Famous Graves at Brookwood Cemetery

Victoria Cross Holders buried at Brookwood Cemetery

Brookwood Cemetery is the final resting place of twelve recipients of the Victoria Cross. In addition, a further three recipients are commemorated on memorials in the cemetery.

The total of fifteen commemorations is one of the highest in any English cemetery. The following table lists all the known holders of the Victoria Cross commemorated in the Cemetery and the date of the action or battle resulting in the award.

Click on the links for further information. Much of the information listed on these pages is courtesy of David Harvey, whose definitive book, Monuments to Courage: Victoria Cross Headstones & Memorials (1999), is highly recommended for further reading.

ADDISON, Rev. William Robert Fountaine (1883-1962); Mesopotamia, 9 April 1916

William Addison

(1883-1962)

Rev. William Robert Fountaine Addison VC came from Odiham, Hants. He was educated at Robert May’s Grammar School, Odiham, and Salisbury Theological College, and spent some time working in a Canadian logging camp. He was ordained in 1913 and was appointed curate of St. Edmunds Church, Salisbury.

On the outbreak of war he volunteered for the Army Chaplain’s Department, and was posted to the 13th Division in Mesopotamia (Iraq). Serving as Chaplain of the Forces, 4th Class, he was awarded the VC for his action at Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia, on 9 April 1916.

His citation from The London Gazette (issue 29765 of 26 September 1916) reads:

“Rev. William Robert Fountaine Addison, temp. Chaplain to the Forces, 4th Class, Army Chaplain’s Department.

“For most conspicuous bravery. He carried a wounded man to the cover of a trench, and assisted several others to the same cover, after binding up their wounds under heavy rifle and machine gun fire. In addition to these unaided efforts, by his splendid example and utter disregard of personal danger, he encouraged the stretcher-bearers to go forward under heavy fire and collect the wounded.”

Rev. Addison was invested with the VC by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 3 August 1917.

Following the end of the First World War William Addison remained in the Army Chaplain’s Department, serving in several posts in England, in Khartoum, Malta, and with the Shanghai Defence Force. He retired from Army service as a chaplain in August 1938, after serving for more than twenty years, and having lived in twenty-one different houses. During the Second World War Addison was re-appointed chaplain to the forces in 1939 and deputy assistant chaplain-general in South Wales.

William Addison died in St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex, on 7 January 1962. On 11 January his funeral took place at St Barnabas’s Church, Bexhill-on-Sea, and was buried in Brookwood Cemetery on the same day. His VC medal is on display at the National Army Museum in London.

In recent years, the memorial was badly weathered, the foundations to the cross were exposed and in danger of collapse, and the inscription was largely illegible.

In the autumn of 2007, the Brookwood Cemetery Society arranged for the cleaning and repair to the stonework, the inscription panels were cleaned and made completely legible, and the grave space and foundations to the cross were made sound.

The photograph shows the final result of this work which has left us with another fine monument to a very brave man.

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:

National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website

HARTLEY, Edmund Baron (1847-1919); Moirosi's Mountain, Basutoland, 5 June 1879

Born in Ivybridge, Devon, Edmund Baron Hartley VC served during the Basuto War as a Surgeon-Major with the Cape Mounted Riflemen, South African Forces.

Hartley was awarded the VC for his action at Moirosi’s Mountain, Basutoland on 5 June 1879. His citation from The London Gazette (issue 25023 of 7 October 1881) reads:

“On 5 June 1879 in South Africa, Surgeon Major Hartley attended the wounded under fire at the unsuccessful attack at Morosi’s Mountain. From an exposed position, on open ground, he carried in his arms a wounded corporal of the Cape Mounted Riflemen. The surgeon major then returned under severe enemy fire in order to dress the wounds of the other men of the storming party.”

He was later promoted to Surgeon-Colonel and served during the Second South African War. For his Boer War service, he was created a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George. He passed away at his home in Ash, Surrey.

Hartley’s Victoria Cross and other medals are now displayed at the Army Medical Services Museum, Mytchett, Surrey.

