Frederick Daniel Parslow VC

Frederick Daniel Parslow (14/01/1856 – 04/07/1915) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while in the Atlantic during The first World War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 31354 Page: 6445, reads:

“Lieutenant Frederick Parslow, R.N.R.

For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of the Horse Transport “Anglo Californian”

On the 4th July 1915. At 8am on 4th July 1915 a large submarine was sighted on the port beam at the distance of one mile. The ship, which was entirely unarmed, was immediately manoevred to bring the submarine astern; every effort was made to increase speed, and a S.O.S. call was sent out by wireless, an answer being received by a man-of war. At 9a.m. the submarine opened fire making occasional hits until 10.30a.m. meanwhile Lieutenant Parslow constantly altered course and kept the submarine astern.

At 10.30a.m. the enemy hoisted the signal to abandon the vessel as fast as possible and in order to save life Lt. Parslow decided to obey and stopped engines to give as many of the crew as wished the opportunity to get away in the boats. On receiving a wireless message from a destroyer however urging him to hold on for as long as possible he decided to get way on the ship again. The submarine then opened a heavy fire on the bridge and boats with guns and rifles wrecking the upper bridge, killing Lt. Parslow and carrying away one of the port davits causing the boat to drop into the sea and throwing its occupants into the water.

At about 11a.m. two destroyers arrived on the scene and the submarine dived.

Throughout the attack Lt. Parslow remained on the bridge on which the enemy fire was concentrated entirely without protection and by his magnificent heroism succeeded, at the cost of his own life, in saving a valuable ship and cargo

The Royal Navy awarded Captain Parslow a posthumous commission as Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve, and he was then awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.

He is buried in Cobh Old Cemetery, Cobh. Ireland. Plot B-15-8, Grave 478, and he is commemorated on Tower Hill Merchant Navy Memorial

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 27/02/2017

Kennington Park Civilian War Dead Memorial

Kennington Park (Google Earth  51.484066°  -0.108817°)  in South London has a Civilian War Memorial, and it commemorates the over 100 people that were killed in an air raid trench in the park on 15 October 1940. A 50lb bomb caused one section of the trench to collapse, killing mostly women and children. The memorial was unveiled in 2006 and was made of Caithness stone by Richard Kindersley.

The main inscription reads: “History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived but if faced with courage need not be lived again.”

Very close to this memorial are all that is left of the Tinworth Fountain. It was erected in 1872, but damaged during the Blitz.  Possibly in the same incident.

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 21/12/2016

Poplar Civilian War Dead Memorial

During my visit to Tower Hamlets Cemetery in London I was hoping to get images of the Civilian War Dead memorial in the cemetery that I had read about previously. And while it was not my only goal I wandered around until I came to the memorial I was looking for. I never realised until now that the memorial is tagged to Popar; made famous by the TV series “Call the Midwife”. In the book and TV series they often mention the bomb sites and damaged buildings.   
The cemetery was bombed during the war, and a number of memorials and buildings were damaged by bombs, it is also probable that a number of graves were damaged too, and of course the dead are buried in this cemetery. The Docklands area is not too far away and that was a prime target for the bombers overhead, sadly, the civilians were caught in the middle.
© DRW 2014-2018. Created 21/12/2016

Camberwell Civilian War Dead Memorial

The Camberwell Civilian War Dead Memorial may be found in Camberwell new Cemetery (Google Earth co-ordinates:  51.452983°  -0.047741°). Unfortunately the day of my visit was a dull and miserable one and the memorial was being restored. There are two sets of name boards on two plinths. The first listing Southwark and Bermondsey

The second listing Camberwell

The memorial was unveiled on 8 May 1995

18291 tons of heavy explosives were dropped on London during 71 major air raids in the period known as “The Blitz” (September 7, 1940 – May 10, 1941) . 

Sadly the memorials often list the same surnames, indicating that in many cases a household was obliterated.  The memorials are for those who are interred in the cemetery and who have no marked graves.  

© DRW 2013-2018. Created 21/12/2016

Sir Luke O’ Connor VC KCB

Luke O’Connor (20/01/1831 – 01/2/1915) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Crimean War in 1854.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 21971, Page: 659, reads:

“23rd Regiment. Lieutenant Luke O’Connor.

During the Crimean War, the 23rd Foot were part of the British force sent to the Crimea. On 20 September 1854, at the Battle of the Alma, Sergeant O’Connor was advancing between two officers, carrying the Colour, when one of them was mortally wounded. Sergeant O’Connor was also shot at the same time, but recovering himself, he snatched up the Colour from the ground and continued to carry it until the end of the action, although urged to retire to the rear on account of his wounds. He also acted with great gallantry at the assault on the Redan (8 September 1855) where he was shot through both thighs.” 

The Victoria Cross was created in 1856 and Luke O’Connor was one of the 62 Crimean veterans invested with it during a ceremony in Hyde Park. He was the first recipient from the Army, as opposed to the Royal Navy.

He is buried in St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in Kensal Rise in London.

