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ARCHIVE: Merseyside Victoria Cross winners graves 2009
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Arrow ARCHIVE: Merseyside Victoria Cross winners graves 2009 - 11-11-2009, 19:57

Right since its armistice day and there hasn't been much up today thought id bang this up. Just a project I've been working on, finding the graves of Victoria cross winners, and seeing if i could find any old newspaper cuttings in Liverpool central library archive.

Hope it's not to big a posts but it's mostly text anyway


John O'Neill VC MM Born 10 February, 1897 died 16 October, 1942, Trinity Road Cemetery, Hoylake

London Gazette, 26 December 1918, Moorseele, Belgium, 14 & 20 October 1918, Sergeant John O'Neill MM, 2nd Bn, Prince of Wales' Leinster Regiment.

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty near Moorseele on 14th October 1918, when the advance of his company was checked by two machine guns and an enemy field battery firing over open sights. At the head of eleven men only he charged the battery, capturing four field guns, two machine guns and sixteen prisoners. Again, on the morning of the 20th October 1918, Sjt. O’Neill, with one man, rushed an enemy machine-gun position, routing about 100 enemy and causing many casualties.

Throughout the operations he displayed the most remarkable courage and powers of leadership.

John O'Neill was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V in Buckingham Palace on the 2nd August 1919
http://www.victoriacross.org.uk/bboneill.htm

He also served in the RAF as an Armourer Sergeant when he served alongside Lawrence of Arabia. In 1940 he was commissioned into the Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps as a Lieutenant.[1] defending Liverpool's docklands from air attack.


Cyril Edward, Gourley Born in Liverpool, 19 January 1893 and died 31 January 1982 Buried in Grange Cemetery, West Kirby

Captain 276th ( West Lancashire ) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Awarded a Victoria Cross in Epehy, France, 30 November 1917.

The VC was announced in the London Gazette on 13 February 1918 with the following citation:

For most conspicuous bravery when in command of a section of howitzers. Though the enemy advanced in force getting within 400 yards in front, between 300 and 400 yards on one flank and with snipers in the rear, Sergeant Gourley managed to keep one gun in action practically throughout the day. Though frequently driven off always returned, carrying ammunition, laying and firing the gun himself, taking first one and then another of the detachment to assist him. When the enemy advanced he pulled his gun out of the pit, and engaged a machine gun at 500 yards, knocking it out with a direct hit. All day he held the enemy in check, firing with open sights at enemy parties in full view at 300 to 800 yards, and thereby saved his guns, which were withdrawn at nightfall.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyril_Edward_Gourley

His VC is located in the Royal Artillery Museum, Woolwich


Kirkdale Cemetery, again another one that says "within this cemetery lies"
William Connolly VC (May 1817 – 31 December 1891)

He was about 40 years old, and a gunner in the Bengal Horse Artillery, Indian Army during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed took place on 7 July 1857 at Jhelum, India, (now Pakistan) for which he was awarded the VC:

During an engagement with the enemy, Gunner Connolly, acting as second sponge-man, was felled by a musket ball through his thigh and although suffering severely from pain and loss of blood, he insisted on mounting his horse in the gun team and riding to the next position which the guns had taken up on retirement. He was again hit by a musket ball later the same morning but staggered to his feet and went on wielding his sponge with energy and courage, and encouraging another wounded man, until he was wounded yet again and fell unconscious.

He lived his last years in Liverpool, sometimes reduced to beggary, even selling his VC. He was buried in a pauper’s grave in Kirkdale Cemetery. Section 17 grave 220, sadly there is no visable markings.
Dealers Spink bought this medal for £10 at auction on 9 February 1886. Over the years they have bought and sold over 300 of these medals. In April 2004 they sold a Victoria cross for £230,000


George Edward Nurse VC born in Enniskillen, County Fermanagh 14 April 1873 – Died 25 November 1945, Allerton cemetery, Liverpool

Second Lieutenant George Edward, NURSE VC 66th Battery Royal Field Artillery
Awarded a victoria cross when the following deed took place at Colenso, 2nd Boer War, 15 December 1899

From his citation: "At the Battle of Colenso, South Africa, on 15th December 1899, when the detachments who had been serving the guns had either been killed, wounded or had been driven away from their guns by enemy infantry fire, Corporal Nurse and several others tried to save the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries. The intervening space between the guns and where some of the horses and drivers, who were still alive, were sheltering, a distance of 500 yards, was swept by a rifle and shellfire. Corporal Nurse, along with three officers, Captain W.N. Congreve of the Rifle Brigade, Lieutenant F.H.S. Roberts, who fell wounded, and Captain H.N. Schofield helped to harness a team to a limber and then line up a gun. Corporal Nurse, alone, managed to limber up a second gun"

During World War I he was commissioned as a second lieutenant.


Private William Ratcliffe VC Born West Derby, Liverpool 21 March 1883, died 26 March 1963, Allerton Cemetery

[London Gazette, 2 August 1917], Messines, Belgium, 14 June 1917, Private William Ratcliffe, 2nd Bn, South Lancashire Regiment
For most conspicuous bravery ( Messines, France ). After an enemy’s trench had been captured, Private Ratcliffe located an enemy machine gun which was firing on his comrades from the rear, whereupon, single-handed and on his own initiative, he immediately rushed the machine gun position and bayonetted the crew. He then brought the gun back into action in the front line.
This very gallant soldier has displayed great resource on previous occasions, and has set an exceptionally fine example of devotion to duty.

