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14th December

There will be an official dedication of a headstone to Joseph Edward Woodall V.C. in Deansgrange Cemetery at 2pm on Saturday 2 January.  Our very good friend David The O’Morohoe, will perform the unveiling.  Two mayors from Northern Ireland will attend, as will the Cathaoireleach of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. The ceremony will be attended by groups from North and South, including representatives of The Connaught Rangers Association and the Royal Munster Fusiliers Association. 
The action for which Woodall was awarded the VC took place during the
Kaiserschlacht: The Kaiser’s Battle, the subject of Sean Connolly’s book “A Forlorn Hope.”
Joseph Edward Woodall was a 21 year old Lance-Sergeant in the 1st Battalion, The Rifle Brigade.  On 11 April 1918 the battalion was rushed up in buses to a position on the La Bassée Canal in order to try and stem the German breakthrough. Over the next eleven days it was involved in severe fighting.  On 22 April, 1st Bn, Rifle Brigade, together with the 1st Hampshires, took part in an attack which helped to secure the Canal. It was for bravery during this fighting that Lance-Sergeant Joseph Woodall was awarded the Victoria Cross.  An Englishman, he settled in
Dún Laoghaire, where he died on 2 January 1962.  The unveiling of the headstone will take place on the 48th anniversary of his death

9th November

Trooper Mark Donaldson the Australian SAS soldier awarded the Victoria Cross this year will visit the Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich at 3-30pm Wednesday, 11th November to view the two VC guns.

110th Anglo Boer International History Conference
in Ladysmith KwaZuluNatal South Africa
25-27 January 2010

For full information please see this Adobe Reader File

Victoria Cross Grave Headstone Dedication,

Lance Sergeant Joseph Edward Woodall V.C.
1st Battalion Rifle Brigade

Joseph Edward Woodall V.C. died in St.Michael’s Hospital Dun Laoghaire,Co. Dublin Ireland on the 2nd January 1962.  At some time he had come to Ireland and resided at Newtownsmith at the east end of Dun Laoghaire along the seafront.  A family, by the name of King, in the same house with whom he lived, bought a grave in Deansgrange Cemetery Co.Dublin and Woodall was buried there.  The family will not allow any marker on the grave, but the cemetery have agreed that a headstone can be erected in another part of the cemetery, with details as to where he is buried.  The dedication will take place on the 2nd January 2010 at 2pm in Deansgrange Cemetery and I hope it will be attended by a large contingent from both North and South of Ireland and hopefully people from the U.K.  I am also looking for any member of the Woodall family. His medals are on loan to the Imperial War Museum in London.


Liam Dodd, 5, Meadow Vale, Blackrock, Co.Dublin, Ireland
Phone 00353 01 2895085
e-mail [email protected]


On the day and evening of Saturday 16 May, the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, south-east London, will host the first Royal Arsenal Community History Day. Visitors will be able to experience a full day and night’s activity in and around Firepower The Royal Artillery Museum and the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. Firepower’s Living History Team will be bringing the past to life with their historic characters while fans of family history can get advice about researching their own family tree from Firepower’s own genealogy experts. Local author and Royal Artillery expert Brigadier Ken Timbers will be giving talks on the history of the Royal Arsenal and the unique architectural gem within the Royal Arsenal - the Old Royal Military Academy. Local Scouts will also be performing Gang Show routines. Local residents (those with an SE18 or SE28 postcode) will enjoy free entry to the Museum with proof of identity. The event will go on until 10pm as part of the Europe-wide Museums at Night programme.
There will be a display of previously unseen historic photographs of the Royal Arsenal complex and its workers so local residents can look for their relatives and ancestors. The fun continues into the evening with expert guided tours of the Royal Arsenal while lectures by Firepower’s Curator will tell the gripping and moving stories behind some of the Museum’s collection of medals awarded for bravery. The Museum’s refurbished Café (fully licensed, 3 course menu) will also remain open until 10pm.

“This is the first community history event to take place in the Royal Arsenal” says Firepower’s Eileen Noon “We want to showcase the heritage of this fascinating part of south-east London and highlight how people’s own history may be entwined with the history of the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich and perhaps the Royal Artillery. We are delighted to offer free admission to local residents for this event to encourage them to find out that history can be fascinating and fun.”

Firepower is located in the historic Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, London, between the A206 and the Thames.


Royal Arsenal Community History Day - Saturday 16 May.

5th February

Tuesday February 10 2009, 11am

Two iconic examples of Britain’s rich military heritage, the historic artillery pieces that have provided the metal for over 800 Victoria Crosses since 1914, are on the move. The VC Guns, two 2.5 ton bronze Chinese-built cannons dating from the mid-19th Century, are set to be moved as part of a reorganisation of Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum’s public displays. The cannons are preserved at the Museum in the historic Royal Arsenal in Woolwich, south-east London and will be moved at 11am on Tuesday February 10. The media are invited to witness the move which will see the priceless and historic artillery pieces being carefully transported about 100m in the open between two of the listed buildings occupied by the Museum.

Museum Curator Mark Smith explains, “The VC Guns are the most popular exhibits on display in the Museum because we tell the stories behind how the VCs have been won. Our visitors are gripped by these true stories of heroism, often against overwhelming odds, which is why many VCs are sadly awarded posthumously. As a museum we not only preserve the VC Guns and the medals, but also present these inspirational stories of courage, resourcefulness, leadership and endurance.”

