John Joseph Sims VC

John Joseph Sims (1835 – 06/12/1881) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions following the assault on the Redan on 18 June 1855 during the Crimean War.

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

“On the 18th June 1855, after his Regiment had retreated back to their trenches following the assault on the Redan, he went out into the open ground, under heavy fire, in broad daylight, and brought in wounded soldiers outside the trenches.”   

Sims died on 6 December 1881, aged 46 in the Union Workhouse, Thavies Inn, City of London from tuberculosis, and was buried in common ground in the City of London Cemetery, Manor Park. On Friday, 11th April 2003, a memorial plaque was placed over the location of his grave. 

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 21/04/2017. Image courtesy of Mark Green. 

Robert Humpston VC

Robert Humpston (1832 –  22/12/1884) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Crimean War.

The Citation reads:

“On 22 April 1855 in the Crimea Private Humpston and Private Joseph Bradshaw, on their own, attacked and captured a Russian rifle pit situated among the rocks overhanging the Woronzoff Road. The pit was occupied every night by the Russians and its capture and subsequent destruction was of great importance.”

He is buried in General Cemetery in Nottingham.

Robert Humpston VC 1832 - 22/12/1884 General Cemetery Nottingham

Robert Humpston VC. 1832 – 22/12/1884. General Cemetery Nottingham

DRW © 2016-2020. Created 31/10/2016. Image by Mark Green

Edward William Derrington Bell VC

Edward William Derrington Bell (18/05/1824 – 10/11/1879) 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, Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Edward W. D. Bell

On 20 September 1854 in the Crimea, at the Battle of Alma, Captain Bell was the first to seize upon and capture one of the enemy’s guns which was limbered up and being carried off. He moreover took over the command of his regiment, which he brought out of action, all his senior officers having been killed or wounded.

He is buried in St Mary the Virgin Churchyard. Kempsey. 

Edward William Derrington Bell VC, CB. 18/05/1824 - 10/11/1879 St Mary the Virgin Churchyard. Kempsey

Edward William Derrington Bell VC, CB.
18/05/1824 – 10/11/1879

DRW © 2016-2020. Created 05/08/2016. Image courtesy of Mark Green

John Sheppard VC

John Sheppard (22/09/1817 – 17/12/1884) was award the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Crimean War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 21971, Page: 652, reads:

“John Shepherd, Boatswain.

On 15 July 1855 at Sebastopol, Crimean Peninsula, Boatswain’s Mate Sheppard went into the harbour at night, in a Punt (boat) which he had especially constructed for the purpose, with an explosive device with which he intended to blow up one of the Russian warships. He managed to get past the enemy’s steamboats at the entrance of Careening Bay, but was prevented from getting further by a long string of boats carrying enemy troops. He made a second attempt on 16 August but although both these actions were unsuccessful, they were boldly conceived and carried out in the face of great danger.”

He is buried in Padstow Cemetery, Padstow, Cornwall.

John Sheppard VC 22/09/1817 – 17/12/1884

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 11/05/2016. Image courtesy of Mark Green and Kevin Brazier

George Strong VC.

George Strong (07/04/1833 – 25/08/1888) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Crimean War .

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

“Coldstream Guards., No. 4787 Private George Strong

In September 1855, at Sevastopol, in the Crimea, when on duty, Private Strong picked up a live shell which had fallen into the trench, and threw it over the parapet. He was well aware of the extreme danger involved, and his action saved many lives. Strong died on 25 August 1888.”

He is buried at the Church of the Holy Cross, Sherston Magna, Wiltshire, although the exact location of his burial is not known but a memorial headstone is placed next to the headstone of his brother Thomas.

George Strong VC. 07/04/1833 - 25/08/1888 Church of the Holy Cross, Sherstone Magna, Wiltshire

George Strong VC.
07/04/1833 – 25/08/1888
Church of the Holy Cross, Sherstone Magna, Wiltshire

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 21/04/2016. Images Courtesy of Mark Green

William Stanlake VC. DCM.

