“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.
“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
“1st Bengal European Light Cavalry, Lieutenant Hugh Henry Gough.
Date of Acts of Bravery, 12th November, 1857, and 25th February, 1858
Lieutenant Gough, when in command of a party of Hodson’s Horse, near Alumbagh, on the 12th of November, 1857, particularly distinguished himself by his forward bearing in charging across a swamp, and capturing two guns, although defended by a vastly superior body of the enemy. On this occasion he had his horse wounded in two places, and his turban cut through by sword cuts, whilst engaged in combat with three Sepoys.
Lieutenant Gough also particularly distinguished himself, near Jellalabad, Lucknow, on 25 February 1858, by showing a brilliant example to his Regiment, when ordered to charge the enemy’s guns, and by his gallant and forward conduct, he enabled them to effect their object. On this occasion he engaged himself in a series of single combats, until at length he was disabled by a musketball through the leg, while charging two Sepoys with fixed bayonets. Lieutenant Gough on this day had two horses killed under him, a shot through his helmet, and another through his scabbard, besides being severely wounded. “
Joseph Petrus Hendrik Crowe (12/01/1826 – 12/04/1876) earned his VC during the Indian Mutiny whilst serving under Brigadier General Sir Henry Havelock’s first relief force sent to relieve the defenders of Lucknow.
“78th Regiment, Lieutenant Joseph P. H. Crowe now Captain, 10th Regiment.
For being the first to enter the redoubt at Bourzekee Chowkee’, the entrenched village in front of the Busherut-gunge, on the 12th of August. (Telegram from the late MajorGeneral Sir Henry Havelock to the Commander-in- Chief in India, dated, Cawnpore, 18th August, 1857.)”
On 12 August 1857 at Boursekee Chowkee, the entrenched village in front of Busherutgunge, India, the redoubt was occupied by the enemy who were causing heavy casualties among the 18th Regiment. It was decided to take the place by storm, and the Highlanders dashed forward, Lieutenant Crowe being the first in, followed by his men. In less than a minute the redoubt was captured. Havelock’s column broke through to the Lucknow garrison on the 25th September 1857 but owing to heavy losses, 535 men killed or wounded, was too weak to withdraw. Therefore, the relieving force joined the original Lucknow defenders.
Grave site at Uitenhage MOTH Hall
Unfortunately, the grave of Joseph Crowe has always seemed to be in danger. Following his death on 12 April 1876, he was interred in the West Norwood Cemetery in a non-descript grave. In 1957 his overgrown grave was found and in August 1976 his remains were exhumed and returned to South Africa where he was interred in the MOTH Garden of Remembrance, Uitenhage on 5 Feb 1977, following a quasi-military ceremony in St Katherine’s Anglican Church.
By 2011 the Moth Hall (Crown and Anchor Dinkie Di Shellhole) was up for sale and a new location for the grave was yet to be found, although it appears as if a buyer had not been found. Google Earth Co-ordinates are : 33° 46.083’S 25° 23.926’E. The VC was destroyed in a fire at his sister’s farm, and it is not known if an official replacement was issued.
In late March 2018 an offer was made for the former MOTH Hall and as a condition of the sale, the MOTH order would remove Crowe’s remains, the cannon and other items before any new owner took over the property. Port Elizabeth military history researcher Tim Bodill said his view was that the remains of Crowe and Nelson Mandela Bay’s two other VCs – James Craig, presently buried in St Mary’s Cemetery, and James Langley Dalton, in Russell Road Cemetery – should all be exhumed and re interred at Fort Frederick. (http://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2018/03/22/firm-offer-made-historic-moth-hall/)
An advert in a PE newspaper points to the exhumation of the grave but as yet no further information is available.
Burial site information courtesy of Jonathan Ossher, with thanks to Clive and Tim Emmerson, as well as Kevin Brazier, author of “The COMPLETE VICTORIA CROSS, A Full Chronological Record of All Holders of Britain’s Highest Award for Gallantry“. Photograph of Joseh Crowe’s grave courtesy of Ronnie Lovemore (June 2011).