you are currently viewing: James Henry Reynolds


James Henry Reynolds (Army Medical Department, later to be RAMC).

Directions to Memorial

Died 4th. March 1932. Buried in the RC section of Kensal Rise Cemetery, Plot 504 NE. Accessed via Kensal Green tube station.

On entering the main entrance, turn right into the Catholic section. Continue straight along the path, passing a Church on the right. The path then branches into two (the main branch curves to the left, a lesser branch continues straight). Take the curve to the left. Eight yards along, look to your right. Eight yards in from the path is the grave of Surgeon Reynolds.

There are two other VC winners in this RC section, and 14 others in the main Kensal Green cemetery.

Location can be found on Google Earth at:

51° 31' 46.95" N 0° 14' 08" W


Why was he awarded the Victoria Cross?

Under heavy fire, he attended both the wounded and brought ammunition to the hospital defenders. He was 34 at the time of the defence.

Read Surgeon Reynolds account of the Battle

Further Information

James Henry Reynolds was born in Dublin on February 3rd 1844. Educated at Castleknock School, Dublin, he obtained his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from Trinity College, Dublin in 1867, before joining the Army Medical Department in March 1868. He served with the 36th Foot in India during 1869-1870 but was invalided home after a serious outbreak of cholera hit the regiment.

He arrived in South Africa in August 1874 and later accompanied the 1/24th on the minor expedition to the Diamond Fields in 1875. He served alongside both the 1/24th and 88th Regiments during the Eastern Frontier Campaigns of 1877-1878, and was present at the action around Mpetu in January 1878. By the 22nd January 1879, he found himself in charge of the field hospital at Rorke's Drift, where he remained looking after the sick for some weeks afterwards. After the action, he was promoted to Surgeon-Major and was present in the British camp at Fort Nolela for the final battle at Ulundi in July 1879. He received the V.C. from Colonel R. T. Glyn, C.B., during a special parade of the 1/24th at Pinetown Camp, outside Durban on Tuesday 26th August 1879.

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

Surgeon Reynolds, 1868
Image supplied by John Young

Upon his return to Ireland he was appointed S.M.O. for the expedition to aid Captain Charles Boycott, during the so called Irish Land War of 1880.

He retired from the army after 27 years’ service with the rank of Brigade Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel in 1896.

He attended a special dinner to honour holders of the V.C. at the House of Lords in November 1929. He died, aged 88 years, at the Empire Nursing Home, London and is buried in St. Marys Roman Catholic Cemetery, Grave no 504 R/C Section. (His Victoria Cross, South African campaign medal and Gold medal of the British Medical Association are currently on loan to the Army Medical Services Museum, Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, Aldershot, Hampshire).

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

Click here to view the Sunday Telegraph article regarding the auction of Surgeon Reynolds medical kit.

Surgeon Reynolds medals, taken with the kind permission of
Army Medical Services Museum by Peter Weedon