This Day In History

  • 1775 In the early hours a small British force, including the Grenadier and Light Companies of the 47th (later 1st Loyals) and 59th (later 2nd East Lancashires), sets out from Boston, Massachusetts for Concord, some 20 miles away, to destroy a colonial munitions depot. At dawn at Lexington they are confronted by the local militia and the first shots of the American Revolution are fired. A further engagement follows at Concord where about 500 Militiamen defeat three British companies and force the British column to begin its return march to Boston. Reinforced at Lexington by a relief force including the rest of the 47th, the march is carried out under sustained fire from concealed insurgents, and the American War of Independence has begun.
  • 1854 47th Regiment (later the 1st Loyals) disembark at Scutari, opposite Constantinople, to join the 2nd Division, part of the British Army concentrating in preparation for the Crimean War. They are quartered in the huge Turkish barracks there, later to become famous as the British base hospital where Florence Nightingale effected her nursing reforms.
  • 1880 2nd Afghan War. Battle of Ahmed Kel. 59th Regiment (soon to 2nd East Lancashires) is hard-pressed on the right of the British line.  The Regiment forms square around its colours. It is the last occasion on which colours are carried by a British regiment on a victorious field. Afterwards 1,000 dead lie in front of the British line, with 600 around the 59th's position. The shell-torn colours are now displayed in the Sergeant's Mess of the 1st Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.
We are funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions.

Please help by clicking the buttons below.

Donate to us through BT MyDonate

Reverend William Robert Fountaine Addison VC

 

Reverend William Robert Fountaine Addison VC

Reverend William Robert Fountaine Addison VC

William Addison was born on 16 September 1883 in North Warnborough, Hampshire. He was educated at Robert Mays School, Odiham, Hants, and as a young man worked as a lumberjack in Canada. After studying at Salisbury Theological College, he was ordained at the age of 30 in 1913 and, upon the outbreak of World War I, volunteered for the Army Chaplain’s Department.

He was posted to the 13th (Western) Division, a New Army formation which included the 6th (Service) Battalions of the East Lancashire, South Lancashire and Loyal North Lancashire Regiments, brigaded as part of the 38th (Lancashire) Infantry Brigade. He was with them when they landed at Basra, Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) in March 1916.

In April the Division was thrown into a disastrously muddled and failed attempt to relieve a besieged British garrison at Kut, contributing over 700 casualties in five days of unsuccessful fighting to the relief force’s 22,000 – man butcher’s bill

Chaplain Addison appears to have been ministering to two battalions of the 38th (Lancashire) Brigade – 6th Kings Own and 6th Loyals – when, in the words of the citation to his Victoria Cross, on 9 April 1916 at Sanna-i-Yat:

“He carried a wounded man to the cover of a trench, and assisted several others to the same cover, after binding up their wounds under heavy rifle and machine gun fire.
In addition to these unaided efforts, by his splendid example and utter disregard of personal danger, he encouraged the stretcher-bearers to go forward under heavy fire and collect the wounded. 

He was invested with the VC by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 3 August 1917.

After the war William Addison continued as an army chaplain, serving in Malta, Khartoum and Shanghai, and at army bases in England. He was Senior Chaplain to the Forces from 1934 to 1938 when he left the army and became a parish priest. He was Rector of Coltishall with Great Hautbois, in Norfolk, from 1938 to 1958. However, on the outbreak of World War II he returned to the army and again served as Senior Chaplain to the Forces, and was Deputy Assistant Chaplain-General in South Wales.

He died in January 1962, aged 78, in St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, and is buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Woking.

His Victoria Cross is held by the National Army Museum, London.