enemy assaulted his Company position. The brunt of the attack was borne by Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s section and by his own post in particular. This post dominated a jungle path leading up into his platoon locality.

Before assaulting, the enemy hurled innumerable grenades at the position from close range. One grenade fell on the lip of Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s trench; he at once grasped it and hurled it back at the enemy. Almost immediately another grenade fell – directly inside the trench.

Again this Rifleman snatched it up and threw it back. A third grenade then fell just in front of the trench. He attempted to throw it back, but it exploded in his hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his right arm arid severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded and lay helpless in the bottom of the trench.

The enemy, screaming and shouting, now formed up shoulder to shoulder and attempted to rush the position by sheer weight of numbers. Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung,  regardless of his wounds, fired and loaded his rifle with his left hand, maintaining a continuous and steady rate of fire. 

Wave after wave of fanatical attacks were thrown in by the enemy and all were repulsed with heavy casualties. For four hours after being severely wounded Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung remained alone at his post, waiting with perfect calm for each attack, which he met with fire at point-blank range from his rifle, determined not to give one inch of ground.

Of the 87 enemy dead counted in the immediate vicinity of the Company locality, 31 lay in front of this Rifleman’s section, the key to the whole position. Had the enemy succeeded in over-running and occupying Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s trench, the whole of the reverse slope position would have been completely dominated and turned.

This Rifleman, by his magnificent example, so inspired his comrades to resist the enemy to the last, that, although surrounded and-cut off for three days and two nights, they held and smashed every attack.

His outstanding gallantry and extreme devotion to duty, in the face of almost overwhelming odds, were the main factors in the defeat of the enemy. “

Lachhiman Gurung VC died at the  Chiswick War Memorial Homes on 12th December 2010  aged 92 of pneumonia, and was buried in Chiswick New Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 12/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 12/08/2018 — 19:38

Alfred Kirke Ffrench VC

Alfred Kirke Ffrench (25/02/1835 – 28/12/1872) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 16 November 1857 at Lucknow, India during the Indian Rebellion.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22212, Page: 5513, reads:

“53rd Regiment, Lieutenant Alfred Kirke Ffrench. Date of Act of Bravery, 16th November, 1857.

For conspicuous bravery on the 16th of November, 1857, at the taking of the Secundra Bagb, Lucknow, when in command of the Grenadier Company, being one of the first to enter the building. His conduct was highly praised by the whole Company.
Elected by the Officers of the Regiment.”

He fell ill while on service in Bermuda in Autumn of 1872, and was invalided back to London to recuperate, but died on 28th December and was buried in Brompton Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 11/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 12/08/2018 — 06:37

Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn VC

Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn (27/11/1870 – 04/07/1913) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions the at Elandslaagte during the Anglo Boer War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27212, Page: 4509, reads: 

“The Gordon Highlanders, Captain Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn:

At the Battle of Elandslaagte on the 21st October, 1899, after the main Boer position had been captured, some men of the Gordon Highlanders, when about to assault a kopje in 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.”

Matthew FM Meiklejohn VC

He died in hospital following an incident in Hyde Park, and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 11/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green. Taddy cigarette card by Card Promotions © 1997, first issued 1902

Updated: 12/08/2018 — 06:10

Wallace Duffield Wright VC, CB, CMG, DSO

Wallace Duffield Wright (20/09/1875 – 25/03/1953) was awarded the Victoria Cross on 26 February 1903 while serving with the 1st Battalion Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey) attached to the Northern Nigeria Regiment, during the Kano-Sokoto Expedition in Nigeria.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27596, Page: 5663, reads:

“The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment) Northern Nigeria Regiment. 

Lieutenant (now Captain) Wallace Duffield Wright

On the 24th March, 1903, Lieutenant Wright, with only one Officer and 44 men, took up a position in the path of the advancing enemy, and sustained the determined charges of 1,000 Horse and 2,000 Foot for two hours, and when the enemy, after heavy losses, fell back in
good order, Lieutenant Wright continued to follow them up till they were in full retreat.
The personal example of this Officer, as well as his skilful leadership, contributed largely to the brilliant success of this affair.
He in no way infringed his orders by his daring initiative, as, though warned of the possibility of meeting large bodies of the enemy, he had purposely been left a free hand.”

He died at Westways Farm, Cobham, Surrey, on 25th March 1953, aged 78 and was buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 10/08/2018 — 12:45

William Reynolds VC

William Reynolds (1827 – 20/10/1869) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 20 September 1854 at the Battle of the AlmaCrimean Peninsula,

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 21971, Page: 657, reads:

“Scots Fusilier Guards, No. 3308 Private Wm. Reynolds.

When the formation of the line was disordered at Alma, for having behaved in a conspicuous manner in rallying the men round the Colours. “

He passed away aged just 42 at his home in The Strand on 20th October 1869 and was buried in a common grave in Brookwood Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018, Image courtesy of Mark Green.

Updated: 10/08/2018 — 12:45

Ross Lowis Mangles VC

Ross Lowis Mangles (14/04/1833 – 28/02/1905), a civilian,  was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 30th July, 1857, during the Indian Mutiny at Arrah.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22283, Page: 2629, reads:

“Mr. Ross Lowis Mangles,  of the Bengal Civil Service, Assistant Magistrate at Patna,
Date of Act of Bravery, 30th July, 1857

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 relief 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 the 29th of July, 1857, and, during the retreat on the next morning, Mr. Mangles, with signal gallantry and generous self-devotion, and notwithstanding 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 boats.”

He died at Pirbright in Surrey, aged 71 on 28th February 1905. He is buried in Brookwood Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018, Image courtesy of Mark Green.

Updated: 10/08/2018 — 12:46

William Kenny VC

William Kenny (24/08/1880 – 10/01/1936) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his bravery on 23 October 1914 near Ypres, Belgium.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29074, Page: 1699 reads: 

“6535 Drummer William Kenny, 2nd Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders.
For conspicuous bravery on 23rd October, near Ypres, in rescuing wounded men on five occasions under very heavy fire in the most fearless manner, and for twice previously saving machine guns by carrying them out of action.
On numerous occasions Drummer Kenny conveyed urgent messages under very dangerous circumstances over fire-swept ground”

He died at Charing Cross Hospital, London on 10th January 1936. and was buried in the Corps of Commissionaires Section of Brookwood Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 10/08/2018 — 07:42

Cyril Hubert Frisby VC

Cyril Hubert Frisby (17/09/1885 – 10/09/1961) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 27 September 1918 at the Battle of Canal du Nord, near Graincourt, France.

The Citation, recorded on the London Gazette of Supplement: 31034, Page: 14039, reads:

“Gds. (S.R.). attd. 1st Bn.
For most conspicuous bravery, leadership and devotion to duty in action on the 7th September, 1918, across the Canal Du Nord, near Graincourt, when in command of a company detailed to capture the Canal crossing, on the Demicourt-Graincourt road. On reaching the Canal this 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. Capt. 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 its officers and sergeants, organised its defences, 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 at duty throughout, thereby setting a splendid example to all ranks.”

He died on 10th September 1961 aged 75 in Guildford, Surrey and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey.

DRW © 2018. Created 10/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 10/08/2018 — 05:40
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