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
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
in Ladysmith KwaZuluNatal South Africa
25-27 January 2010
information please see this Adobe Reader File
Victoria Cross Grave Headstone
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]
ROYAL ARSENAL TO HOST MAJOR COMMUNITY HISTORY EVENT
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
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
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.
10 2009, 11am
GALLANTRY GUNS ON THE MOVE
FIREPOWER, THE ROYAL ARTILLERY MUSEUM, LONDON
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
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 www.firepower.org.uk, call 020
8855 7755 or email [email protected]
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
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.
Victoria Cross Holder to be Remembered on 25th October
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
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
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
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
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.
JOHN BRUNT V.C. PUB SIGN UNVEILING
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.
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.
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.
A MUST FOR VC ENTHUSIASTS (AND OTHERS)
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
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
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
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.
A memorial headstone to the 6 VC holders interred at
Cheriton Road Cemetery, Folkestone will be dedicated on Saturday 26th July
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
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
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
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
"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
"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.
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
A special memorial to Hugh McIver VC will be dedicated on 23rd August at
Vraucourt Copse Cemetery, near Courcelle-le Compte, France.
The Courage of Ordinary
Men: Three Stories of the Victoria Cross
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
“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
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
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
From 23 April 2008
Queensland Museum South Bank
Cnr Melbourne and Grey Streets, South Brisbane
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.
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
Please contact: Gordon Brown -
[email protected] or telephone: 020 8429 2481
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
[email protected] or register on website:
Quote 'VC07' and tickets will be sent to you.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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 www.ticketmaster.co.uk
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,
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.
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.
This Thursday ( 9th)
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
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
HEROISM IN WAR
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
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.
Bookings tel: 020 8312 8560. Open daily 10.00 - 17.00
The British National Stamp Exhibition, The Business
Design Centre, Islington Green, London N1 0QH. Wednesday 20th to Sunday
Includes Special First Day Issue Cancellation on 21st September -
commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Victoria Cross
Don't miss ZULUS & SISTER JANET Exhibition and Event -
19 & 20th August, Firepower Museum, Woolwich Arsenal.
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.
Guy Gibson VC was commemorated with an English
Heritage Blue Plaque on 26th June. The address is 32 Aberdeen Place,
There is to be a Victoria Cross Exhibition on display
at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London from 26
June - 18 July.
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.
MOST GLORIOUS OF THEM ALL
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
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]
The recently restored gravestone of Thomas Byrne, the
famous Omdurman VC is to be rededicated on Saturday 19th November at 2pm
at Canterbury Cemetery
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.
TWO EVENTS TO NOTE.
THE WINTER FINE ARTS AND ANTIQUES FAIR.
7-13 NOVEMBER AT OLYMPIA, LONDON
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
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
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.
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.
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:
6.15pm For Valour talk
An opportunity to view the Fair and VC exhibits
further information or to apply for tickets, please contact Sarah Phippin
Charity Reg. No. 1062559
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Dominiek Dendooven, In Flanders Fields Museum, Janseniusstraat 9, B-8900
Ieper, Belgium, tel ++ 32 57 239 450, fax ++ 32 57 239 459,
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.
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
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 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
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
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.
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
Invitations are being sent out to all UK members. If there are any
Overseas members who would like an invitation, then please contact the