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:
National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website

KENNY, William (1880-1936); Ypres, Belgium, 23 October 1914

Drum Major (Sargeant) William Kenny was born in Drogheda, County Louth in 1880. He served in the Boer War, where he was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with Bars and the King’s South Africa Medal with Bars. In 1914  During the First Battle of Ypres, Kenny was serving as a Drummer with the 2nd Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders. His unit was posted between Kruiseecke and Zandvoorde, southeast of Gheluvelt and the Menin Road, and he was awarded the Victoria Cross for the following deed which took place on 23 October 1914.

His citation from The London Gazette (issue 29074 of 16 February 1946) reads:

“S6535 Drummer William Kenny, 2nd Battalion, The Gordon Highlanders.”

“For conspicuous bravery on 23rd October, near Ypres, in rescuing wounded men on five occasions under very heavy fire in the most fearless manner, and for twice previously saving machine guns by carrying them out of action. On numerous occasions Drummer Kenny conveyed urgent messages under very dangerous circumstances over fire-swept ground.”

Kenny was discharged from the army in 1919 as a Drum Major (Sergeant). For many years he was a Commissionaire, acting as a uniformed doorman and professional greeter for a number of hotels, banks, and shops in the West End of London. It also appears he worked for a period in the early 1930s at the Warnes Hotel, Worthing.
In 1936 he was living at the Corps Barracks in Hammersmith, when he was suddenly taken ill and taken to Charing Cross Hospital where he died at the age of 55.

On 20 March 1999 the grave of William Kenny received a new headstone in the Corps of Commissionaires section, arranged by the London branch of the Gordon Highlanders Regimental Association. Although Kenny was buried in 1936, the original marker (probably of wood) was lost and until this stone memorial was erected, Kenny was not otherwise commemorated.

His Victoria Cross and other medals are on displayed at the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:

National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website

MARTINEAU, Horace Robert (1873-1916); Near Mafeking, South Africa, 26 December 1899

Horace Robert Martineau VC was born in Bayswater, London, on 31 October 1874. Following his education at University College School, he enlisted in the 11th Hussars in 1891 and served with the regiment in Natal and in India before purchasing his discharge and returning to South Africa in 1895.

In 1896 he served under Colonel Sir Robert Baden-Powell in the successful campaign against the Matebele. He then joined the Cape Police and on the outbreak of the Boer War in 1899, joined the Protectorate Regiment (North West Cape Colony) with which he served in the South African campaign of 1899-1902, taking part in the defence of Mafeking.

Martineau was awarded the VC for his action near Mafeking on 26 December 1899. His citation from The London Gazette (issue 27208 of 6 July 1900) reads:

“On 26th December, 1899, during the fight at Game Tree, near Mafeking, when the order to retire had been given, Sergeant Martineau stopped and picked up Corporal Le Camp, who had been struck down about 10 yards from the Boer trenches, and half dragged, half carried, him towards a bush about 150 yards from the trenches. In doing this Sergeant Martineau was wounded in the side, but paid no attention to it, and proceeded to stanch and bandage the wounds of his comrade, whom he, afterwards, assisted to retire. The firing while they were retiring was very heavy and Sergeant Martineau was again wounded. When shot the second time he was absolutely exhausted from supporting his comrade and sank down unable to proceed farther. He received three wounds, one of which necessitated the amputation of his arm near the shoulder.”

Martineau was invested with his Victoria Cross by the Commander in Chief South Africa, Lord Roberts, at Cape Town on 11 December 1900.

Horace Martineau took no further part in the South African war and took up employment with the African Boating Company, a large concern in Durban. Upon the outbreak of the First World War he was living in New Zealand and immediately joined the New Zealand Otago Regiment, serving with the Transport Service of the ANZACs, seeing service in Egypt (1914-15) and action in the Gallipoli campaign.

It was whilst in Gallipoli he contracted a fever, fell seriously ill, and was invalided back home to New Zealand. He eventually died from the results of the fever on 7 April 1916, aged 41 years. Horace Martineau is buried in Anderson’s Bay Cemetery, Duneden. He is also commemorated on the family grave in Brookwood Cemetery.

