On the 5th July, 1900, at Wolve Spruit, about 15 miles north of Standerton, a party of Lord Strathcona’s Corps, only 38 in number, came into contact, and was engaged at close quarters, with a force of 80 of the enemy.
When the order to retire had been given, Sergeant Richardson rode back under a very heavy cross-fire and picked up a trooper whose horse had been shot and who was wounded in two places and rode with him out of fire.
At the time when this act of gallantry was performed, Sergeant Richardson was within 300 yards of the enemy, and was himself riding a wounded horse.”
At Colenso, on the 15th December, 1899, when the detachments serving the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, had all been killed, wounded, or driven from them by Infantry fire at close range, Captain Schofield went out when the first attempt was made to extricate the guns, and assisted in withdrawing the two that were saved.”
The Citation that was recorded in the London Gazette of Issue:27160, Page: 689, is about the actions of Captain William Congreve and Lieutenant Frederick Roberts. George Nurse is seemingly mention as an afterthought. The Citation reads:
“The Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Officers and Non-Commissioned Officer, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty’s approval, for their conspicuous bravery at the battle of Colenso, as stated against their names:—
66th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, Corporal G. E. Nurse.
At Colenso on the 15th December, 1899, the detachments serving the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, had all been either 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 hook a team into a limber, went out; and 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 assisted Captain Congreve. He was wounded in three places.
Corporal Nurse also assisted.”
George Nurse achieved the rank of Lieutenant with the Royal Artillery during World War I and died in Liverpool on 25 November 1945. He is buried in Allerton Cemetery, Liverpool in the Church of England section.
“Bengal Artillery, Lieutenant Frederick Sleigh Roberts, Date of Act of Bravery, 2nd January, 1858.
Lieutenant Roberts’ gallantry has on every occasion been most marked.
On following up the retreating enemy on the 2nd January, 1858, at Khodagunge, he saw in the distance two Sepoys going away with a standard. Lieutenant Roberts put spurs to his horse, and overtook them just as they were about to enter a village. They immediately turned round, and presented their muskets at him, and one of the men pulled the trigger, but fortunately the caps snapped, and the standard-bearer was cut down by this gallant young officer, and the standard taken possession of by him. He also, on the same day, cut down another Sepoy who was standing at bay, with musket and bayonet, keeping off a Sowar. Lieutenant Roberts rode to the assistance of the horseman, and, rushing at the Sepoy, with one blow of his sword cut him across the face, killing him on the spot.”
Lord Roberts VC at Horse Guards, London.
Lord Roberts died of pneumonia at St Omer, France, on 14/11/1914 while visiting Indian troops fighting in the First World War. After lying in state in Westminster Hall, he was given a state funeral and was buried in St. Paul’s Cathedral. His son Frederick Hugh Sherston Roberts VC was killed in action on 17 December 1899 at the Battle of Colenso during the Boer War. Roberts and his son were one of only three pairs of fathers and sons to be awarded the VC.
“He was 42 years old and serving in the Corps of Royal Engineers when he and Sergeant Michael Gibson were called to deal with an unexploded bomb which had fallen on the Triumph Engineering Company’s works. War production in the two factories had stopped because of it, and a large number of people living nearby had been evacuated. Campbell found the bomb was fitted with a delayed action fuse which it was impossible to remove, so he decided to transport it to a safe place. This was done by lorry. He lay alongside the bomb so that he could hear if it started ticking and could warn Gibson, the driver, to stop and run for cover. Next the two men carried the bomb a mile to Whitley Common, where they successfully made the bomb safe. Both men were killed the following day trying to defuse another bomb.”
Following a funeral service at Coventry Cathedral on 25 October 1940, the squad were buried in a collective grave in Coventry’s London Road Cemetery. The squad comprised Second Lieutenant Alexander Fraser Campbell GC and Sappers William Gibson, Richard Gilchrest, Jack Plumb, Ronald William Skelton, Ernest Arthur Stote and Gibson.
Robert Murray Kavanaugh (18/12/1906 – 12/09/1976), was awarded the Albert Medal for his action on 12 January 1929 in Sydney, Australia.
“He was 22 years old and swimming at Bondi Beach when 14 year old Colin Stewart was attacked by a shark suffering serious injuries to his right side and hip. Without hesitation, Kavanaugh swam to Stewart’s assistance and had almost reached him when the shark made a second attack. Undeterred by the danger to himself, he secured hold of Stewart and struggled with him towards the shore. He had gone a considerable distance when two men helped him get Stewart to the shore. Sadly Stewart died the following day from his injuries.”
He is buried at the Field of Mars Cemetery, Ryde, NSW, Australia.
John Rouse Merriott Chard (21/12/1847 – 01/11/1897) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Anglo Zulu war at Rorke’s Drift in 1879.
The Citation reads:
“For gallant conduct at the Defence of Rorke’s Drift, 22nd and 23rd January 1879. The Lieutenant-General reports that had it not been for the example and excellent behaviour of Lieutenants Chard, Royal Engineers, and Bromhead, 24th Regiment, the defence of Rorke’s Drift would not have been conducted with the intelligence and tenacity which so eminently characterised it. The Lieutenant-General adds, that the success must in a great measure be attributable to the two young officers who exercised the chief command on the occasion in question.”
He is buried in St John the Baptist Churchyard, Hatch Beauchamp.