"John Chard VC
A notable and interesting recipient of the Victoria Cross is Lieutenant John Rouse Merriott Chard who won his VC at the Battle of Rorkeís Drift during the Zulu War in 1879. During the battle Chard commanded a small British garrison of just over 100 men who fought off repeated attacks from over 4000 Zulu warriors. Some 11 VCs were awarded for the battle which remains one of the highest numbers of VCs awarded for a single action. Chard became a firm favourite of Queen Victoria who was said to be extremely fond of him but he sadly died of cancer of the tongue on 1st November 1897 aged only 49.
After his death the whereabouts of his VC became unknown and a number of rumours developed. One such rumour, according to the Telegraph newspaper, was that the actor Stanley Baker who played Chard in the film Zulu obtained what he thought to be a cast copy of Chardís VC but it actually turned out to be Chardís real VC. After the death of Baker the VC again disappeared and was thought to have ended up in the hands of a private collector in Canada who had many VCs within his collection which he kept a secret. However this collection has now been sold off and Chardís VC is now believed to be owned by Lord Ashcroft who is said to have the worldís largest private collection of VCs numbering 142 having cost Ashcroft over £14 million to assemble. Pressure is now on Lord Ashcroft to put his private collection on view after he has angered many military museums, including the RAF Museum, who he has outbid to buy many VCs at auction. The museums argue that the VCs are part of Britainís national heritage and should therefore be on display for the public to see. However Chardís original VC and South Africa Medal were recently put on display at the museum in Brecon for a short period of time along with many of the other Rorkeís Drift VCs. Visitors can still visit the museum but the VCs are now locked safely away with replicas taking their place on display
With the 150th Anniversary of the VC it is believed that the Lord may bend to pressure by placing his collection on display once suitable premises have been found to house them. Despite this criticism Lord Ashcroft has at least saved many VCs from being taken out of the UK by foreign collectors and if John Chardís VC ever came up for auction it may very well break the current sale record of £405,000 for a VC?"
A quick update regarding the Ashcroft Collection:
"The VC collection of businessman and politician Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains 162 medals, over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. Ashcroft purchased his first medal in 1986 and the collection has become the largest private or public collection of such decorations ever accumulated. It was announced in July 2008 that Ashcroft was to donate £5 million for a permanent gallery at the Imperial War Museum where the 50 VCs held by the museum will be put on display alongside his own collection of 162 VCs. The Lord Ashcroft Gallery at the Imperial War Museum, containing both the museum's VC collection and Lord Ashcroft's, opened on 12 November 2010 containing a total of 210 VCs and 31 GCs. It is now the largest public collection of VCs in the world. This distinction was previously held by the Australian War Memorial whose collection includes all nine VCs awarded to Australians at Gallipoli."
"Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."
Thanks Rob. I had got it in my head these were un-named for some unknown reason....
Too rich for my blood like most mere mortals and I only get to see the fronts in museums.
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I have just returned from a Christening this morning, and since Zulu has already been mentioned, I snapped a couple pics of a grave in the churchyard.
[/COLOR][CENTER][COLOR=#ff0000][SIZE=3]URGENTLY LOOKING FOR: 1982 era Argentine military issue goggles. Fravida 109, and "Sanbuee" French lens type
[/SIZE]Have a look at my 20+ (so far, work in progress) albums for lots of M1's, rare liners and other stuff, including WW2British helmets, Falklands battlefield pickup helmets and let me know what you think!
Thank you for this fantastic info. Also, I know a gent who lives in Houston who owns 25 V.C. I think at least 25 Knights Crosses, and I forget how many Medal of Honor. Also I think he owns around 35 Hero of the Soviet union too. I didnt see these in person but two I associated with at the time--visited his home and said they saw them all.
Ok here's what I know... This VC came from an advanced collection of Jack Stenabaugh.. at one point before his death he owned 20+ VC's .... This cross is named to George Hinckley.. George Hinckley lost his first VC at a funeral.. he asked for a replacement and one was granted to him.. (for the record there are 2 officially awarded crosses out there) IS THIS CROSS ONE OF THE 2 ORIGINALS??? The attached pics are taken by me of Jack Stenabaugh's photo album.
with that being said I found this info online >>>
A 'copy' Victoria Cross named to Able Seaman George Hinckley, Royal Navy, an 1862 Second China War award, has been sold by the auctioneers Smith and Wilde at a medal sale held at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, on 21st March 2008.
This VC is believed to be the Cross that was held by the Royal Naval Barracks in Portsmouth ( see below ). The VC realised a hammer price of £800 and was purchased by an anonymous buyer.
After winning his Victoria Cross in China in 1862 George Hinckley was invested with his VC by CinC Plymouth, Admiral Houston Stewart, at Devonport on the 7th July 1863. At the time Hinckley was serving as Quartermaster on HMS 'Royalist' and in November of the same year he reported the loss of his VC whilst attending a funeral in Plymouth. The War Office informed the Admiralty on the 23rd November 1863 that Hinckley's Cross would be replaced subject to the Admiralty being satisfied that conditions for replacement were complied with.