The VC Guns are cannons weighing 2.5 tons each without their carriages, which each weigh another half a ton. The guns are Chinese of about 18 pounder calibre and were captured by British troops at the Taku Forts in China during the Second Anglo-Chinese War of 1860. They are used to supply the metal to Hancock's Jewellers, manufacturers of over 800 VC medals since 1914. The Victoria Cross is Britain’s highest award for bravery, which ranks above all Orders, Decorations and Medals. Instituted in 1856, it was awarded specifically for valour in the face of the enemy.

The Museum’s Medals Gallery contains a selection from the over 7000 piece collection which is made up almost exclusively of Royal Artillery awards. The rest of the medal collection can be viewed on request, including Britain's highest award, the Victoria Cross, bestowed on 62 members of the Royal Regiment of Artillery.


Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum,
Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, London, SE18 6ST.


The VC Guns will be moved at 11am on Tuesday 10 February. Media who wish to attend for filming, photography or interviews should contact Frank Crosby on 07856 686169 or email [email protected]   

For more information about Firepower visit, call 020 8855 7755 or email [email protected]



22nd January

Today is the 130th anniversary of both the battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift. We will be recognising the latter's significance in VC history with an article in the next Journal about arguably the architect of this heroic defence, James Dalton VC.

9th January 2009

Johnson Beharry will be signing books and prints at Aces High Fine Art, Vine Tree House, Back Street, Wendover, Bucks HP22 6EB on Friday 23rd January between 1-6 pm. For further details, contact Colin Hudson on 01296 625681.

 24th October

Neglected Victoria Cross Holder to be Remembered on 25th October

 Thomas Flynn died a pauper in Athlone’s Workhouse on 15 August 1892 aged fifty and was buried in a common grave in the nearby Cornamagh Cemetery. This should be the end of his story and for thousands of unfortunate people like him, this was the case; a hard life, bad luck, the desperate decision to succumb to the workhouse and when gone, forgotten. In the case of Thomas Flynn it was a tragic end to a brave soldier who at the age of fifteen years and three months was awarded the Victoria Cross. On the 25th October 2008, local people will place a commemorative plaque in Cornamagh Cemetery, to do justice and acknowledge the bravery of this courageous individual.
First, some details about the man himself.  Thomas Flynn was born in August 1842 in Athlone in the County of Westmeath in the Republic of Ireland. He was the only son of William Flynn, a serving soldier in the 64th Regiment (2nd Staffordshire). Thomas enlisted in the 64th Regiment when aged about thirteen years old.
During the Indian Mutiny, the 64th Regiment was part of Sir Colin Campbell’s force which was sent to relieve Lucknow. He left a small force to defend Cawnpore, which included the 64th and they faced a rebel Army numbering 20,000.  One particular gun battery became most troublesome and on the 28th November 1857 the 64th Regiment was ordered to take and destroy these guns, which were positioned 1,000 yards away up a steep ravine. Around 170 men took part in the attack and Thomas Flynn raced forward towards the gun battery and although wounded, engaged in hand to hand combat with the two rebel artillery men. The enemy retreated into some nearby houses and gardens. Thomas Flynn was recommended for the award of the Victoria Cross, although at the time his name was spelt as Flinn and it was announced in the London Gazette on 12 April 1859. He received the medal at a Garrison Parade in Karachi during March 1860.
The remainder of his life was disappointing and it is recorded that he spent 586 days in detention in fourteen different locations. He was discharged from the Army in 1869 and returned to Athlone. Although he had a pension of £10 p.a., it was not sufficient to save him from the workhouse.
The man behind the commemoration scheme is Mr. Paddy Flynn, from Blackrock, Co. Dublin. Paddy is not related to Thomas Flynn but felt that a Victoria Cross holder and the joint youngest one at that, deserved to be remembered. After doing some research, he contacted Westmeath County Council to obtain their agreement, arranged for the plaque to be produced, launched a fund to pay for it and contacted the local press in Athlone. In addition he contacted the Victoria Cross and George Cross Association and the Staffordshire Regiment Museum to fine tune the details and announce his intention.
The Regimental Colonel of the Staffords, Brigadier Jim Tanner has written to Paddy Flynn and thanked him for all his work, which is deeply appreciated. As he is based in Saudi and unable to leave, he has asked for two officers to attend the ceremony; Lt. Col Simon Banton and a retired Major, Jim Massey will be proud to represent the Regiment. There is no doubt that Thomas Flynn has been overlooked, so this is a chance to recognise his bravery and give him the credit he deserves. This act has sparked much interest within the Regiment, as a local historian, Robert Hope from Tamworth is currently writing a book on the Victoria Crosses of The Staffordshire Regiment and Brigadier Tanner had previously agreed to do a watercolour of Thomas Flynn.
Finally, the 64th Regiment of Foot became the 1st Battalion, The North Staffordshire Regiment in 1881. They amalgamated with The South Staffordshire Regiment to form the Staffordshire Regiment in 1959. In 2007 The Staffordshire Regiment joined with two other Regiments (Cheshire Regiment and Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regiment) to form The Mercian Regiment.
For more information please contact Jim Massey on:-01543 434392.


