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DateOriginal Topic
19th August 2005Looking for army papers of VC's
By Bill
I wish to obtain photocopies of the army service documents of the VC winners from the Rorke's Drift action - but I am having some trouble locating them.

A long and exhausting day at National Archives revealed those for Robert and William Jones, but there doesn't seem to be anything there for Allen, Hook, Hitch or Williams.

I have copies of the army papers for Chard and Bromhead, and I'm told there are similar papers for James Dalton. Not sure about Reynolds, but I'm hoping to organise a further trip to Kew shortly so if anyone can point me in the right direction it would be most appreciated

Bill Martin
19th August 2005Martin Everett
Dear Bill,
Having spent many hours in the TNA reseraching soldiers of the 24th and South Wales Borderers there are some things you should be aware of:

1. In the 1870s/1880s papers for short service soldiers were not retained.

2. Nor where those who died in service (e.g. Allen) - no pension to pay.

Those relating to Hitch's were there - but have now disappeared. I assume you mean John (Fielding) Williams try Pension records in PIN26.

The VC/GC Research Project Team in Horse Guards has probably got all you need to know on the missing documents.
19th August 2005Bill
Dear Mr Everett

Thank you very much for your reply.

Having experienced a fairly fruitless day at the National Archives for myself, it is most interesting if not somewhat frustrating to learn that many service papers are not even there. I will certainly have a look at Pin26 for Williams VC next time I visit though

What a pity that Allen didn't receive any papers. You haven't mentioned Hook, did he get any papers?

In relation to Hitch, you say that his papers were there but "have now disappeared" but do not elaborate further. Do you mean they have been misplaced within the National Archives system, in which case there is a chance they might be found, or that they have been removed from the site completely, i.e. stolen?

Heaven forbid that it is the latter, but these days it would appear that simple moral and decency count for very little. How very sad.

How would one go about contacting the VC/GC Project team. Do they have a website?