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 John Williams

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John Williams

  • Original Name Fielding
  • Birth 24 May 1857 Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales
  • Death 25 Nov 1932 Cwmbran, Torfaen, Wales
  • Burial Llantarnam, Torfaen, Wales
  • Memorial ID 7747473

Zulu Wars Victoria Cross Medal Recipient. Born John Fielding, he served as a Private in the 24th Regiment, South Wales Borderers. On January 22 and 23, 1879, at Rorke's Drift, Natal, Africa, Private Williams with two other men were in a distant room of the hospital when the Zulus attacked. For more than an hour they held till they had no ammunition left, when the Zulus burst in and killed one of the men and two patients. Private Williams succeeded in knocking a hole in the partition and took the two remaining patients through into the next ward. He was then joined by another man and together held the enemy at bayonet point while the other broke through three more partitions and were able to bring eight patients into the inner line of defense. For extreme courage in the face of the enemy. He was awarded the Victoria Cross Medal and later achieved the rank of Sergeant. He received his Victoria Cross from Major General Anderson in Gibraltar on 1st March 1880. He left the army in 1893, married Elizabeth Murphy and had 3 sons and 2 daughters. The eldest son was killed serving with the South Wales Borderers during the retreat from Mons in 1914. In 1914, he volunteered for service and served on the SWB Depot staff at Brecon throughout the Great War. He died in Cwmbran in 1932 and was the last surviving Rorke's Drift VC holder to die. (His VC is in the SWB Museum Collection).

Bio by: John "J-Cat" Griffith


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 9 Aug 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7747473
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for John Williams (24 May 1857–25 Nov 1932), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7747473, citing Saint Michael's Churchyard, Llantarnam, Torfaen, Wales ; Maintained by Find A Grave .