17th October


 The above pub in Paddock Wood, Kent will be receiving a new pub sign after 7 years.  Captain John Brunt , 2nd World War hero died in December 1945 in Italy. His parents lived in Paddock Wood, near Tunbridge Wells for 30 years until the 1960’s.
 In 1947 the Kent Arms in Church Road, Paddock Wood was renamed the “John Brunt V.C.”  In 1997 the pub changed its name to “The Hopping Hooden Horse” and the original sign went missing. In 2001 it reverted back to the “John Brunt V.C.”, but it has never had its swinging pub sign replaced.
Last year Richard Snow, author of “All for Valour- The Story of Captain John Brunt V.C.” decided to campaign for a new sign. With donations from the Royal Lincolnshire and Royal Anglian Regimental Association, The Royal Anglian Regiment, Kent County Council and Paddock Wood Town Council, this has become a reality. The new aluminium double-sided sign  will show Captain Brunt, a V.C., and some tanks in the background of a beachhead scene. It has been designed by Alex Atkinson, a former Mascalls School 6th Form Art Student in Paddock Wood.
The Sign will be unveiled by Eric Knight, a former boyhood friend of John Brunt’s on Remembrance Sunday, November 9th after the town parade. So it will take place outside the pub at around 11.30 a.m. – 11.45 am. There are photos and write-ups on John Brunt in the pub, which will be open after the ceremony. Anyone is welcome to attend. Further details from Richard Snow – 01892 825428




13th August

On Sunday, 21st September at 2.50 pm, a memorial will be unveiled in Walsall to Q-Ship hero, Lt.Charles George Bonner VC. His biography written by Sue Satterthwaite is due to be published in November.

13th August

This Sunday, 17th August, there will an unveiling of a memorial to Liverpool's double VC hero, Noel Chavasse. The ceremony will take place at Abercromby Square at its junction with Bedford Street South at 1.25 pm.

2nd July


 A visit to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire is a good day out. It comprises 150 acres of trees and memorials devoted to the concept of remembrance. Established in 1997 on reclaimed land it now contains 130 memorials. The Armed Forces Memorial opened by the Queen in October 2007, contains 16,000 names of all those killed in conflicts since WW2. At the site there are over 50,000 trees, many individually dedicated. There is also a Far East Prisoner of War Memorial Building. There is a silence observed daily at 11am in the Chapel.

The memorials are divided into 4 sections providing different walkways, and the site is disabled friendly. There are commemorations to September 11th, Dunkirk, Operation Market Garden, the Berlin Airlift to name a few, and also many Regiments have special memorials or gardens. There is also a “Shot at Dawn” section commemorating the 306 soldiers shot as punishment.

For V.C. enthusiasts there are many memorials around the site. Charles Lucas, the very first V.C., is recognised by a bronze model of him receiving his V.C. on horseback from Queen Victoria., which is situated in a case in Reception. The Royal Army Medical Corps includes a memorial plinth flanked by a central avenue of trees planted as a tribute to the 29 members awarded the V.C. The Household Division includes a dedication to Lance Corporal Charlton of the Irish Guards who was posthumously awarded the last VC of WW2. The Staffordshire Regiment Grove includes a dedication to William Harold Coltman V.C., the most decorated N.C.O. of WW1. Thomas Gray V.C. is remembered in the R.A.F. Halton Apprentices Memorial Garden.

These are just a few of the V.C.’s remembered on the site, which also includes memorials as diverse as TOC H, Soroptimist  International, The Police, Boys Brigade, Stillborn and neo-natal death Society, Freemasons, Ambulance Services etc.

The Arboretum is open daily from 9-5 (dusk during winter months) and is free. There is an excellent restaurant and shop on site. In summer a £2 parking fee is suggested.

 Contact details:  Tel : 01283 792333

                                E-mail: [email protected]



1st July

The Staffordshire Regiment Museum at Whittington Barracks, Lichfield will be holding a Victoria Cross Weekend on 12/13th July and displaying eight of the Crosses awarded to members of The South and North Staffordshire Regiments.

30th June

A memorial headstone to the 6 VC holders interred at Cheriton Road Cemetery, Folkestone will be dedicated on Saturday 26th July at 10-30am

3rd June

In an another welcome example of the growing entente between Ireland and the United Kingdom, Ballymena paid tribute to three VCs associated with the town.

VIDEO: Bravery of Ballymena's 'VC Three' Set In Stone

A LASTING tribute to the outstanding valour displayed by three men in far flung battle fields more than a century ago has been unveiled at Ballymena's Memorial Gardens.

The plaque, sitting on a granite plinth in keeping with the stonework of the existing War Memorial and Cenotaph at the site on the Galgorm Road, honours the borough's three Victoria Cross (VC) recipients - Private Alexander Wright, Sir George White and Sergeant Bernard Diamond.
And last Thursday morning, it was unveiled and dedicated to their memory in a ceremony organised jointly by the Council and the Royal British Legion and conducted by the Mayor, Maurice Mills, and Canon Sam McVeigh of Limavady, the Legion's Deputy Chaplain, who performed the act of dedication.
It was a particularly proud occasion for local men, James Leslie and William Gordon who had raised awareness about the three VC heroes and subsequently appealed to the council to consider creating a lasting tribute to the bravery they displayed in international theatres of conflict.
Addressing them and the other specially invited guests at the ceremony, Cllr. Mills said the plaque was intended to "be both a symbol of remembrance and a focus of education for young people".
He said: "The Victoria Cross is the United Kingdom's highest military decoration.
"It takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals.
"The inscription on the medal, 'For Valour', reflects that it is awarded only to recognise some exceptional act of gallantry in the face of the enemy.
"Such is its rarity, that in the century and a half since Queen Victoria inaugurated the medal, that there have only been 1,353 recipients.
"We are here today to recall the valour of three men from Ballymena Borough who are distinguished members of that roll of honour.
"Each of these men was serving abroad in the second half of the nineteenth century when he won his award."
The Mayor pointed out that Private Alexander Wright, from Ballymena, was serving in the Crimean War in 1855 when he showed great bravery in the taking of Russian rifle pits. He was noticed for the encouragement he gave to his fellow soldiers before being wounded.
During the Indian Mutiny of 1857 Sergeant Bernard Diamond, from Portglenone, was involved in action with another gunner under heavy fire when all the rest of their crew had been killed or wounded.
And turning to Major (later Field Marshall Sir) George White, he explained that although born in Portstewart, he was associated in later life with Broughshane.
Sir George White served in Afghanistan during the Second Afghan War. In 1880, independent action was prompted by the exhaustion of his men under heavy fire and he later lead a significant final charge at Kandahar.
"The full citations for these Ballymena men highlight not only their personal courage, but that this was motivated by concern and comradeship for their fellow soldiers," said Councillor Mills.
"We still make enormous demands of the young men in our Armed Services, sometimes as in the case of Afghanistan, in the same theatre of war.
"The most recent awards of the Victoria Cross have also been to soldiers whose bravery included the protection of their comrades.
"We should remember the past, in order to learn, and hope for a future in which such sacrifice is no longer needed," he added.


2nd May                 

Almost 150 years after Corporal Robert Grant VC was put with nine others in a common grave in Highgate Cemetery, North London, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair will unveil a stone to commemorate Grant's life. Cpl.Grant of the 5th Regiment (Northumberland Fusiliers), then 20, was awarded the VC after risking his life to carry a wounded comrade to safety during the Indian Mutiny. After 10 years in the Army, he joined the Metropolitan Police Y Division covering Kentish Town and became PC 306. He died aged 30, penniless and without a family. Officers at Kentish Town have campaigned for two years to have his grave formally commemorated. 

16th April

A special memorial to Hugh McIver VC will be dedicated on 23rd August at Vraucourt Copse Cemetery, near Courcelle-le Compte, France. 


2nd April

The Courage of Ordinary Men: Three Stories of the Victoria Cross

 An evocative exhibition featuring three revered Victoria Crosses and the stories of the courageous men who received them will open at Queensland Museum South Bank on 23 April 2008.
The Courage of Ordinary Men: Three Stories of the Victoria Cross
will commemorate this year’s 90th anniversary of the end of World War 1.
The free exhibition will bring to life the wartime experience and personal histories of VC recipients Private Patrick Joseph Bugden VC, Private Robert Matthew Beatham VC and Major Blair Anderson Wark VC, DSO.
Through medals, original letters and photos, contemporary descriptions, poetry and an evocative sound and light presentation, visitors can experience a soldier’s life in the trenches of the Western Front.
CEO of the Queensland Museum Dr Ian Galloway said the exhibition was a rare opportunity to observe, up close, the supreme award for courage in combat.

“This moving exhibition will honour the sacrifice of ordinary men who achieved extraordinary feats,” Dr Galloway said.“Opening on the eve of Anzac Day, it is a poignant reminder of the heroic sacrifices of our Armed Services men and women, both past and present.”
Queen Victoria established the Victoria Cross award in 1856 to recognise “conspicuous bravery” in war.  The medal
has been awarded 1356 times, 96 to Australians.
Two of the Victoria Crosses on display are on loan from the United Service Club Queensland and author Mr Neil Jenman. The other was donated to the Queensland Museum by the family of Private Paddy Bugden and is part of the Museum collection.
Queensland Museum South Bank is located on the corner of Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Bank. The Museum is open daily from 9.30am to 5pm


The Courage of Ordinary Men: Three Stories of the Victoria Cross

 When:    From 23 April 2008

 Where:   Queensland Museum South Bank

               Cnr Melbourne and Grey Streets, South Brisbane

 Cost:      ENTRY FREE


19th February

There will an unveiling of a plaque at the War Memorial, New Malden, Surrey on Thursday, 24th April. This is to Lieutenant H.O.B.Firman VC, RN who was killed during an attempt to reprovision the force beseiged at Kut-el-Amara, Mesopotamia on 25th April 1916. There are two local VC holders whose name appears on the War Memorial (Sq.Ldr.Ian Bazalgette and P/O Cyril Barton. Only recently has it been discovered Lt.Firman's connection with the town.

4th September

The Defence of Rorke's Drift - a talk by Rob Caskie of Fugitive's Drift Lodge, KwaZulu-Natal on 29th November 7.00pm for 7-30pm at The Speech Room, Harrow School. Followed by drinks & canapés in the School War Memorial Room. A rare opportunity to visit an historic school and view their unique collection commemorating 19 VCs awarded to Old Harrovians. Tickets £35 in aid of the charity WOODEN SPOON supporting disadvantaged children
Please contact: Gordon Brown - [email protected] or telephone: 020 8429 2481

  27th July

David Callaghan's exhibition FOR VALOUR, previously staged at London's Olympia in 2005 and again at the Guard's Chapel, is currently appearing at the NEC, Birmingham. It is on display at the NEC during the run of the Antiques for Everyone Show from 26th-29th July. David's exhibition recounts the early history of the VC and includes a unique scale diorama of the Defence of Rorke's Drift, where 11 VCs were won. Brian Best, the Society's editor, will also be in attendance and looks forward to meeting members of the VCS. This may be the last opportunity for the public to see this informative and highly visual exhibition.
The organisers have kindly offered free entry tickets to members of the Victoria Cross Society, which can be obtained by applying to 0121 767 2947 or email: [email protected] or register on website:
Quote 'VC07' and tickets will be sent to you.

26th June

The Noel Chavasse VC Memorial Association, a registered charity, has been set up to  raise funds for the erection of a bronze group featuring Chavasse and the fifteen other VCs associated with Liverpool. A local sculptor, Tom Murphy, has been commissioned and to date some £33,000 has been raised by appeals to the public, regiments, regimental associations etc. The total required is £106,000.
Members can help by buying two books - one about Chavasse and the other fifteen Liverpool-born VCs and the other about eighteen further VCs who lived in the city. The cost is £7.00 each plus £1.50 p&p. Also, on Saturday 11th August, there is to be held a dinner to celebrate the life of Noel Chavasse in the 90th year since he was awarded his second VC and his death. The Surgeon General has promised to attend as well as other dignitaries. Individual places are £40 or £350 for a table of ten.
For details, please contact Bill Sergeant at [email protected]

20th June

The British Library, London is holding an exhibition of photographs, including those taken by Harriet Tytler, who narrowly escaped with her life during the massacre at Delhi  on 11th May 1857. She survived many adventures and returned in 1858 to take photographs of many of the prominent sites of the Indian Mutiny. The exhibition is on between 19th July to 7th October. 

18th June

The Ulster History Circle will be unveiling a Blue Plaque to Charles Davis Lucas VC at his birthplace, Druminargal House, 29 Poyntzpass Road, Scarva at 11-30am on Tuesday, 26 June. The event is being held in conjunction with Poyntzpass Local History Society and is sponsored by Armagh City & District Council.


10th May

We have been informed by Gordon Powrie of Co-op Funeralcare that there will be a service and unveiling of a memorial stone at Paisley Abbey on Tuesday 26th June at 10am. Afterwards, there will be an unveiling at Hawkhead Cemetery of a memorial stone in honour of the following five VC holders who were born in Paisley.
Sergeant James McKechnie, Private Samuel Evans, Captain Arthur Henderson, Private Hugh McIver & Sergeant John Hannah.
The Co-op are providing the stone free of charge and Renfrewshire Council are donating the ground. Anyone interested in attending are very welcome and refreshments will be available at the Royal British Legion, Paisley.  0141 889 6321


Messines (Belgium) this year commemorates the 90th anniversary of the Battle of Messines (7 june 2007). On that day a plaque will be unveiled for the VC winner Samuel Frickleton and there will be an exhibition about the 4 VC winners from New Zealand. For more information click here:

10th June
Service of Commemoration to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Investiture of the Victoria Cross to be held at Lichfield Cathedral on Sunday 10 June at 3-30pm. The service is to honour 52 VC & GC recipients from Staffordshire, South Cheshire, Warwickshire & the West Midlands. For more details, contact Peter Elkin on [email protected]


25th February, Funchal, Madeira,
Cecil Buckley VC Memorial unveiling,
paid for by donations from members of the VC Society.


29th January

Dulwich College in South East London are staging a VC exhibition in the Wodehouse Library between 9 am and 5pm until Friday 9 February. It features the seven Old Alleyians who received the Victoria Cross. For more details, phone 020 8299 9201.

3rd January 2007

On 23rd February, the Duke of Edinburgh patron will attend a VC commemoration service at Portsmouth Cathedral and afterwards will unveil a memorial at the Royal Naval Club and Royal Albert Yacht Club.

24th December

The Queen will attend the opening of the new Household Cavalry Museum at Horseguards on 12th June 2007.There will be a parade of 220 horses and men and a display of 50 historic and contemporary armoured vehicles.
Also there will be re-enactments including the Waterloo Cavalry Charge. For enquiries about tickets, contact 0870 4000 848 or 

6th  December

Hounslow’s heroes honoured for Victoria Cross success
A permanent tribute to seven brave men who received the Victoria Cross for their courage and valour in war will be unveiled at Hounslow Civic Centre.