The Victoria Cross and other campaign medals awarded to Horace Martineau, were sold at auction in 2002 by Spink of London for a hammer price of £90,000. The VC was purchased on behalf of the Michael Ashcroft Trust, the holding institution for Lord Ashcroft’s VC Collection.

Louis Creswicke: South Africa and the Transvaal War 
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Great Boer War, Chapter 24, The Siege of Mafeking

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:
National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website

PEARSE, Samuel George (1897-1919); Emtsa, Russia, 29 August 1919

Sergeant Samuel George Pearse VC MM was born at Penarth, Glamorganshire and was educated at Penarth Grammar School. In 1911 his family moved to Mildura, Australia where he joined the local Legion of Frontiersmen‘s Unit.

Pearse served at Gallipoli and then in France. Following his discharge in July 1919 he joined the North Russia Relief Force with the 45th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers. He was involved in fighting along the railway south of Archangel and was killed in action during the final assault on 29 August Emtsa.

His citation from The London Gazette (issue 31613 of 21 October 1919) reads:

“For most conspicuous bravery, devotion to duty and self-sacrifice during the operation against the enemy battery position north of Emtsa (North Russia) on the 29th August 1919. Sergeant Pearse cut his way through enemy barbed wire under very heavy machine-gun and rifle fire and cleared a way for the troops to enter an enemy battery position. Seeing that a blockhouse was harassing our advance and causing us casualties, he charged the blockhouse single-handed, killing the occupants with bombs. This gallant non-commissioned officer met with his death a minute later, and it was due to him that the position was carried with so few casualties. His magnificent bravery and utter disregard for personal danger won for him the admiration of all troops.”

Sergeant Pearse was buried in the Archangel Allied Cemetery in North Russia. His Victoria Cross, Military Medal and service medals are privately held.

More information can be found at the Australian Dictionary of Biography entry for Samuel George Pearse

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:
National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website

Other Victoria Cross Holders buried at the Cemetery:

BEAK, Daniel Marcus (1891-1967); Longest Wood, France, 21, 25 August & 4 September 1918
FRISBY, Cyril Hubert (1885-1961); Near Graincourt, France, 27 September 1918
INKSON, Edgar Thomas (1872-1947); Colenso, South Africa, 24 February 1900
KELLY, John Sherwood (1880-1931); Marcoing, France, 20 November 1917
WRIGHT, Wallace Duffield (1875-1953); Nigeria, 26 February 1903

Rupert Hallowes (died 1915); Hooge, France, September 1915

2nd Lieutenant Rupert Price Hallowes VC MC was the son of Frederick and Mary Hallowes, of Dan-y-Ffynnon, Port Talbot, South Wales. He was educated at Haileybury College and joined the Artists’ Rifles.

Hallowes won his medal for actions at Sanctuary Wood in the Ypres Salient, Belgium, between 25-30 September 1915. His citation from The London Gazette (issue 29371 of 16 November 1915) reads:

“For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty during the fighting at Hooge between 25th September and 1st October, 1915. Second Lieutenant Hallowes displayed throughout these days the greatest bravery and untiring energy, and set a magnificent example to his men during four heavy and prolonged bombardments. On more than one occasion he climbed up on the parapet, utterly regardless of danger, in order to put fresh heart into his men. He made daring reconnaissances of the German positions in our lines. When the supply of bombs was running short he went back under very heavy shell fire and brought up a fresh supply. Even after he was mortally wounded he continued to cheer those around him and to inspire them with fresh courage.”

Hallowes died of his wounds on 30 September 1915, and is buried at Bedford House Cemetery, Zillebeke, near Ypres. His Victoria Cross, Military Cross, and other medals are on display at the National Army Museum.

Rupert Hallowes is also commemorated on the family grave in plot 84 at Brookwood Cemetery.

Rupert Hallowes was a sidesman, Secretary of the Parish’s Men’s Society and Scoutmaster in Port Talbot. He is the only person from Port Talbot to be awarded the VC. In honour of his memory two Clayton and Bell stained glass windows were commissioned depicting the Archangels Michael and Gabriel and situated in the Lady Chapel of St Theodore’s Church, Port Talbot.

