Victorian VC graves

Section for all discussions and the posting of photographs or links regarding Victorian related monuments, war memorials and graves - both in the UK and elsewhere.

Re: Victorian VC graves

Postby Les Waring » 24 Feb 2014 13:52

MAMC

Yes, David Harvey's 'Monuments to Courage' is the definitive souce for V.C. graves, but it has some omissions and errors, about which I had some correspondence with him before he died. The photos are also in black and white, and quite small, so it's good to have the larger photos, with better resolution, as published here.

I've only managed to visit and photo two of the graves of my special interest, Original Defenders of the Lucknow Residency, (Cubbit at Frimley and Innes at Cambridge) but just can't work out how to upload photos to this site (I'm not a PC technical buff, so don't understand the jargon.)

I'd be very interested to know what the inscription on the stone of Robert Aitken, in St Andrews (Scotland) says, if anyone can get a photo with good resolution.

Of course, I'm still on the track of the grave of 'my man', Sam Lawrence V.C.. David was given erroneous information by a British diplomat, and, as far as I know, he is not buried in the ossuary (as shown in the photo) of Montevideo's British Cemetery. I've now visited the house where he died (in 1868) and there was unprompted local talk of graves beside a nearby stream, so I'm hopeful of being able to find something in the near future.

Sam was, of course, from Cork. Any idea whether Belmont Cottage, where he may have been born and/or spent some of his early years, still exists? There was an incident there involving the death of an IRA man during the Civil War.

Best

Les W.
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Re: Victorian VC graves

Postby MAMC » 24 Feb 2014 21:19

Hi Les,
You are quite right, as time goes on more correct information and detail of past events comes to light, and I suppose this will always be the case, indeed for example, the photos posted are of a much better quality than in the Harvey book.
I was interested in hearing of the Lawrence VC holder, and his connection with a Belmont Cottage here in Cork. As there are "Belmonts" all over the place, I wonder if your IRA Belmont Cottage connection to him is correct. If it is I am only living a few miles from the area, so although I don't know where Belmont Cross is, I will take a drive down there and inquire, I will take some pictures for you if the Cottage is still there. I found this ( you may already have it) site connecting the Cottage and the IRA man mentioned..
http://irishvolunteers.org/2012/01/scot ... emembered/
Aidan.....
"LORD FORGIVE THREE SINS............
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Re: Victorian VC graves

Postby Les Waring » 25 Feb 2014 02:54

Aiden

Thanks for the reply. In my rush I forgot to mention that Sam H. Lawrence's father - also Samuel Hill Lawrence, veteran of the Peninsular War and Waterloo with the 32nd foot, is on the list of subscribers to Samuel Lewis 'A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland' (published 1837) as living at Belmont Cottage, Douglas, Cork, which should narrow things down a bit. The article on 'Scotty' (which I had seen before) does mention Douglas in relation to Belmont Cottage, where 'Scotty' was killed.

The Lawrences were protestants, Samuel sr. may have been master of an Orange lodge, though that seems to have at Nenagh, where he appears to have come from. Sam's mother, however, was a Boisdale MacDonald, they being largely catholic. Neither parent apparently died in Cork, Sam Sr. probably in Dublin and Mrs Lawrence in England. Are there any local newspapers available for the period of Sam's birth (Jan-Feb 1831)? His younger brother, Hector McLean Lawrence, was killed in the Crimea serving with the 34th Foot, in 1854.

Any refs, photos etc. would be gratefully received. I'm only lacking clarification of Sam's burial place and, hopefully, some info. about his early life, education etc., before putting together the final version of the short biography (c.12K words) I've been writing about him for some years.

Best

Les W.
Last edited by Les Waring on 26 Feb 2014 22:55, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Victorian VC graves

Postby MAMC » 26 Feb 2014 16:17

Hi Les,
To begin with, your Belmont has been built on in recent years and little if any of the old townland exists as it now has housing estates for the most part (Google Earth), I don't know of any Protestant Church in the area, but I will try the Douglas one (St. Lukes) near me, for possible information.
I would need to find someone with a knowledge of the greater Douglas area with regard to Belmont Cross/ Belmont Cottage. Local newspapers for that 1831 period (very early) do not exist, and unless the Lawrences were wealthy landowners information about them would be sparse I'm afraid...
The OSI Link is interesting in that, when you find an area of interest and zoom in, and using the "HISTORIC" option on the right, this gives you that place in times past. I have used this to see old British Army Barrack places in Ireland.
I have used it for the Belmont townland (S/E of Douglas) and only came up with a Belmont House...
The second Link gives some Memorials around the country...
I will inquire around, and if anything new turns up I will advise you ......
http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,591271,743300,0,10
http://www.irishwarmemorials.ie/
"LORD FORGIVE THREE SINS............
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Re: Victorian VC graves

Postby Les Waring » 26 Feb 2014 23:05

MAMC

Thanks very much for your efforts - the OSI link is particularly useful.

