Private William Jones VC

William Jones was the companion of Robert Jones in the hospital who fought hard to remove patients to a safer place as the building became over-run with Zulus and the roof burned. His account of the terrible time he went through was published in The Strand magazine in Jan 1891. He received the Victoria Cross from the Queen at Windsor Castle on 13th Jan 1880 but a month later he was discharged, being unfit, suffering from chronic rheumatism. He fell on hard times in civilian life and was unable to find regular work. He pawned his VC medal. Later he worked as an actor, and was included in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show. He lived in Birmingham, then moved to Lancashire. He was admitted into the workhouse in Manchester in 1910 and he died on 5th Apr 1913. A photo taken around 1900 shows him with other VC winners.

Jones was born in Bristol in 1839 and joined the 24th in 1858, the year that the 2nd Battalion was raised. He served in Mauritius, Burma and India, gaining the Long Service and Good Conduct medal. He was 39 at the time of the battle at Rorke's Drift and 74 when he died.

Regimental details | Soldiers at Rorke's Drift


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by Stephen Luscombe