Commander Loftus William Jones: Fighting to the Very End!

Loftus William Jones was born in 1879 in Petersfield, Hampshire, a small town 17 miles to the north of the Naval Base at Portsmouth. His Father was Admiral Loftus Francis Jones, who retired from the Navy twenty years after his son was born in 1899. Given his Father’s position in the Royal Navy and theContinue reading “Commander Loftus William Jones: Fighting to the Very End!”

The Boy Hero: John Travers Cornwell V.C.

The 16 year old Boy Sailor stood by his shattered gun, his crew mates around him dead and dying. Despite continuing enemy fire and the exposed position he was in he stood quietly, awaiting further orders. His devotion to his duty compelled him to remain at his position “just in case he was called uponContinue reading “The Boy Hero: John Travers Cornwell V.C.”

The Fighting Bradfords: A Most Remarkable Family

In 1885 George Bradford, a mining engineer from Chirnside, a small village just North of the border, married Amy Marian Nicholson from Brabourne in Kent. Nobody could have predicted at the time that this marriage would produce one of the most remarkable fighting families Britain had ever seen. Their four sons, Thomas; George; Roland andContinue reading “The Fighting Bradfords: A Most Remarkable Family”

The Headlines on this Day on…

Friday 27th November 1914 Loss of HMS Bulwark: British Battleship Blown up in Sheerness Harbour While Band Played: “Tragic Accident” The battleship Bulwark was blown up at Sheerness Harbour early yesterday morning. At the time of the Explosion the band of the battleship was playing. Only twelve men were saved out of a crew whichContinue reading “The Headlines on this Day on…”

Norman Augustus Finch: Last Man Standing

As the prevailing wind changed dispersing the smoke screen, HMS Vindictive, the aging Arrogant Class Cruiser was hit by a torrent of fire from the German Guns on the shore. The upperworks bore the brunt of the barrage and many were injured by splinters from the battered vessel. Many of the Royal Marine Gunners inContinue reading “Norman Augustus Finch: Last Man Standing”

George William Chafer V.C. – Small in Stature; Big in Heart

George William Chafer, an orphan of a little over five feet in height was not your typical Victoria Cross recipient; indeed, he is the smallest man to ever receive the award. What he lacked in stature though, he more than made up for in courage and determination. Born in Bradford in 1894, George lost hisContinue reading “George William Chafer V.C. – Small in Stature; Big in Heart”

25th of October – On this Day Special

World War 1 25th of October 1917 VC Hero at Passchendaele The third battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) is now into a third month. The British currently hold Hill 60, a spoil heap on the Ypres-Comines railway. It was during this battle that 2nd Lieutenant Hugh Colvin from Burnley Earned his Victoria Cross. Colvin started hisContinue reading “25th of October – On this Day Special”

Remebering Private Thomas Whitham: VC Hero who died in Poverty

Private Thomas Whitham was born in Burnley on the 11th of May 1888. He was one of seven Children brought up by Catherine Witham, who lost her husband when Thomas was only young. The family lived in Worsthorne, a small village in the borough of Burnley. Thomas trained as a mason and bricklayer in BurnleyContinue reading “Remebering Private Thomas Whitham: VC Hero who died in Poverty”

From Private to Major: The Rise of Hugh Colvin VC

Hugh Colvin was born to Scottish parents on the 18th of March 1887 in Burnley Lancashire. His Father, also Hugh, was a Gardener, and Hugh himself was sent off to work as Gardeners apprentice in Lancaster as a teenager. Hugh was one of four Children; his older sister Margaret was born in Scotland in 1885;Continue reading “From Private to Major: The Rise of Hugh Colvin VC”

October 15th – On this Day in…

Ajax Again – Sinks 3 Italians October 15th, 1940 HMS Ajax, the famous cruiser which battered the Graf Spee in the River Plate battle , has sunk 2 Italian destroyers and, in the face of heavy odds, crippled another in two brilliant Mediterranean Actions. HMS York finished off the damaged vessel and then the navyContinue reading “October 15th – On this Day in…”

WW1 – The Battle for Hill 60, Two More VC’s

Private Edward Dwyer Edward Dwyer joined the East Surrey Regiment in 1912 aged just 17 and was posted to the 1st Battalion. Three years later he found himself in the middle of one of the fiercest battles of the 1st World War; the battle for Hill 60. Hill 60, despite being nothing more than aContinue reading “WW1 – The Battle for Hill 60, Two More VC’s”

WW1 – The Battle for Hill 60: Second Lieutenant Benjamin Handley Geary VC

Hill 60 near Ypres in Belgium was actually a large spoil heap from the digging of a cutting on the Ypres-Comines Railway. The hill was a strategic landmark because of the view it gave to the surrounding area, and as a result it was fought over and changed hands numerous times. On April 17th, 1915,Continue reading “WW1 – The Battle for Hill 60: Second Lieutenant Benjamin Handley Geary VC”

The Heroes of HMS Jervis Bay

HMS Jervis Bay, built by Vickers Limited in Barrow-in-Furness, and launched in 1922 started life as a Commonwealth Line steamer. In 1939 she was requisitioned by the Royal Navy and converted into an armed merchant cruiser. She was fitted with seven outdated, late 19th century 6 inch guns and two, even older 3 inch gunsContinue reading “The Heroes of HMS Jervis Bay”