However, I think that I'm moving away from the specific topic of the V.C. graves. I have plenty of other questions to ask you about Cork and environs so I'll contact you about these by PM. Answer as and when you wish.

One last thought. I've been studying and searching for material about Sam Lawrence V.C. for about 15 years now and it's a bit depressing to find that his birthplace might have been obliterated by a housing estate or shopping centre and that his grave (here in Uruguay) by a field of soya beans ! Still, 'dust to dust' as they say.

Best

Les W.
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Re: Victorian VC graves

Postby MAMC » 27 Feb 2014 00:36

Hi Les,
If I can be of help with regard to Cork just ask....
Aidan..
"LORD FORGIVE THREE SINS............
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Re: Victorian VC graves

Postby MAMC » 27 Feb 2014 16:22

Les,
If this shows the right area, the Gate Lodge may be the Belmont Cottage.
That certainly is a Cross Road nearby, which is still there....
http://maps.osi.ie/publicviewer/#V1,572647,568849,7,7
"LORD FORGIVE THREE SINS............
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Re: Victorian VC graves

Postby Les Waring » 01 Mar 2014 23:44

MAMC

Overlaying the modern map on the period one, it seems clear that the road pattern has been retained, even the winding driveway from the gate to the 'big house', though the latter, 'Belmonte', and the gate house/cottage have gone and a modern estate of fairly large (?)houses has been built there. Some vestiges of the old estate, gate posts etc., may have been retained for 'aesthetic effect'.

It would be interesting to find out who the Belmonte estate belonged to in the mid-19th century. Is that still possible? The Lawrences, apparently, were at best minor gentry with little money and a strong connection to the British Army, ditto Mrs Lawrence's McDonald, Caddel etc. side of the family. Maybe some connection there. Also the possible Orange Lodge connection of Lawrence Sr.

I'll leave it there and get back to you by PM.

Best

Les W.
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Re: Victorian VC graves

Postby Rural53 » 11 Jun 2014 11:11

Charles Heaphy VC
1820 - 3 Aug 1881

Citation
"For his gallant conduct at the skirmish on the banks of the Mangapiko River, in New Zealand, on the 11th of February, 1864, in assisting a wounded soldier of the 40th Regiment, who had fallen into a hollow among the thickest of the concealed Maories. Whilst doing so, he became the target for a volley at a few feet distant. Five balls pierced his clothes and cap, and he was wounded in three places. Although hurt, he continued to aid the wounded until the end of the day.

Major Heaphy was at the time in charge of a party of soldiers of the 40th and 50th Regiments, under the orders of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry Marshman Havelock, Bart., V.C., G.C.B, D.L. the Senior Officer on the spot, who had moved rapidly down to the place where the troops were-hotly engaged and pressed."

Image

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Toowong Cemetery (old Brisbane General Cemetery), Brisbane, Australia

"In 1859 Heaphy enlisted with the Auckland Rifle Volunteers. He supported the war that broke out in Taranaki in 1860. As preparations were made to invade the Waikato he helped with the survey work for the military road being driven south from Auckland. By July 1863 he was in command of a local militia and became Lieutenant-General Duncan Cameron’s Military Surveyor and Guide to the Forces. In February 1864, while under intense fire, Heaphy went to the aid of a wounded soldier during fighting at Waiari, near Te Awamutu. This act saw him become the first member of an irregular unit to be awarded the Victoria Cross. He received his medal three years later at a parade in Auckland on 11 May 1867. Despite this recognition Heaphy was privately expressing disappointment with his life in New Zealand. This may have reflected his heavy workload as chief surveyor to the central government from January 1864 to December 1865, when he was fully occupied with surveys of confiscated Waikato lands."
Source: 'Charles Heaphy', URL: http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/people/charles-heaphy, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 10-Mar-2014
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