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Pte. Henry (Harry) Hook (1373 B Co. 24th. Regiment).

Directions to Memorial

Buried in St. Andrews Parish churchyard, Churcham, Near Gloucester. Diagonally opposite to the entrance on the other side of the church. Died 12 March 1905. The graveyard will be found coming out of Gloucester on the A40 heading West. 5 miles out, a sign on the right hand side of the road points to the road opposite indicating Churcham Church.

There is also a memorial plaque in Brecon Cathedral.

Rough location can be found on Google Earth at:

51° 51' 41.66"N 2° 20' 15.14"W


Why was he awarded the Victoria Cross?

With John Williams, he held out for over an hour in a distant room of the hospital until their ammunition ran out. As the Zulus advanced, he and Williams burst through three more partition walls until they reached the safety of the inner defences, bringing eight patients with them. He was 28 at the time of the defence.

Click here to read Pte. Henry Hook's account of the battle

Further Information

Born at Churcham in Gloucestershire in 1850. He first served in the Monmouth Militia and enlisted into the regular army at Monmouth in March 1877 aged 26. He received a scalp wound from a Zulu assagai at Rorke's Drift, which, in later years caused him some discomfort. He purchased his discharge from the regular army in June 1880, but later served 20 years in 1st Volunteer Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.

After his discharge in 1880, he resided at Sydenham Hill and worked at the British Museum. He retired in 1904 and returned to live in Gloucestershire. Interestingly, there is some mystery about his first marriage. His wife thought he had been killed in South Africa and ran off with someone else. Hook married again in 1897 in Islington.

He died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 12th March 1905 at Osborne Villas, Roseberry Avenue, Gloucester and is buried at Churcham. He received his VC from Sir Garnet Wolseley, GOC South Africa at Rorke's Drift on 3 August 1879. (His VC is in the SWB Museum Collection).

Further Information supplied by the South Wales Borderers Museum, Brecon.

The church in Churcham


Click on the grave inscription to zoom in, or click here