William Stanlake was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Crimean War.

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

“Coldstream Guard. No. S9G8 Private William Stanlock,

For having volunteered, when employed as one of the sharpshooters in October 1854, for reconnoitring purposes, to crawl up within six yards of a Russian sentry, and so enabled the Officer in command to effect a surprise; Private Stanlock having been warned beforehand of the imminent risk which he would run in the adventure. “

*The name “Stanlock” was used in the citation as opposed to Stanlake.*

Willaim Stanlake VC. Camberwell Old Cemetery

Camberwell Old Cemetery

Path to the grave of William Stanlake VC

He is buried in Camberwell Old Cemetery in London.

DRW © 2013-2020. Created 14/09/2015, edited 04/05/2017

Gronow Davis. VC

Gronow Davis  (16/05/1828 – 18/10/1891), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Crimean War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22014, Page: 2165,  reads:

“Royal Artillery. Captain Gronow Davis. Date of Act of Bravery, 8th September, 1855.

For great coolness and gallantry in the attack on the Redan, 8th September, 1855, on which occasion he commanded the spiking party, and after which he saved the life of Lieutenant Sanders, 30th Regiment, by jumping over the parapet of a sap, and proceeding twice some distance across the open, under a “murderous” fire, to assist in conveying that officer, whose leg was broken, and who was otherwise severely wounded, under cover and repeated this act in the conveyance of other wounded soldiers from the same exposed position. “

Major General Davis died suddenly at his home in Clifton, Bristol, aged 63 on Sunday 18th October 1891. He was buried in Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol.

Gronow Davis. VC. 1828 - 1891 Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol

Soldiers Corner. Arnos Vale Cemetery

DRW © 2014 – 2020. Created 22/08/2015

John Bythesea VC. CB. CIE.

John Bythesea  (15/06/1827 – 18/05/1906) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in 1854 during the Crimean War

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 21971, Page: 653, reads:

“John Bythesea, Commander.

On the 9th of August, 1854, having ascertained that an Aide-de-Camp of the Emperor of Russia had landed on the Island of Wardo, in charge of a mail and despatches for the Russian General, Commander Bythesea obtained permission for himself and William Johnstone, a stoker, to proceed on shore with the view to intercept them. Being disguised and well armed, they concealed themselves till the night of the 12th, when the mail-bags were landed, close to the spot where they lay secreted in the bushes. The mails were accompanied by a military escort, which passed close to them, and which, .is soon as it was ascertained that the road was clear, took its departure. Availing themselves of this opportunity, Commodore Bythesea and the stoker, attacked the five men in charge of the mail, took three of them prisoners, and brought them in their own boat and brought them on board the “Arrogant”.  The despatches were carried to General Baraguay d’Hilliers, who expressed himself in the highest terms of approval.”

(Despatch from Captain Yelverton, inclosed in a Letter from Vice-Admiral Sir C. Napier, of 31st January, 1856.)”

On 14 September 1871 he commissioned the battleship HMS Lord Clyde at Plymouth and took her out to the Mediterranean Fleet. In March 1872, HMS Lord Clyde, ran aground  on the island of Pantellaria, and it proved very difficult to free her as she was badly damaged by the incident. Upon examination in Plymouth it was found that her hull was in a poor condition as a result of unseasoned wood being used in her construction. She was never commissioned again and was sold for scrap in 1875.    

The court-martial in April 1872 severely reprimanded Bythesea and the Navigating Officer, who were dismissed from their ship and neither of them were ever employed at sea again. He was retired from the Navy on 5 August 1877. 

He is buried in Abbey Cemetery, Bath.

Rear Admiral John Bythesea VC. Bath Cemetery

Rear Admiral John Bythesea VC.

Headstone inscription

Abbey Cemetery, Bath.

DRW © 2014 – 2020 Created 22/08/2015, edited 14/05/2017