Hinckley died on the 31st December 1904 and was buried in Ford Park Cemetery, Plymouth. His Victoria Cross surfaced when it was sold at auction on the 1st January 1925 for £43, and again on 19th July 1962 when it was bought by the respected medal dealer Baldwin's, who purchased the VC at a Glendining's auction for £440. The VC was engraved "GEORGE HINCKLEY, ABLE SEAMAN, 9TH, OCTR, 1862".
Almost immediately after the sale of Hinckley's VC at the Glending auction of 19th July 1962, the Royal Naval Barracks in Portsmouth claimed they held the original replacement Victoria Cross, which had been hanging in the Barrack Wardroom for at least forty years. The VC was engraved "G. HINCKLEY, OCT. 9TH. 1862" and was hung from a blue ribbon.
A director of Glendining's stated "we are satisfied that the medal we sold was genuine after being examined by Hancocks who gave it a clean bill of health". Glendining's suggested to the RN Barracks that they also submit their VC to Hancocks for verification, which they did, and after examination was declared an "excellent copy", but was not genuine.
Following the 19th July sale, and to make matters even more confusing, a third Victoria Cross was taken into Glendining's office by an anonymous person claiming it was the original Hinckley VC. After examination it was dismissed by Glendining's and Hancocks as a copy. This VC was engraved "GEO. HINCKLEY A.B., OCTOBER, 9TH, 1962.
The Glendining's Victoria Cross was next seen at a Sotheby's auction, held on the 10th November 1988, where it was described in the sale catalogue as "The official replacement 'Second China War' Victoria Cross", engraved as above to, "GEORGE HINCKLEY, ABLE SEAMAN, 9TH, OCTR, 1862". The Cross was sold to an anonymous buyer for £3,630.
It is known that a fourth George Hinckley Victoria Cross, which is in private hands, was acquired from an unknown source in 1991, the buyer believing it to be the replacement VC issued to Hinckley in November 1863. The engraving on this particular VC, "AB GEO HINCKLEY, 9TH, OCT, 1862", is what might be expected of a Hancocks produced Cross. However, the provenance of this VC has not yet been proven.
[ London Gazette, 6 February 1863 ], Fung-Wha, China, 9 October 1862, Able Seaman George Hinckley, Royal Navy ( Naval Brigade ).
For volunteering while under the East Gate of the city of Fung-Wha, to carry to a joss house, a hundred and fifty yards distant, under a heavy and continuous fire of musketry, gingalls and stink-pots, Mr Coker, Master's Assistant of the "Sphinx", who had been wounded in the advance to the gate; in which object Hinckley succeeded. On his return to the gate, under a similar fire, he again volunteered and succeeded in carrying to the joss-house Mr Bremer, an officer of Ward's force, who had also been wounded in the advance on the gate; and he again returned to his post under the gate.
George Hinckley was invested with his Victoria Cross by CinC Plymouth, Admiral Houston Stewart, at Devonport on the 7th July 1863.
Medal entitlement of Able Seaman George Hinckley - Royal Navy ( HMS 'Sphinx' ) Naval Brigade
Second China War Medal - ( 1857-60 )
Engraving on official replacement VC:
Engraving on Smith & Wilde 'copy' VC:
Engraving on second 'copy' VC:
GEO. HINCKLEY A.B.
Engraving on fourth ( privately held ) VC:
AB GEO. HINCKLEY
This is a fantastic thread, not many people get to hold these in there hands.
I'd love to see all the Ashcroft VC's at the Imperial War Museum, I've seen the collection in Canberra and there an impressive looking group but nowhere near the 210 in the UK.
I was lucky enough to have been a friend of Richard " Dick" Annand the first Army VC of the second world war and saw and held his medals on quite a few occasions whilst at his home , i must admit it was a special feeling to hold something that is the highest accolade for bravery that a nation can bestow. Dicks VC is now in the Ashcroft collection and was on display at the IWM.
The gates of hell were opened and we accepted the invitation to enter" 26/880 Lance Sgt, Edward Dyke. 26th Bn Northumberland Fusiliers , ( 3rd Tyneside Irish )
1st July 1916
Thought shall be the harder , heart the keener,
Courage the greater as our strength faileth.
Here lies our leader ,in the dust of his greatness.
Who leaves him now , be damned forever.
We who are old now shall not leave this Battle,
But lie at his feet , in the dust with our leader
House Carles at the Battle of Hastings
Wow a real piece of history.
- - Updated - -
Wow a real piece of history.
- - Updated - -
Wow a real piece of history.
- - Updated - -
Wow a real piece of history.
Unfortunately I honestly believe the Victoria Cross has totally lost its standing due to its historical award being dictated by political posturing and racial bastardization. My Australian Grandfather-in-law was put forward for the DSO & VC for his actions in the raid on Singapore Harbour, Operation Rimau. These awards were rejected for consideration on the grounds that the recommendation for the awarding of the VC to two of the English Officers had been refused due to their being killed-in-action prior to the deeds for which the award was recommended. During my service I was told by my ex-Vietnam NCO's that the award of a VC for a heroic rear-guard was simply a diplomatic solution to an Australlian Advisor being killed by South Vietnamese troops when he ordered them to stand and fight. In the Falkland conflict we saw VC's handed out to counter public reaction to the war and now Australia has just awarded two VC's for actions that would be deemed by most with military experience to be within normal combat expectations. It would be interesting to see a compilation of the deeds committed to earn each nations highest award.