Sir Luke O'Connor VC 20/01/1831 - 01/02/1915 St Mary's RC Cem, London

St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery

DRW © 2016 – 2020. Created 19/09/2016, edited 11/05/2017

Herbert James VC. MC.

Herbert Walter James (30/11/1888 – 15/08/1958) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War at Gallipoli. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of  Supplement: 29281, Page: 8700, reads:

“Second Lieutenant Herbert James, 4th Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment.

 For most conspicuous bravery during the operations in the Southern Zone of the Gallipoli Peninsula. On the 28th June, 1915, when a portion of a Regiment had been checked owing to all the Officers being put out of action, Second Lieutenant James, who belonged to a neighbouring unit, entirely on his own initiative gathered together a body of men and led them forward under heavy shell and rifle fire. He then returned, organised a second party, and again advanced. His gallant example put fresh life into the attack. On the 3rd July, in the same locality, Second Lieutenant James headed a party of bomb throwers up a Turkish communication trench, and, after nearly all his bomb throwers had been killed or wounded, he remained alone at the head of the trench and kept back the enemy single-handed till a barrier had been built behind him and the trench secured. He was throughout exposed to a murderous fire.”

He was cremated and his ashes were interred at Kensal Green Cemetery in London

Herbert James VC 30/11/1888 - 15/08/1958 Kensall Green Crem, London

Kensal Green Cemetery, London.

DRW © 2016 – 2020. Created 15/08/2016, edited 11/05/2017. Gallaher cigarette card by Card Promotions, © 2003, first issued 1916.

Guy Hudleston Boisragon VC

Guy Hudleston Boisragon (05/11/1864 – 14/07/1931) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Hunza-Naga Campaign, India, in 1891 .

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 26306, Page: 4006,  reads:

“Indian Staff Corps. Lieutenant Guy Hudleston Boisragon.

For his conspicuous bravery in the assault and capture of the Nilt Fort on 2nd December, 1891.

This Officer led the assault with dash and determination, and forced his way through difficult obstacles to the inner gate, when he returned for reinforcements, moving intrepidly to and fro under a heavy cross-fire until he had collected sufficient men to relieve the hardly pressed storming party and drive the enemy from the fort.

He is buried in Kensal Green Cemetery in London.

Kensal Green Cemetery, London.

DRW © 2016-2020. Created 08/08/2016, edited 09/05/2017

The Soviet War Memorial

This memorial, the only one of its kind in the UK is situated in Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park, in the London Borough of Southwark, and is adjacent to the Imperial War Museum

The inscription reads: (First line in Russian)
This Memorial Commemorates
The 27 Million Soviet Citizens &
Service Men and Women Who Died
For the Allied Victory in WW2

Set at an angle is another inscription:

This Memorial was Raised
By Public Inscription in
Great Britain and Russia
(Repeated in Russian) WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM

The Memorial was unveiled on 9 May 1999 by the British Secretary of State for Defence, the Rt Hon George Robertson MP, and HE the Russian Ambassador, Yuri Fokine, in the presence of HRH the Duke of Kent.


© DRW 2013-2018. Created 17/07/2016. Original images taken March 2013. 

Thomas Joseph Crean VC, DSO

Thomas Joseph Crean (19/04/1873 – 25/03/1923)  was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Anglo Boer War in 1901.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 27405, Page: 843, reads:

“1st Imperial Light Horse. Surgeon Captain Thomas Joseph Crean,  

During the action with De Wet at Tygerskloof on the 18th December 1901, this officer continued to attend to the wounded in the firing line under a heavy fire at only 150 yards range, after he himself had been wounded, and only desisted when he was hit a second time, and as it was first thought, mortally wounded.”

He is buried in St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery in London.

Thomas Joseph Crean VC 19/04/1873 - 25/03/1923 St Marys RC Cem, London

There is also a plaque commemorating him at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery

DRW © 2016-2020. Created 16/06/2016, edited 11/05/2017

Thomas Hancock VC.

Thomas Hancock (07/1822-12/03/1871) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22083, Page: 178, reads:

“9th Lancers. Privates Thomas Hancock and John Purcell .

The guns, I am happy to say, were saved, but a waggon of Major Scott’s battery was blown up. I must not fail to mention the excellent conduct of a Sowar of the 4th Irregular Cavalry, and two men of the 9th Lancers, Privates Thomas Hancock and John Purcell, who, when my horse was shot down, remained by me throughout. One of these men and the Sowar offered me their horses, and I was dragged out by the Sowar’s horse. Private Hancock was severely wounded, and Private Purcell’s horse was killed under him. The Sowar’s name is Roopur Khan.”

(Extract of a letter from Brigadier J. H. Grant, C.B., Commanding Cavalry Brigade of the Field Force, to the Deputy Assistant-Adjutant General of Division. Dated Camp, Delhi, June 22, 1857.)

He was buried in an unmarked grave in Brompton Cemetery.  The grave has since been identified and a proper marker installed.

Thomas Hancock VC.
Thomas Hancock VC.

DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 19/09/2015, edited 04/05/2017