The Mayor of Hounslow, Councillor Felicity Barwood, unveils a plaque on Friday 8th December to honour the men, who all had a connection with the borough, and received the country’s most prestigious medal.
Cllr Barwood, said: “This plaque permanently remembers the courageousness and gallantry of these heroes. Their acts in war contributed to peace and we all owe a debt to them. On behalf of the borough, I was delighted to unveil this memorial"
The ceremony, attended by members of the Royal British Legion, councillors and Hounslow Council chief officers, marks the 150th Annivesary of the Victoria Cross.
 It was instituted by Royal Warrant on 29 January 1856 for award to both officers and non-commissioned ranks of the Royal Navy and the Army who, in the presence of the enemy 'shall have performed some signal act of valour'. Simple in design, the cross was made from the bronze cannon captured during the Crimean War (1854 - 1856). Subsequently it has been awarded to members of the other armed forces.
The Victoria Cross is still Britain's premier award for gallantry in face of the enemy and is worn before all other orders, decorations and medals.

A full list of recipients of the Victoria Cross with an association to the London borough of Hounslow, are;

Captain William Allen, lived at Pownall Gardens in Hounslow, was the first President of the Hounslow British Legion. He died in 1933.
Commander Gordon Campbell, lived with his son at Worton Road, Isleworth, who was the Vicar of St Mary the Virgin. He died in 1953.
Lieutenant French, stayed at Manor House in Chiswick (Dr Tukes Infirmary). He died in 1872
Corporal John Grimshaw, lived in Isleworth. He died in 1980
Lieutenant Frederick Hedges, went to school in Isleworth and lived in Hounslow. He died in 1954.
Private Frederick Hitch, lived in Chiswick. He died in 1913.
Sergeant Robert Spall. Born in Brentford. He died in 1890.

For more information, please contact [email protected] 

7th November

This Thursday ( 9th) Alfred Knight Way will be officially opened by his grand-children this Thursday in Birmingham. The road can be found on the new Park Central Development in Birmingham. The event is to be filmed and will be available on DVD from the same person who filmed the Alfred Wilcox memorial event at Aston Parish Church earlier this year. Any enquiries for more information on the event will be gladly answered by Chris Sutton on [email protected]

 11th October

The National Army Museum is hosting a rare event this evening when Johnson Beharry VC is the Celebrity Speaker. This follows the publication last week of his autobiography "Barefoot Soldier", a most excellent read!

24th August


Study morning, Saturday 7th October 10.30 - 13.30. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE10 9NF.
In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Victoria Cross, this study morning explores heroism and naval heroes awarded Britain's highest gallantry award. It examines the international conflicts in which they were involved, from the Crimean War - for which the National Maritime Museum holds the first VC ever awarded - through the Indian Mutiny to the two World Wars. There will be a special introduction to the Victoria Cross display at the Museum. Five of the eleven Crosses held by the Museum will on display for the first time and include Charles Lucas, William Peel, John Harrison, Ronald Stuart and William Savage.
David Callaghan FGA - Director of Hancocks 1964-97 - sole supplies of the VC.
Brian Best BA, FRGS - Founder of the Victoria Cross Society.
Steve Snelling - Newspaper Magazine Editor and Author of three books on the history of the VC, including one on the Naval VCs of World War 1.

£15/£11.25 concessions
Bookings tel: 020 8312 8560. Open daily 10.00 - 17.00


23rd August


The British National Stamp Exhibition, The Business Design Centre, Islington Green, London N1 0QH. Wednesday 20th to Sunday 24th September.
Includes Special First Day Issue Cancellation on 21st September - commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Victoria Cross


14th August

Don't miss ZULUS & SISTER JANET Exhibition and Event - 19 & 20th August, Firepower Museum, Woolwich Arsenal.

3rd July

Production is due to start on a new 3 hour series to be shown on Channel Five in November. It is entitled "V.C" and will be narrated by The Prince of Wales. There will be for the first time access to Lord Ashcroft's peerless collection of Victoria Crosses, which covers all three services from the Crimea to the Falklands.

29th June

Guy Gibson VC was commemorated with an English Heritage Blue Plaque on 26th June. The address is 32 Aberdeen Place, London NW8


13th April

There is to be a Victoria Cross Exhibition on display at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London from 26 June - 18 July.


25th March

David Callaghan will be delivering his excellent lecture -" For Valour - Tracing 150 Years of the Victoria Cross" on Wednesday, 26th April at 7-15pm at the Lecture Room of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Tickets are available (tel: 020-7942 2211.
Those who missed David's lecture at Olympia last year will not want to miss this lecture by one of the leading authorities on the VC.  


1st February


To mark the 150th Anniversary of the institution of the Victoria Cross, the Library and Museum of Freemasonry at Great Queen Street, London WC2 has mounted a new exhibition about some of the 135 holders of the Victoria Cross who were freemasons. The Exhibition is open until Friday 26th May 2006 (Monday to Fridays only) from 10am to 5pm. Admission is free


21st January 2006

There will be an exhibition of Photography and Photomontage by Tony Linforth-Hall at the Gallery 33, 33 Swan Street, London SE1 from 5th to 28th February. The subject is Gallipoli and the exhibition shows the peninsular as it appears today. For further details, contact 020 7407 8668 or e-mail [email protected]


10th November

The recently restored gravestone of Thomas Byrne, the famous Omdurman VC is to be rededicated on Saturday 19th November at 2pm at Canterbury Cemetery


6th November

For all those in the South-East, the excellent annual Military Book Fair is to be held at the Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells on Sunday 20th November.