William Ratcliffe was born in Liverpool and at the age of 17 joined the Army and served in South Africa during the Second Boer War. On leaving the army he worked on the docks, but when the WWI broke out he rejoined his old regiment, The South Lancashire Regiment (Prince of Wales' Volunteers). After being discharged in 1919, he was known as the Dockers VC when he went back to work at Liverpool docks.
He was burried with his sister and Brother in Law. Cornelius Walsh is also named on the bottom of this stone, killed at Dunkirk 1940


These stones in Anfield cemetery say "within this cemetery lies". Joseph Prosser is buried in a unmarked grave in section 14, Patrick Mylotts grave thou i couldn't even find in the cemetery records

Sergeant Patrick, MYLOTT VC (1820 - 22 December 1878)
84th Regiment (York & Lancaster Regiment) Lucknow, Indian Mutiny, 17 November 1857

For being foremost in rushing across a road, under a shower of balls, to take an opposite enclosure; and for gallant conduct at every engagement at which he was present with his Regiment, from 12th of July, 1857, to the relief of the garrison. Elected by the private soldiers of the Regiment.
He later achieved the rank of sergeant. He died in Liverpool, Lancashire on 22 December 1878.

Private Joseph, PROSSER VC (21 January 1833 - 1869)
2nd Bn 1st Regiment (Royal Scots, The Lothian Regiment)

On June 16th, 1855 at Sevastopol, Crimea, when on duty in the trenches, Private Prosser pursued and apprehended (while exposed to enemy cross-fire) a soldier in the act of deserting to the enemy. On August 11th he left the most advanced trench and helped to carry to safety a severely wounded soldier of the 95th Regiment who was unable to move. This act was performed under very heavy fire from the enemy.


Another one from Anfield that had been a unmarked grave until this stone was errected in 1989

John Kirk VC (July 1827 - 30 August 1865)

Born in Liverpool. He was approximately 29 years old, and a private in the 10th Regiment of Foot (later The Lincolnshire Regiment), British Army during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed on 4 June 1857 at Benares, India led to the award of the Victoria Cross to him, Peter Gill and Matthew Rosamund:

Citation for the Victoria Cross

*For daring gallantry shown at Benares, India, Private Kirk, on 4th June 1857, volunteered along with Sergeant-Major [Peter] Gill and Sergeant-Major [Matthew] Rosamund to rescue the Pension Paymaster, Captain Brown and his family, who were surrounded by rebels in the compound of their bungalow. He succeeded, at the risk of his own life, in helping to rescue them.

He was burried in Anfield Cemetery, Liverpool and this head stone was errected in 1989.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life (Lincoln, England)
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Default 11-11-2009, 19:58


Also at Anfield crematorium this small plaque but I'm not sure if his ashes are buried here

Lieutenant-Colonel Donald Dickson Farmer VC MSM (28 May 1877- 23 December 1956) was a Scottish recipient of the Victoria Cross

He was 23 years old, and a sergeant in the 1st Battalion, The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders, British Army during the South African War (Boer War) when he won the VC. His citation reads:
"On 13 December 1900 during an attack at Nooitgedacht, South Africa, a lieutenant with 15 men went to the assistance of a picquet which was heavily engaged, most of the men having been killed or wounded. The enemy immediately opened fire on the relief party, killing two and wounding five, including the Lieutenant Sandilands. Sergeant Farmer at once went to the officer who was quite helpless, and carried him away under heavy fire to a place of comparative safety, after which he returned to the firing line and was eventually taken prisoner"

The Victoria Cross (VC) was awarded to 78 members of the British Armed Forces for action during the Second Boer War. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Regimental Museum of Queens Own Highlanders (Fort George, Inverness-shire, Scotland).


Again a "within this cemetery lies" stone
Arthur Herbert Lindsay Richardson VC. Liverpool Cathedral St. James Gardens.

Born in Southport, Lancashire in 1872, Richardson emigrated to Canada in 1898. After a period as a rancher he joined the North-West Mounted Police in 1894. At the outbreak of the Boer War in 1900 he joined the newly raised Lord Strathcona's Horse. He was 27 years old, and a sergeant when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 5 July 1900 at Wolwespruit, Standerton, South Africa, a party of Lord Strathcona's Horse (38 in number) came into contact and was engaged at close quarters with a force of 80 of the enemy. When the order was given to retire Sergeant Richardson rode back under very heavy cross-fire, picked up a trooper whose horse had been shot and who was badly wounded and rode with him out of fire. This act of gallantry was performed within 300 yards of the enemy and Sergeant Richardson was himself riding a wounded horse.

Richardson was the first soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross for actions committed while serving with a Canadian unit under British command. After his wife's death in 1916, Richardson returned to Liverpool and died there in 1932.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Military Museums in Calgary, Alberta.




Gabriel George Coury VC (1896 - 1956),St Peter & St Paul Churchyard, Crosby.
Earned himself the VC at a position called Arrow Head Copse near Guillemont, France, August 8, 1916, during the Battle of the Somme.

London Gazette Citation 26 October 1916
"For most conspicuous bravery. During an advance he was in command of two platoons ordered to dig a communication trench from the firing line to the position won. By his fine example and utter contempt of danger he kept up the spirits of his men and completed his task under intense fire. Later, after his battalion had suffered severe casualties and the Commanding Officer had been wounded, he went out in front of the advanced position in broad daylight and in full view of the enemy found his Commanding Officer, and brought him back to the new advanced trench over ground swept by machine-gun fire. He not only carried out his original tasks and saved his Commanding Officer, but also assisted in rallying the attacking troops when they were shaken and in leading them forward."

Out of all of this victoria cross winners Gabriel Coury is the one I've been able to find the most newspaper cutting on in the library in town, I've water marked them because they took me ages to find and clean up and make readable



Liverpool courier, October 27th 1916


Liverpool Echo, Tuesday November 14th




Liverpool Daily Post and Mercury, November 20th 1916
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