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[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] King William's Town Cemetery; Section D, Grave 32-33, family plot. Cape Province, South Africa. VC location, not publicly held.
D'Arcy, known as Cecil, was 28 years old, and a captain in the Frontier Light Horse, South African Forces during the Zulu War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
On 3 July 1879 at Ulundi, South Africa, during a reconnaissance, Captain D'Arcy went to the rescue of Trooper Raubenheim of the Frontier Light Horse who had fallen from his horse as the troops were retiring. The captain waited for the man to mount behind him although the enemy were quite close, but the horse kicked them both off. Captain D'Arcy was hurt by the fall, and quite alone, but he still tried to lift the trooper, who was stunned, on to the horse, and only mounted and rode off when he was completely exhausted. He later insisted that Edmund O'Toole should also receive an award for his assistance.
He was born in Wanganui, New Zealand, where his father Major Oliver D’Arcy of the 65th Regiment was in the British garrison there (in 1860 Oliver transferred to the Cape Mounted Rifles and settled at King William's Town, Eastern Cape Colony).
Henry later joined the Cape Mounted Rifles as a captain, and served in the 1880 Basuto rising, but resigned in April 1881. He left the house of Rev. Taberer in the Cape Province where he was staying to recuperate during the night of 6-7 August 1881, and his remains were found next year (though there were rumours that he had subsequently been seen elsewhere).
"He is also considered South African, though he probably considered himself British or Anglo-Irish. The Independent newspaper in London reported that the Captain famously faked his own death. "No longer is anyone likely to imitate Captain Henry Cecil Dudgeon D'Arcy of the Frontier Light Horse, who, having been awarded the VC in the Zulu wars, turned to drink. Later, a body wearing his clothes was found in a cave and, this being the pathology of a century ago, presumed to be his. Only many decades later was it learnt that D'Arcy had found a dead man lying in the snow, changed clothes with him, and gone to Natal, and lived out the rest of his life under an assumed name. He was once recognised in 1925, but swore his discoverer to the secret, which the man kept until D'Arcy died. "
His story is told in the (out of print) book "What Happened to a V.C." by Patricia D'Arcy. He is interred in the King William's Town, Eastern Cape cemetery.
"Captain HENRY CECIL DUDGEON D'ARCY Cape Frontier Light Horse, South African Forces Ulundi, South Africa - 3 July 1879
Captain D'Arcy was born at Wanganui, New Zealand, on 11 August 1850, and was 28 years old, and a Captain in the Cape Frontier Light Horse, South African Forces, during the Zulu War, when the action for which he was awarded The Victoria Cross took place.
The citation from the London Gazette dated 10 October 1879 reads:
“For his gallant conduct on the 3rd July, 1879, during the reconnaissance made before Lundi by the Mounted Corps, in endeavouring to rescue Trooper Raubenheim of the Frontier Light Horse, who fell from his horse as the troops were retiring. Captain D’Arcy, though the Zulus were close upon them, waited for the man to mount behind him; the horse kicked them both off, and although much hurt by the fall and quite alone, Captain D’Arcy cooly endeavoured to lift the trooper, who was stunned, on to the horse, and it was only when he found that he had not the strength to do so that he mounted and rode off.
"His Victoria Cross was held by various members of his family until about 1965 when it seemed to vanish. It resurfaced in 1992 when it was reported in the press that it was to be put up for sale by the Royal Pay Corps Regimental Association. Following negotiations with the D'Arcy family, the medal was given back into the family's possession under a mutual trust with the Royal Pay Corps Regimental Association."
[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] Capt. C. D'Arcy VC Frontier Light Horse, present at Ulundi - Victoria Cross Memorial (Union Jack Club, London) Photo's and text by Tim Needham.
Last edited by ADMIN on Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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