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DateOriginal Topic
6th February 2004Schiess and other Foreign VC winners
By Simon Copley
Is Corporal Schiess the only foreign national to win the VC? Do foreign nationals haveto go through any extra special procedures before they can be award? Is Schiess commemorated or recognized in his native country in any way? I wouldn't have thought so given their recent propensity for keeping out of other people's scraps but it would be nice to think he was. Any way we can make up for the rather shabby way we treated him after RD?
6th February 2004John Young

No Christian Ferdinand Schiess isn't the only foreign national to be awarded the V.C.

As well as Schiess:- 5 Americans; 1 Belgian; 4 Danes; 2 Germans; 11 Nepalese; 1 Sikkimese; 1 Swede & 1 Ukrainian have been awarded the V.C., whilst serving in British, Imperial or Commonwealth forces.

I believe that apart from his V.C., which is on display at the National Army Museum, his only memorial is at Rorke's Drift.

John Y.

To my knowledge there no special procedures involved. The V.C. warrant decrees '...that neither rank, nor long service, nor wounds, nor any other circumstances or condition whatsoever, save the merit of conspicuous bravery, shall be held to establish a sufficient claim to the honour...'
6th February 2004Simon Copley
Thanks Jjohn, that's really interesting. Onto a VC website, I think now, to find out more. If so, why no Indian holders? Surely there are some?
Presumably the Nepalese and Sikkimese were Ghurkas?

How do we donate to this site? It makes my lunchtimes bearable!! I feel I want to give back a little
6th February 2004John Young

I didn't include those awarded the V.C. from British Empire/Commonwealth countries' forces, which obviously pre-1947 would have included those from India.

Those from Nepal & the one from Sikkim, I agree, I'm sure they're Ghurkas.

There's a link on the left in the 'Visitor Services' for donations for Alan's 'biscuit box wall'.

John Y.
6th February 2004Julian whybra
Correct John they were all Gurkhas.
6th February 2004L.J.Knight
found the above very interesting. just wish there was an image of F.C.Schiess,love to put a face to that heroic man. in thier new book..Rorkes Drift by those who were there,[Jones &Stevenson] on page 50 there is an extract from a corespondent of the Natal Witness, "i have a good photo given to me by schiess,should anyone care for a copy i will get it retaken".oh for a time machine as i imagine it is now a little late to take him up on his most generous offer.
6th February 2004John Young

A tit-bit of a description from D.H. Parry's 'Britain's Roll of Glory' first published in 1895, but I quote from the 1906 enlarged & expanded version:
'A hospital patient named Schiess, of the 3rd Natal, a short, fair man and a Swiss by birth...'

Parry, I believe, interviewed Hook when he compiled the original manuscript, as there is so much detail relating to Hook, that only he could have supplied. So maybe, just maybe, this brief description of Schiess came from Hook.

John Y.
7th February 2004L.J.Knight
thanks for that John, so he was a blonde mmm, could understand our chaps being small and undernourished, but always pictured schiess as a tall well built young man, but his memory is of course in no way diminished inmy mind. he was a top man.