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:

National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website

HOLLOWELL, James (1823-1876); Lucknow, India, 26 September 1857

Born in Lambeth, Lance-Corporal James Hollowell VC was a private in the 78th Regiment of Foot (later The Seaforth Highlanders), during the Indian Mutiny. He was awarded the VC for his actions during the siege of Lucknow:

His citation from The London Gazette (issue 22154 of 18 June 1858) reads:

“78th regiment, Private James Hollowell. A party, on the 26th of September, 1857, was shut up and besieged in a house in the city of Lucknow, by the rebel sepoys. Private James Hollowell, one of the party, behaved throughout the day, in the most admirable manner; he directed, encouraged, and led the others, exposing himself fearlessly, and by his talent in persuading and cheering, prevailed on nine dispirited men to make a successful defence, in a burning house, with the enemy, firing through four windows. (Extract from Divisional Orders of Major-General Sir James Outram, GCB, dated 14th October 1857.)”

He later achieved the rank of Lance-Corporal. After leaving the Army he was employed by the Corps of Commissionaires. He died in Holborn on 4 April 1876 an was buried in an unmarked grave in the Corps of Commissionaires section of Brookwood Cemetery.

His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Regimental Museum of Queens Own Highlanders, Inverness-shire, Scotland.

The memorial shown here was erected in October 2000 in association with his regiment. The headstone is of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission pattern and grants permanent recognition of this brave soldier.

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:

National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website

MANGLES, Ross Lowis (1833-1905); Arrah, Indian Mutiny, 30 July 1857

Born in Calcutta, Mr Ross Lowis Mangles VC joined the Bengal Civil Service in 1853 and served as Assistant Magistrate at Patna until 1857, and after the Arrah action as Magistrate, Chunparun District, North Behar. He is one of only five civilians to be awarded the Victoria Cross.
The siege of Arrah, though on a small scale, is one of the great actions of the Indian Mutiny and this tiny garrison managed to hold out and inflict severe casualties on the vastly superior number of rebels, until finally relieved on the 2 August 1857. Strangely, however, there were no awards for this heroic defence but two well deserved Crosses were given for actions during a poorly managed and finally disastrous relief attempt on the 29-30 July 1857.

It was the recommendation by Sir James Outram for the award Victoria Crosses for two civilians, Mr. William McDonell and Ross Mangles, both of the Bengal Civil Service, which was rejected until the Governor-General, Lord Canning, had made emphatic representations to London that led to the Royal Warrant of 10 August 1858 allowing awards to civilians.

His citation from The London Gazette (issue 22283 of 8 July 1859) reads:

“Mr Mangles volunteered and served with the Force, consisting of detachments of Her Majesty’s 10th and 37th Regiments, and some Native Troops, despatched to the relief of Arrah, in July 1857, under the Command of Captain Dunbar of the 10th Regiment. The Force fell into an Ambuscade on the night of the 29th of July 1857, and during the retreat on the next morning, Mr Mangles, with signal gallantry and generous self-devotion, and notwithstanding that he himself had been previously wounded, carried for several miles out of action a wounded soldier of Her Majesty’s 37th Regiment, after binding up his wounds under a murderous fire, which killed or wounded almost the whole detachment; and he bore him in safety to the boats.”

Ross Mangles was on sick leave in England from September 1858 to January 1860 and during this period was able to attend Windsor Castle to be invested with his Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria on 4 January 1860.

He retired from the Indian Civil Service in 1883 and returned to England. Ross Mangles died on the 28 February 1905 in Pirbright, Surrey, and was buried in Brookwood Cemetery. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the National Army Museum

In May 2006, the Brookwood Cemetery Society arranged for Pankhurst Graphic Masonry to restore the cross so that it base was set upright. The inscription panels were also cleaned. Following the completion of this stage, the Society’s small restoration group tidied the grave plot to reveal the decorative cast iron surround. The grave space was cleared, geotextile sheet was laid, and the area partly filled with gravel. Finally the cast iron surround was cleaned and repainted. Following this repaint, the grave space was finished off with more gravel.
We are left with a striking memorial commemorating a brave civilian who lived locally. The restoration was completed during the 150th anniversary year of the Victoria Cross.

