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 Priavte Griffiths VC

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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Priavte Griffiths VC   Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:26 pm

Private Griffiths was killed at Isandlwana with G Company.

Was his VC lost at Isandlwana or recovered??



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DB14
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impi

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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:56 pm

Private William Griffiths, won his VC in 1867 at Little Andaman Island.

Good question DB14. Would he have had his VC with or would it have been left in England.
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Chard1879

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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:10 pm

Looking for DB14's Man and came across this by Major Martin Everett.
Don't Know when he originally wrote this. But I wonder if it was ever establish if Thomas Lane did fight at Isandlwana.

"Private Thomas Lane VC initially served with the 67th (South Hampshire) Regiment, later 2nd Battalion The Hampshire regiment. He was born in May 1836 in Cork, Ireland. Little is know of his early life but at some stage he joined the 67th Regiment, in which he served in the Crimea. For these services he received the Crimean Medal with clasps for Alma, Inkerman and Sebastopol. Following a further period of service he went to China.
     He received his Victoria Cross for distinguished gallantry during the 1860 campaign against the Chinese in the Gulf of Pechili. Together with Lieutenant Nathaniel Burslem of the 67th Regiment, he succeeded in swimming the ditches surrounding the North Taku Fort and during the assault, and before the entrance to the fort had been breached, they enlarged an opening in the wall through which they entered. In so doing, both were severely wounded. They were among the first British troops established on the walls of the fort. The garrison was captured and over 2,000 prisoners were taken. During the assault on the fort, 17 British soldiers were killed and 22 officers and 161 men were wounded.
     Lane’s VC was eventually presented to him on 28 February 1863.
     Lane left the 67th Regiment and went to South Africa where he later served as a sergeant with the Natal Horse during the Anglo Zulu War. He received the South Africa Campaign Medal with the 1879 clasp. Rumours persist that Lane was court martialled for a bigamous marriage and that his VC was withdrawn, however, his records reveal that he was court-martialled for desertion from a unit known as Landry’s Horse at Ladysmith. He was sentenced to four months hard labour on 27 July 1881 as he had also stolen a horse and weapons. Lane was ordered to return his VC to London for erasure but, curiously, no record exists of the medal actually being returned. His VC pension was stopped with effect from 7 April 1881. His South Africa Campaign Medal also appears to have been forfeited.
      For reasons unknown to the author, Lane applied for a replacement VC, and his application appears to have been granted – which resulted in Lane being awarded two VCs although there appears to be no official record of the second issue. The original VC is owned by the Royal Hampshire Regiment but in 1909, twenty years after Lane’s death, a Lieutenant in the Hampshire Regiment purchased a VC with Lane’s name engraved on it for £20 in a South African pawn shop; this medal, presumably the replacement, has been authenticated and is now privately owned.
     Lane died on 13 April 1889 at the Caernarvon Hospital, Kimberley, South Africa. He was buried the following day at Gladstone Cemetery, Kimberley in the RC Section, Row 4 Grave 23. A new headstone was erected on his grave in 1991.
     There have been various suggestions that Lane fought at Isandlwana; this has not been verified. If this is the case, then there would have been two VC holders at Isandlwana, the other being Private Griffiths 1/24th who was killed at Isandlwana.
     Lane’s VC forfeiture was but one of a total of eight recorded. Since 1920 medal forfeitures were discontinued."


Source: By Major Martin Everett
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:20 pm

But a VC can not be withdrawn scratch




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Chelmsfordthescapegoat

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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:25 pm

If you were found guilty of a criminal offence it could. There is a topic on here somewhere covering this.
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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:32 pm

Ths is what the king said Idea

The King feels so strongly that, no matter the crime committed by anyone on whom the VC has been conferred, the decoration should not be forfeited. Even were a VC to be sentenced to be hanged for murder, he should be allowed to wear his VC on the scaffold.[



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DB14
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90th

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PostSubject: Private Griffiths . VC.   Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:39 pm

Hi DB14.
As Martin's post suggests '' The Forfeiture of V.C.' S was discontinued from 1920 , whereas before that they were taken from the
recipients .
cheers 90th. Idea



ps. I've posted my thoughts on the Griffith VC somewhere on the Forum . I doubt very much he would have taken the medal
on the Sth African Campaign , it was more than likely left with Relatives or Friends or possibly even the Regt Hdqtrs in the UK.
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kwajimu1879

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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:52 pm

DB14,

Eight men forfeited their Victoria Crosses, prior to King George V changing the Warrant.