28th September


As a forerunner to the 150th anniversary of the inception of the Victoria Cross, For Valour  will tell the story of the award from the beginnings in 1856 to the reasoning behind it, its manufacture and some of the stories behind individual awards. Highlights include the three VC and Bar awards, the unique award to the American Unknown Soldier and illustrations of some of the events that led to the VC being awarded. Other aspects will show the way in which some of the medal winners have been commemorated and versions of the VC that pay tribute to the medal itself.
The curator of the exhibition is Mr David Callaghan FGA, former Director of Hancocks of London, sole suppliers of the medal since its inception. He will be delivering an illustrated talk on Tuesday 8 November at 6pm, drawing on knowledge gained throughout his career with Hancocks and from his personal involvement with all aspects of this unique award. This is an event not to be missed!
A special offer to Members of the Victoria Cross Society; 2 lecture tickets for the price of 1 (quote your name & VC Society). Tickets cost £10. To book, call +44 (0)870 126 1726

For Valour: The Story of the Victoria Cross
An illustrated talk in aid of Teenage Cancer Trust by David Callaghan FGA, curator of For Valour, followed by a private dinner on Wednesday 9 November at The Winter Fine Art and Antiques Fair, Olympia

With the 150th anniversary of the inception of the Victoria Cross approaching, For Valour will tell the story of the award from its beginnings in 1856, its manufacture and the courageous human stories that lay behind it.

This is a rare opportunity to see some exceptional exhibits, some of which have never been on view to the public. Highlights will include reproductions of the three VC and Bar awards, the unique award to the American Unknown Soldier, a unique scale model of the Defence of Rorke’s Drift, copies of correspondence from Queen Victoria as well as the military jacket and hat she wore for the first VC investiture.

David Callaghan FGA will draw on his personal involvement with all aspects of the Victoria Cross from his time as a senior director of Hancocks of London, sole suppliers of the medal since its inception.

Tickets are priced at £75 to include pre-talk drinks and the talk, dinner and wine plus free entry at any time on the 9 November to the Fine Art and Antiques Fair, Olympia, which runs from 7-13 November. Timings are as follows:

6pm          Drinks

6.15pm      For Valour talk

7.00pm      An opportunity to view the Fair and VC exhibits

7.45pm      Dinner

 For further information or to apply for tickets, please contact Sarah Phippin on email [email protected]

 Charity Reg. No. 1062559


24th July

There is to be a re-dedication ceremony in relation to the Rorke's Drift VC, Henry Hook on 3 September, his grave at Churcham, near Gloucester. For further details, contact


5th July

1915: Innocence slaughtered?

An international conference organised and hosted by the In Flanders Fields Museum Ypres 17, 18 and 19 November 2005

Chair : Prof.dr. Koen Koch (Universiteit Leiden, the Netherlands)

Conference Language: English

Location: City Theatre, Vandenpeereboomplein (unless indicated otherwise)

Thursday 17 November 2005

9.00   Reception, registration and refreshments (coffee/tea)
09.45 introduction - Prof.Dr. Koen Koch (Universiteit Leiden - the Netherlands)
10.15 Dr. Olivier Lepick (Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique, Paris, France): 22 April 1915, the first chemical attack or the introduction of a weapon of mass destruction
11.15 Prof. Dr. Margit Szöllöszi-Janze (Universität zu Köln, Germany): The scientist as expert: Fritz Haber and German chemical warfare during the First World War.
11.45 Dominiek Dendooven (In Flanders Fields Museum): Overview: 22 April 1915 - Eyewitness accounts of the first gas attack
12.30 lunch (Cloth Hall)
2 p.m. Julian Putkowski (London, United Kingdom): Toxic Shock: British reactions to the use of poison gas in 1915
2.45 Dr Luc van de Weyer (Belgian Army Museum, Brussels): The reaction of the Belgian Army to the introduction of chemical warfare
3.30 coffee break
3.45 Dr. Nathan M. Greenfield (Ontario, Canada): The Canadian Army and the 2nd Battle of Ypres
4.30 dr. David Omissi (Hull University, United Kingdom): The Indian Army Corps and the 2nd Battle of Ypres
5.30 Visit: In Flanders Fields Museum
8.0 p.m. Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate
8.15 Conference dinner

Friday 18 November

9.30am Dr. Nick Lloyd (Centre for First World War Studies - Birmingham, United Kingdom): The first British gas attack, Loos, 25 September 1915
10.15 Dr. Peter van den Dungen (Bradford University, United Kingdom): Civil resistance to chemical warfare during the First World War
11.00 coffee break
11.15 Wolfgang Wietzker (Universität Düsseldorf, Germany): Chemical Weapons and German Newspapers
12.00 Lunch (in Cloth Hall)
1.30 p.m. Bert Heyvaert (In Flanders Fields Museum): Minor actions in the Ypres Salient in 1915
2.15 Dr. Gery Oram (Open University, United Kingdom): British Morale in 1915
3.00 Coffee break
3.15 Dr. Leo van Bergen (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands): ‘Gas is a humane weapon’. The medical (and humanitarian-judicial) discussion on poison-gas during and after the war
4.00 Prof. Dr. Annette Becker (Université Paris-X, Nanterre, and Centre de recherche de l'Historial de la Grande Guerre, Péronne, France): La mémoire du gaz dans l’après guerre
4.45 Discussion
5.30 Drinks

