Samuel Parkes. VC

Samuel Parkes  (1815? – 15/11/1864) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions  during the Charge of the Light Brigade on 25 October 1854.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 21971, Page: 655,  reads:

“4th Light Dragoons No. 635 Private Samuel Parkes

In the charge of the Light Cavalry Brigade at Balaklava, Trumpet-Major Crawford’s horse fell, and dismounted him, and he lost his sword; he was attacked by two Cossacks, when Private Samuel Parkes (whose horse had been shot) saved his life, by placing himself between them and the Trumpet-Major, and drove them away by his sword. In attempting to follow the Light Cavalry Brigade in the retreat, they were attacked by six Russians, whom Parkes kept at bay, and retired slowly, fighting, and defending the Trumpet-Major for some time, until deprived of his sword by a shot.”

There is confusion about his actual year of birth, according to the Army he declared his age on enlistment as 18, and his discharge papers confirm that he was born in 1813. However, his death certificate and the Brompton Cemetery burial register both say, that he was aged 49 at death, in which case he was born in 1815. 

He was buried in an unmarked grave in Brompton Cemetery in London, and in May 1999 a memorial stone was placed on his grave.

Samuel Parkes VC.
Samuel Parkes VC.
Brompton Cemetery

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