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:

National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website

MEIKLEJOHN, Matthew F. M. (1870-1913); Elandslaagte, South Africa, 21 October 1899

Major Matthew Fontaine Maury Meiklejohn VC was educated atFettes College. He joined the Gordon Highlanders in India in 1891. He saw active service with the Chitral Relief Force (1895) and the Tirah Expedition (1897). He was promoted to Captain in 1899.

During the South African War (Boer War), Meiklejohn won his VC for his actions at the Battle of Elandslaagte on 21 October 1899. His citation from The London Gazette (issue 27212 of 20 July 1900) reads:

“At the Battle of Elandslaagte, on the 21st October, 1899, after the main Boer position had been captured, some of the men of the Gordon Highlanders, when about to advance, were exposed to a heavy cross-fire and, having lost their leaders, commenced to waver. Seeing this, Captain Meiklejohn rushed to the front and called on the Gordons to follow him. By his conspicuous bravery and fearless example, he rallied the men and led them against the enemy’s position where he fell, desperately wounded in four places.”

Owing to the severity of his wounds, Meiklejohn’s right arm was amputated.

Meiklejohn went on to become a very efficient Staff Officer. He moved to the War Office in 1909 working in the department of the Director of Military Training. He later achieved the rank of Major.

Major Meiklejohn died on 4 July 1913 following a fall from his horse in Hyde Park. His horse was startled by the salute during an OTC inspection and galloped away towards a group of children. To avoid them, Meiklejohn turned his horse against the railings of Rotten Row. He was thrown off and never regained consciousness. The Times reported it as an act of heroic self-sacrifice.

Major Meiklejohn was buried with full military honours. The first part of the service was held in the private chapel of the Middlesex Hospital, where he died. A military procession to the Necropolis station followed, whilst at Brookwood a short service took place in the cemetery chapel before the burial took place.

A plaque was placed on the wall of Knightsbridge Barracks with the details of the incident along with the words “He gave his life to save others”. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Gordon Highlanders Museum, Aberdeen.

Louis Creswicke: South Africa and the Transvaal War Vol. 2, Chapter 1 
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Great Boer War, Chapter 6 Elandslaagte and Rietfontein

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:
National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website

REYNOLDS, William (1827-1867); Battle of the Alma, 20 September 1854

Private William Reynolds VC was a stonemason by trade and came from the Stockbridge district of Edinburgh.

He was a guardsman from No.4 Company supporting the Scots Fusilier Guards Colour Party at the Battle of the Alma in September 1854. This battle was the first major engagement of the Crimean War. Private Reynolds was awarded his medal for his significant role in rallying the troops and ensuring they fought on, despite increasing heavy fire. The bravery of this Colour Party was such that three of its members were among the first Scots recipients of the Victoria Cross. Private Reynolds was a stonemason by trade and came from Stockbridge, Edinburgh. He received his medal at an investiture held in Hyde Park on 26 June 1857. he later became a bank messenger and died in London in 1869.

His citation from The London Gazette (issue 21971 of 24 February 1857) reads:

“Scots Fusilier Guards No. 3368 Private William Reynolds. When the formation of the line was disordered at Alma, for having behaved in a conspicuous manner in rallying men around the Colours.”

William Reynolds was invested with his Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria in Hyde Park on 26 June 1857.

After leaving the Army he settled in London, obtaining a job as a bank messenger. Reynolds died on the 20 October 1869, aged 42, in the workhouse dispensary of the Strand Union, Central London. He was buried in a ‘2nd class grave’ in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Guards’ Regimental Headquarters, Wellington Barracks, London.

William-Reynolds2One of Scotland’s forgotten war heroes was finally given permanent recognition more than 120 years after being buried in a “2nd class” grave in Brookwood Cemetery.
A memorial commemorating the life of Private William Reynolds VC was placed by the Scots Guards Association Club in Brookwood Cemetery on Friday, 27 April 2007. The costs of the memorial were covered by donations received by the Association at their offices in Clifton Terrace, Edinburgh. A brief service was held over the memorial followed by refreshments in the Garrison Church, Pirbright Camp.

The following links give further information about the Victoria Cross:

National Army Museum
Victoria Cross website