THE VICTORIA CROSS
The Victoria Cross is the world's most coveted medal for bravery, awarded only 1,351 times since it was instituted in 1856 (with bars awarded on three occasions). Cast from the bronze of Russian cannons captured as Sebastopol, it has been awarded to a Gloster 8 times:
Herbert Taylor Reade, V.C., C.B. - 61st Regiment - 14
September 1857 - Delhi, India
During the assault on the mutineers in Delhi, Reade was tending to wounded in a street when a group of rebels began firing on them from roof tops. Drawing his sword, Reade called a grooup of men to him and charged the rebels. On the 16th, during the assault on the magazine, Reade was first through the breach. Born in Perth, Upper Canada in 1828, he rose to rank of Surgeon General and died in Somerset, England in 1897.
Lieutenant Hardy Falconer Parsons, V.C. - 14th Battalion - 21
August 1917 - Epehy, France
During a night attack on the position commanded by Parsons, his men were forced back, refusing to leave Parsons single-handed held off the enemy with bombs. Although severely scorched and burnt he allowed the defenders time to hold the position. He died of his wounds that day.
Manley Angell James, V.C., D.S.O., M.C., M.B.E. - 8th Bn - 21
March 1918 - Velu Wood, France
Captain James led his company in an attack, capturing 27 prisoners, although wounded he refused to leave his command. The next day his company repulsed 3 enemy attacks. Two days later the enemy broke through, he made a stand to allow the battalion to withdrawl, leading his company in an assault he was again wounded and was last seen firing a machine gun single-handed, being wounded a third time and finally captured.
Dan Burges, V.C., D.S.O. - commanding 7th S.W.B. - 18
September 1918 - Balkans
Gazetted 2nd Lt. Glosters Oct. 1893, served with 61st in South Africa. (QSA clasp 'RofK', KSA 2 clasps). Adjutant Punjab Volunteer Rifles 1908-13. With 61st in France, wounded 9 May 1915 commanding 'C' Coy. during a German attack on Sanctuary Wood in the Ypres Salient. Lt-Col. 1915, commanding 10th Easy Yorks. Served as Instructor at the Senior Officers School, Oct. 1916 to March 1917. Commanded 7th South Wales Borderers. Awarded DSO and VC.
Major (T./Lt.-Col.) Daniel Burges, D.S.O., Glouc. Regt., Commanding 7th (S) Bn., South Wales Borderers.
"For most conspicuous bravery,skilful leading and devotion to duty in the operations at Jumeaux (Balkans)on the 18th September 1918. His valuable reconnaissance of the enemy first line trenches enabled him to bring his battalion without casualties to the assembly point,and from thence he maintained direction with great skill, though every known landmark was completely obscured by smoke and dust. When still some distance from its objective the battalion came under sevsre machine-gun fire which caused many casualties amongst company leaders. Lt-Col. Burges, though himself wounded, quite regardless of his own safety, kept moving to and fro through his command, encouraging his men and assisting them to maintain formation and direction. Finally, as they neared the enemy's position, he led them forward through a decimating fire until he was again hit twice and fell unconscious. His coolness and personal courage were most marked throughout and afforded a magnificent example to all ranks." (London Gazette 13 Dec. 1918)
He survived, but lost a leg. Also mentioned in depsatches 3 times, awarded French Croix de Guerre avec Palme and the Greek Military Cross. After the war he served on the staff, including command of a Military Detention Barracks. Retired from the Army in 1923. Appointed Resident Governor and Major of HM Tower of London 1923-33. President of the Society of Bristolians in London and Master of the Society of Merchant Venturers. In 1939 he volunteered for service and was Assistant Recruiting Officer, Bristol. Appointed Gloucestershire County Director of the Red Cross. Died 24 October 1946, aged 73.
Francis George Miles, V.C. - 1/5thBattalion - 23rdOctober1918
- Landrecies, France.
When his company was held up by machine guns in a sunken road, Private Miles advanced single-handed and shot a gunner putting his gun out of action. Advancing further he shot another gunner and captured the team of 8 men. Standing up he signalled his company forward, enabling them to capture 16 guns and 51 men.
James Power Carne, V.C., D.S.O. - 1st Battalion - 22-23 April
1951 - Imjin River, Korea
During the stand he showed complete disregard for his personal safety, twice leading assaults. "..... showed powers of leadership which can seldom have been surpassed in the history of army. He inspired his officers and men to fight beyond the normal limitsof human endurance."
Adrian Carton de Wiart, V.C., D.S.O. - 8th (att'd Dragoon
Guards) - 3 July 1916 - La Boiselle, France
With 3 other battalion commanders wounded and the position in danger, de Wiart took control and held the position. He moved around the positions without care for personal safety. During the war he was wounded 8 times, losing an eye and his left hand.
Philip K.E. Curtis, V.C. - att'd 1st Battalion - 22-23 April
1951 - Imjin River, Korea
The enemy making a heavy attack on his position, secured a foot hold on 'Castle Hill.' Curtis led a counter-attack and was severely wounded by a grenade. Several men crawled out to assist him, however he broke free from them and charged again, being killed by machine gun fire within yards of his objective.