Frederick Sleigh Roberts VC.

Frederick Sleigh Roberts(30/09/1832 – 14/11/1914) Was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions for actions on 2 January 1858 at Khudagan during the Indian Rebellion.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22212, Page: 5516, reads: 

“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.

His full titles are: Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, VC, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, KStJ, VD, PC.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 25/05/2017

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. 

George Leslie Drewry VC

George Leslie Drewry (03/11/1894 – 02/08/1918) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions  at V Beach in the Landing at Cape Helles, during the Gallipoli Campaign. on  25 April 1915.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29264, Page: 8132, reads:

Assisted Commander Unwin at the work of securing the lighters under heavy rifle and maxim fire. He was wounded in the head, but continued his work and twice subsequently attempted to swim from lighter to lighter with a line.” 

The men of HMS River Clyde connected to this action were: George Leslie Drewry, Wilfred St. Aubyn Malleson and George McKenzie Samson commanded by Acting Captain Edward Unwin.

He was accidentally killed at Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands, on 2 August 1918, and is buried in the City of London Cemetery, Manor Park, East London.

© DRW 2017-2018. Created 21/04/2017. Image courtesy of Mark Green. Gallaher cigarette card by Card Promotions © 2001, first issued 1915. 

Spencer John Bent VC, MM

Spencer John Bent (18/03/1891 – 03/05/1977) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the First World War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 29001, Page: 10533, reads:

“No. 8581, Drummer Spencer Jonn Bent, 1st Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment.  

For conspicuous gallantry near Le Gheer on the night of the lst-2nd November, when, after his Officer, Platoon Sergeant, and Section Commander had been struck down, he took command, and, with great presence of mind and coolness, succeeded in holding the position.

Drummer Bent had previously distinguished himself on two occasions, 22nd and 24th October, by bringing up ammunition under a heavy shell and rifle fire, and again, on the 3rd November, when he brought into cover some wounded men who were lying exposed in the open.”

He was cremated at West Norwood Crematorium in London.

DRW © 2016 – 2020. Created 20/09/2016. Edited 25/05/2017. Gallaher cigarette card reproduction by Card Promotions © 2001, first issued 1915.

John Buckley VC

John Buckley (24 May 1813 – 14 July 1876), along with Captain George Forrest, and Captain William Raynor,  was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny in May 1857.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22154, Page: 2959,  reads:

“Commissariat Department (Bengal Establishment). Deputy Assistant Commissary of Ordnance John Buckley Date of Act of Bravery, 11th May, 1857.

 For gallant conduct in the defence of the Magazine at Delhi, on the 11th May, 1857″

At the time Buckley was a Deputy Assistant Commissary of Ordnance in the Commissariat Department (Bengal Establishment) of the British East India Company during the Indian Mutiny. He was one of nine men who defended the ammunition storehouse for more than five hours against large numbers of mutineers. When it was evident that there was no hope of outside help coming and the wall was being scaled, they blew up the ammunition which killed many of the mutineers. Five of the defenders died in the explosion and one died shortly afterwards, 

He is buried in an unmarked grave in Tower Hamlets Cemetery in London. A headstone was erected on the grave in 2014. 

Tower Hamlets Cemetery

DRW © 2016 – 2020. Created 20/09/2016, edited 14/05/2017

Malta GC.

The George Cross was awarded to the Island of Malta during the Second World War on 15 April 1942, so as to “bear witness to the heroism and devotion of its people” during the great siege it underwent in the early parts of World War II.

The memorial that I photographed was in London, close to Tower Bridge and Tower Hill at Google Earth co-ordinates  51° 30.567’N,   0° 4.792’W.

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Images taken in 08/2007.

Arthur Cross VC. MM.

Arthur Henry Cross (13/12/1884 – 23/11/1965) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on 25 March 1918 at  Ervillers, France.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30726, Page: 6572, reads:

“No. 62990 Pte. (A./L./Cpl.) Arthur Henry Cross, M.G. Corps (Camberwell).

For most conspicuous bravery and initiative. L./Cpl. Cross volunteered to make a reconnaissance of the position of two machine guns which had been captured by the enemy, He advanced single-Handed to the enemy trench and with his revolver forced seven of the enemy to surrender and carry the machine guns with their tripods and ammunition to our lines. He then handed over his prisoners, collected teams for his guns which he brought into action with exceptional dash and skill, annihilating a very heavy attack by the enemy.

It is impossible to speak too highly of the extreme gallantry, initiative and dash displayed by this N.C.O., who showed throughout four days of operations supreme devotion to duty. “

He is buried in Streatham Park Cemetery in London.

Arthur Henry Cross VC. MM. Streatham Park Cemetery, London

Arthur Henry Cross VC. MM. Streatham Park Cemetery, London

Streatham Park Cemetery, London

DRW ©  2015 – 20120. Created 18/09/2015, edited 08/05/2017

Robert Grant VC.

Robert Grant (1837 – 03/03/1867) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22396, Page: 2316 reads:

“1st Battalion, 5th Regiment. Serjeant Robert Grant. Date of Act of Bravery, 24th September, 1857.

For conspicuous devotion at Alumbagh, on the 24th September, 1857, in proceeding under a heavy and galling fire to save the life of Private E. Deveney, whose leg had been shot away, and eventually carrying him safe into camp, with the assistance of the late Lieutenant Brown, and some comrades.”

The original citation gave his name as “Robert Ewart”, this was subsequently correct in the London Gazette of Issue: 22434, Page: 3679.

“Erratum in the London Gazette of Tuesday,  June 19, 1860.

In the notification of Her Majesty’s intention to confer the Victoria Cross on three soldiers of Her Majesty’s Army,

For, 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment, Serjeant Robert Ewart,

Read, 1st Battalion, 5th Regiment, Serjeant Robert Grant.”

He later joined the Metropolitan Police, until his death in 1867 of Tuberculosis. He was buried in a paupers’ grave, number 15054, in Highgate (East) Cemetery

Robert Grant VC. Highgate Cemetery, London

Robert Grant VC. Highgate Cemetery, London

Highgate (East) Cemetery, London.

DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 18/09/2015, edited 08/05/2017

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

Albert Edward McKenzie. VC

Albert Edward McKenzie (23/10/1898 – 03/11/1918), was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during World War One while participating in the Zeebrugge Raid on 22/23 April 1918

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30807, Page: 8586, reads:

“Able Seaman Albert Edward McKenzie, O.N. J31736 (Ch.).

For most conspicuous gallantry.

This rating belonged to B Company of seaman storming party. On the night of the operation he landed on the mole with his machine-gun in the face of great difficulties and did very good work, using his gun to the utmost advantage. He advanced down the mole with Lieutenant-Commander Harrison, who with most of his party was killed, and accounted for several of the enemy running from a shelter to a destroyer alongside the mole. This very gallant seaman was severely wounded whilst working his gun in an exposed position.

Able Seaman McKenzie was selected by the men of the “Vindictive,” “Iris II,” and ” Daffodil'” and of the naval assaulting force to receive the Victoria Cross under Rule 13 of the Royal Warrant dated 29th January 1896.”

He died of influenza during the world flu pandemic in October 1918 and is is buried in Camberwell Old Cemetery.

Albert E McKenzie Grave

Albert E McKenzie Grave

Camberwell Old Cemetery

DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 26/08/2015