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

Peter Scawen Watkinson Roberts VC, DSC

Peter Scawen Watkinson Roberts  (28/07/1917 – 8/12/1979) was awarded the Victoria Cross while serving on board HM Submarine Thrasher during the Second World War, north of Crete, in the Mediterranean.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 35591, Page: 2548 reads:

“Lieutenant Peter Scawen Watkinson Roberts, Royal Navy. 

Petty Officer Thomas William Gould, C/JXI47945-

On February 16th, in daylight, H.M. Submarine Thrasher attacked and’ sank a heavily escorted supply ship. She was at once attacked by depth charges and was bombed by aircraft.
The presence of two unexploded bombs in the gun-casing was discovered when after dark the submarine surfaced and began to roll.
Lieutenant Roberts and Petty Officer Gould volunteered to remove the bombs, -which were of a type unknown to them.  The danger in dealing with the second bomb was very great. To reach it they had to go through the casing which was .so low that they had to lie at full length to move in it. Through this narrow space, in complete darkness, they pushed and dragged the
bomb for a distance of some 20 feet until it could be lowered over the side. Every time the bomb was moved there was a loud twanging noise as of a broken spring which added nothing to their peace of mind.
This deed was the more gallant as H.M.S. Thrasher’s presence was known to the enemy; she was close to the enemy coast, and in waters where his patrols were known to be active day and night. There was a very great chance, and they knew it, that the submarine might have to crash-dive while they were in the casing. Had this happened they must have been drowned”


He is buried in Holy Cross Churchyard, Newton Ferrers, Devon.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/01/2016. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Israel Harding VC.

Israel Harding (21/10/1833 – 22/05/1917) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Anglo Egyptian War.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 25147, Page: 4260, reads:

Mr. Israel Harding, Gunner, of Her Majesty’s Ship; “Alexandra”.

At about nine o’clock, on the morning of the 11th July, whilst Her Majesty’s Ship “Alexandra” was engaging the Forts at Alexandria, a 10-inch spherical shell passed through the ship’s side and lodged on the main deck. Mr. Harding hearing the shout “there is a live shell just above the hatchway,” rushed up the ladder frorn below, and, observing that the fuze was burning, took some water from a tub standing near, and threw it over the projectile, then picked up the shell and put it into the tub. Had the shell burst, it would probably have destroyed many lives.

He is buried in Highland Road Cemetery, Portsmouth

Portsmouth Highland Road Cemetery

DRW © 2016-2020. Created 28/10/2016. Edited 13/05/2017

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

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.

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

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

John Henry Carless VC

John Henry Carless VC 11/11/1896 - 17/11/1917 Walsall, Staffordshire

John Henry Carless VC (11/11/1896 – 17/11/1917) is immortalised in a statue in Walsall, Staffordshire. He was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously for his actions during the Battle of Heligoland Bight in 1914 while serving on aboard HMS Caledon.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 30687, Page: 5857, reads:

“Action in the Heligoland Bight on the 11th November, 1917.

Posthumous award of the Victoria Cross. Ord. Sea. John Henry Carless, O.N. J.43703 (Po.) (killed in action).

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. Although mortally wounded in the abdomen, he still went on serving the gun at which he was acting as rammer, lifting a projectile and helping to clear away the other casualties. He collapsed once, but got up, tried again, and cheered on the new gun’s crew. He then fell and died. He not only set a very inspiring and memorable example, but he also, whilst mortally wounded, continued to do effective work against the King’s enemies. “

Plaque on the statue outside the municipal offices.
Plaque on the statue outside the municipal offices.
Bust on the Plinth
Bust on the Plinth

A Plaque inside the Hall in the Municipal Offices lists the three Victoria Cross recipients from Walsall.

Plaque inside the Municipal Offices in Walsall, Staffordshire.

He is also mentioned on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, plaque 25, column 2.

And he is commemorated on the War Memorial outside St Mary The Mount Roman Catholic Church in Walsall. 

DRW © 2015 – 2020. Created 09/08/2015, edited 03/05/2017

Havant War Memorial

Probably one of the more frustrating War Memorials I have photographed in ages. I was in the area for a job interview so did not have my camera, but used my phone instead, but the sun was just in the wrong place, and each time I wanted to shoot the pic a car/pedestrian/van/dog and everything inbetween would come between me an my lens.

St Faiths Church, Havant
St Faith’s Church, Havant
The Memorial
The Memorial

The memorial has plaques for both World Wars on it, and I do have images of them. Because Portsmouth and Gosport are “Naval Towns” there is a predominance of naval casualties to be found in places like Havant which is not too far from the two cities.

The memorial may be found at Google Earth Co-ordinates: 50.851348°,  -0.981641°

© DRW 2015 – 2018. Created 12/03/2015

Falklands War Memorial in Portsmouth

The Falklands War Memorial in Portsmouth may be found in Broad Street, near to the Square Tower in the seafront. Many Royal Navy ships sailed from this port for the Falklands, some did not return.

The Memorial
The Memorial
Roll of Honour
Roll of Honour
The Memorial
The Memorial

© DRW. 2013-2018. Added to Blog 21/11/2014