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 John Prettyjohns

John Prettyjohns

Birth
Death 20 Jan 1887 (aged 63)
Burial Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, Metropolitan Borough of Manchester, Greater Manchester, England
Plot L 642
Memorial ID 10705143 · View Source
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British Crimean War Victoria Cross Recipient. He was the first Royal Marine to be awarded the medal. He was born at Dean Priors in Devon, and began his working life as a labourer in Buckfastleigh. On June 10, 1844, he enlisted as a Private in the 59th Company of Plymouth Division. The following year, he sailed to the East Indies, where he was flogged for an unknown offence, before returning to Chatham in 1849. The next year, he married Elizabeth Prettyjohns (a distant cousin) at the Plymouth Registry Office; they went on to have two daughters, Elizabeth and Alice. In 1852, he was promoted to the rank of Corporal, and sailed to the Mediterranean on "HMS Bellerophon". He was awarded the Victoria Cross for his valour during the Battle of Inkerman, in the Crimean War. On the November 5, 1854, his platoon had been sent to clear out some caves which were occupied by snipers. They had used up almost all of their ammunition when they noticed a party of Russian soldiers, creeping up the hill in single file. Corporal Prettyjohns gave orders to his men to collect as many stones as possible. The first Russian to arrive was seized by the Corporal and thrown down the slope; the others were greeted by a hail of stones, and retreated. In January 1856, he was promoted to Sergeant; and, in March, sailed for Hong Kong. On June 26th of that year, his Victoria Cross was sent to the Admiralty and, thence, to Hong Kong to be presented to him. In July, he sailed for Singapore and Calcutta; and, later, served in Vancouver and San Juan Island. He was discharged on June 16th. 1865, after twenty-one years service, sixteen years of which had been spent at sea or abroad. His retirement was spent in Manchester, where he became a steward at the Whalley Range Bowling Club. In addition to many other British medals, he was awarded the Turkish and Sardinian Crimean medals. All his awards are on display at the Royal Marines Museum in Southsea, near Portsmouth. The Marines hold a procession every Autumn, in honour of his memory.

Bio by: Iain MacFarlaine


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Iain MacFarlaine
  • Added: 30 Mar 2005
  • Find A Grave Memorial 10705143
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Prettyjohns (11 Jun 1823–20 Jan 1887), Find A Grave Memorial no. 10705143, citing Southern Cemetery, Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, Metropolitan Borough of Manchester, Greater Manchester, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .