Commando Winners of the Victoria Cross

The Commando Winners of the Victoria Cross Plaque may be found at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Lt Col Geoffrey Keyes VC, MC.
Lt Col Charles Newman VC
Sgt Thomas Durrant VC
Maj Patrick Porteus VC
L/Cpl Henry Harden VC
Lt George A Knowland VC
Cpl Thomas Hunter VC
Maj Anders Lassen VC, MC**

DRW © 2018. Created 21/08/2018

William James Thompson VC.

William James Thompson (1830 – 05/12/1891) was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions during the Indian Mutiny on 9 July 1857.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 22347, Page: 179,  reads:

“60th Rifles (1st Battalion), Private James Thompson, Date of Act of Bravery, 9th July, 1857

For gallant conduct in saving the life of his Captain (Captain Wilton), on the 9th of July, 1857, by dashing forward to his relief, when that Officer was surrounded by a party of Ghazees, who made a sudden rush on him, from a Serai – and killing two of them before further assistance could reach. Also recommended for conspicuous conduct throughout the Siege. Wounded. Elected by the Privates of the Regiment.”

He is buried in an unmarked grave in Queen Street Cemetery in Walsall, Staffordshire.  A commemorative plaque is affixed to the wall of the cemetery.

A Memorial may also be found inside the municipal offices in Walsall commemorating the three Victoria Cross recipients from the town.  

Plaque inside the Municipal Offices in Walsall, Staffordshire.

Queen Street Cemetery, Walsall.

DRW. © 2015 – 2020. Created 25/09/2015. Edited 03/052015

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