They were: Midshipman Edward St. John DANIEL; Sgt. James McGUIRE; Pte. Valentine BAMBRICK; Farrier Michael MURPHY; Pte. Thomas LANE; Pte. Frederick CORBETT; Gunner James COLLIS & Pte. George RAVENHILL.

Ravenhill forfeited his Victoria Cross a mere twelve years prior to the change of the Warrant, and died a pauper in 1921 without his medal being restored.

kwaJimu1879
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Drummer Boy 14

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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:11 pm

Hi all

Thanks for the infomation Idea



Is there anything on Griffiths VC, my dad said medals would hace been carried with the person.



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DB14
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tasker224

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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:54 am

I have heard that medals were always worn, even into battle by soldiers in "the old days."
I don't know the exact date, but somewhere around the end of the 19th and start of the 20thC, an order of wear for medals started to evolve. A little later, medal ribbons were worn instead of the actual medals; this was established at around the same time as the outbreak of the Great War.
It is almost certainly correct that Griffiths' VC was lost on the battlefield. Given that it hasn't shown up in the last 133 years or so like Lane's 2 have, it will most likely remain lost forever.
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90th

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PostSubject: Pvt. Griffith's VC.   Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:01 am

Hi Tasker .
Is that fact that the ' Griffith VC '' hasnt been seen since 1879 ??. If it is indeed fact , then he may well have had it with him .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:29 am

90th - i was inferring from DB14s original question that it was a fact.
However, a quick search of the internet has revealed that it is in fact held at the SWB museum in Brecon.
No note about it being a replacement, so there is the answer - it is not lost.
He would have been unlikely to have had it on his chest during the battle. It would have been looted for sure, either in the immediate aftermath or in the months following.
If it had remained on his tunic until the 17th Lancers arrived in july that year, it would clearly have identified his body, as his name would have been engraved on the back. He would then almost certainly have been buried individually nearby and his grave would be known. Or would it?
Would he not have been given this honour, as a VC holder?
Another quick search reveals he is buried in an "unmarked grave" or "mass grave" at iSandlwana.
If the VCwas indeed recovered and returned to his next of kin, there would probably be records, stories of who found him and notes of this in existance. We would also need to ask the museum at Brecon how they came by the medal as they would have the info on how they obtained it, possibly donated by the family of Griffiths perhaps.
DB14 - over to you!
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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:33 am

PS - another interesting footnote: "VC not awarded for bravery in action against the enemy, but for bravery at sea in saving life in storm off Andaman Islands." (SWB museum)

As I have said many times previously, VC's of later centuries were much harder earned!
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PostSubject: Pvt. Griffith's VC.   Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:47 am

Hi Tasker.
Thanks for the post , I was aware it was for his bravery not against an enemy but of mother Nature , something to do with
surf boats or driving them through rough seas or something similar . The medal being in the museum reiterates what I thought
and posted earlier about the VC being left with relatives back in the UK . I doubt very much that anything of any value was taken
on campaign when it wasnt needed to be done so ; ie , Previous Medals etc etc .
cheers 90th.
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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:41 pm

90th wrote:
Hi Tasker.
Thanks for the post , I was aware it was for his bravery not against an enemy but of mother Nature , something to do with
surf boats or driving them through rough seas or something similar . The medal being in the museum reiterates what I thought
and posted earlier about the VC being left with relatives back in the UK . I doubt very much that anything of any value was taken
on campaign when it wasnt needed to be done so ; ie , Previous Medals etc etc .
cheers 90th.

You might well be right about medals not being taken on active service and into battle, I am not sure either way tbh, but soldiers and sailors were certainly required to wear them permanently when in uniform, "in the old days."
Hence similar old Victorian medals to cavalrymen tend to have a lot more contact wear than those to infantrymen. Perhaps the battlefield was an exception!
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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:07 pm

Private WILLIAM GRIFFITHS, 7th May 1867, buried in unmarked mass grave, Isandlwana, Natal, South Africa. VC location, South Wales Borderers Museum, Brecon, Wales.

Perhaps Bill can confirm.
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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:43 pm

Yes, Griffiths' VC is held by the Museum.

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Wed Nov 30, 2011 1:51 pm

Hi Bill

Thanks for confirming Idea

Do you know how it came to be there, was it a family member??





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DB14
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bill cainan



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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:12 pm

It was donated to the Museum in 1961, but not directly by the family.

Bill
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PostSubject: Re: Priavte Griffiths VC   Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:41 pm

bill cainan wrote:
It was donated to the Museum in 1961, but not directly by the family.

Bill

Can't Lord Ashcroft be convinced to donate Robert Jones' VC to the musuem, where it belongs?
It would be lovely and it would be right for the full set to be at Brecon.
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