HIDDEN HIGH STREET HISTORIES
A POINT IN TIME
The Victoria Cross
Frederick Cockayne Elton and Samuel Vickery from Chard won the Victoria Cross
Frederick Cockayne Elton was born in 1832 in Whitestaunton. He enlisted in 1849 at the age of sixteen and was present throughout the Crimean War (1854 - 1855). In 1857 he was awarded one of the earliest V. C. s, aged 22, for acts of gallantry on three separate occasions in 1855. In March he lead a small party of men to drive off the Russians.
In June, he was one of the first to leave the trenches into attack and in August 1855, he was in command of a working party digging advanced trenches, when they came under heavy fire. When his men hesitated, he encouraged them by going out into the open with a pick and shovel. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and is buried in St Andrews churchyard, Whitestaunton.
Samuel Vickery was born in Wambrook in 1873. He was awarded his Victoria Cross in 1897 for bravery during an attack on the Dargai Heights in India. Vickery was in action again during the Boer War (1899 - 1902) where he escaped capture and rejoined his unit. After retirement, Vickery, as a Regular Reservist, was called up again to fight as a Sergeant on the Ypres Salient during World War 1.
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