Saturday 19 November 2005

9.30 Lt. Glenn Nollet (Belgian Army Ammunition Disposal Unit DOVO): Chemical ammunition disposal in Flanders
10.15 Peter Kaiser (OPCW - The Hague, the Netherlands): The work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
11.00 coffee break
11.15 Dr. Jean-Pascal Zanders (Bio Weapons Prevention Project - Geneva, Switzerland): Ypres, 22 April 2015: Can It Be Avoided?
12.00 Dr. Shariar Khateri (Society for Chemical Weapons Victims Support - Teheran, Iran): Mustard Gas Exposure and Long-Term Health Effects. Lessons Learned From Iraq-Iran War, the most recent large scale use of chemical weapons
12.45 Lunch
2.00 p.m. Excursion: tour of sites, monuments and cemeteries associated with the gas attack of 22 April 1915, visit to the Belgian Army Ammunition Disposal Unit and facility for dismantling chemical weapons.
5 p.m. drinks

The full programme and registration form will be available from the In Flanders Fields Museum from September 2005. Please note: the number of places for the Excursion on 19 November is strictly limited - priority will be given to those registering to attend all three days of the conference.

Price to attend one day : € 15
Price to attend the three days: € 40
Conference dinner (Thursday night 17 November): € 25

For any additional information on the conference or for receiving an inscription form:
Dominiek Dendooven, In Flanders Fields Museum, Janseniusstraat 9, B-8900 Ieper, Belgium, tel ++ 32 57 239 450, fax ++ 32 57 239 459, [email protected]

For reservation of hotels and tourist information:
Ieper Tourism Office, Grote Markt 34, B-8900 Ieper, tel. ++ 32 57 239 220, fax ++ 32 57 239 275, [email protected]

For an Adobe Acrobat document about this conference, please click here.

1st April

The next forthcoming Society event is in association with The South Wales Borderers and Monmouthshire Regimental Museum. This will be held at Brecon over the weekend of 28th-29th May 2005 and all members are cordially invited.
The theme of the weekend is to be "Supreme Courage" and is being promoted as part of Museums and Galleries Month in the UK. The main theme will be the Zulu War of 1879 and the guest speakers will include author and broadcaster, Ian Knight, Rob Caskie (David Rattray's deputy at Fugitive's Drift Lodge), the Regimental Museum curator, Major Martin Everett and David Glynn-Fox.
New lectures by Ian Knight (Latest theories on Rorke's Drift) and Rob Caskie (Isandlwana). Tickets can be reserved/purchased by calling Celia Green at Brecon Museum - tel. 01874 613310. Please specify saturday or Sunday. First come first served - only 140 seats per lecture. A full exhibition 'day ticket', inclusive of lectures, costs £15. Excluding lectures - £3 special exhibition charge.
Exciting displays bring together rare medal groups of many famous participants in the campaign, many of which will be specially on loan for the event.
The VC Society will have a table and would very pleased to meet those members who can attend.
Spinks Medal expert and Society Member, John Hayward, will be on hand to give medal valuations and discuss any matter you may wish to raise.
The Museum itself has a wonderful medal display including many Victoria Crosses.  
There will be a guided tour each day of Zulu War memorials in Brecon Cathedral led by Major Martin Everett.
For local accommodation - phone Brecon Tourist Information Centre on 01874 622485


1st February 2005

Member Michael Lyons of the British Legion informs us that there will be the annual presentation at the Elmwood Junior School, Elmwood Road, West Croydon at 2 pm. Two pupils are selected to receive their award which is known as the George Knowland Award named after the former pupil of the school, who was awarded the Victoria Cross (see March 2004 Journal and Sample Journal Articles). Any members who can attend would be most welcome. 


21 November

Military, Aviation & Naval Bookfair, Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells.
The VC Society will be having a table at this event, which attracts many excellent military booksellers, who always have items of VC interest. We hope to meet up with some of our members from the area.


16th August.  Please note that, not only will there be original VCs on display, but also the two cannon from which the bronze was used to fashion the Crosses. It will be the first time that the cannon will have been on public display and they will remain in the Firepower Museum after this weekend. Do try and visit this excellent venue, which reeks of history. The medal collection in the Firepower Museum is worth the visit alone 


2nd August. We have just learned that the Victoria Crosses that will be on display are those of Lt.Gonville Bromhead of Rorke's Drift fame, Private William Griffiths for Little Andaman Island and who died at Isandlewana and Asst.Commissary James Dalton, who is regarded at the real architect of the successful defence of Rorke's Drift. This is the first time that his VC will be seen in public (a replica is displayed at the museum)

Make a note in your diary for an outstanding event. 21st & 22nd August at the Royal Artillery Museum FIREPOWER, Woolwich.
As a member of the Society, you are cordially invited, free of charge, to visit the Anglo Zulu War Exhibition, REDCOATS AND ZULUS, at the above venue on the site of the historical Woolwich Arsenal. Amongst the attractions will be Zulu War Dancers, Lectures, the 1879 Re-enactors, exhibition of artefacts and paintings, Zulu War VC medal display book signings and trade stands.
Invitations are being sent out to all UK members. If there are any Overseas members who would like an invitation, then please contact the Society.




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