Reverend James Williams Adams was 40 years old, and a chaplain in the Bengal Ecclesiastical Department(serving as chaplain to the Kabul Field Force), British Indian Army during the Second Afghan War when on 11th December 1879 he carried out the actions for which he was awarded the VC. The citation was published in a supplement to the London Gazette of 24th August 1881) and read:
War Office, August 24, 1881.
THE Queen having been graciously pleased, by Warrant under Her Royal Sign Manual, bearing date the 6th of August, 1881, to direct that the decoration of the Victoria Cross shall be conferred on Members of the Indian Ecclesiastical Establishments who may be qualified to receive the same, in accordance with the rules and ordinances made and ordained for the government thereof, provided that it be established in any case that the person was serving under the orders of a General or other Officer in command of Troops in the Field when he performed the act of bravery for which it is proposed to confer the decoration :—
Her Majesty has accordingly been pleased to signify Her intention to confer this high distinction on the undermentioned gentleman, whose claim to the same has been submitted for Her Majesty’s approval on account of his conspicuous bravery in Afghanistan as recorded against his name, viz. :—
Bengal Ecclesiastical Establishment, late Chaplain to the Kabul Field Force, The Reverend J. W. Adams
During the action at Killa Kazi, on the 11th December, 1879, some men of the 9th Lancers having fallen, with their horses, into a wide and deep “nullah” or ditch, and the enemy being close upon them, the Reverend J. W. Adams rushed into the water (which filled the ditch), dragged the horses from off the men upon whom they were lying, and extricated them, he being at the time under a heavy fire, and up to his waist in water.
At this time the Afghans were pressing on very rapidly, the leading men getting within a few yards of Mr. Adams, who having let go his horse in order to render more effectual assistance, had eventually to escape on foot.
For the above actions Adams was recommended for the VC by Lord Roberts. Along with the Presbyterian and Roman Catholic chaplains who also accompanied the force, Adams was three times Mentioned in Despatches during the campaign. He received his medal from Queen Victoria at Buckingham Palace on 1st December 1881
William Clare was born on 18th May 1889 at St Ives, Huntingdonshire.
He won the Victoria Cross at Bourlon Wood in France on 29th November 1917.
His Victoria Cross citation: “For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty whilst occupying the advanced posts in Bourlon Wood on the night of the 28/29 November 1917. When acting as stretcher bearer during a most intense and continuous enemy bombardment, Private Clare dressed and conducted wounded over the open to the dressing station 500 yards away. At one period, when the garrison of a detached post which was lying out in the open about 150 yards to the left of the line occupied was all out of action, Private Clare crossed the intervening space which was continually swept by heavy rifle and machine gun fire, dressed all the cases and then manned the post single handed until a relief could be sent. Private Clare then carried Lance Corporal Glascoe, the most seriously wounded man, on his back a distance of about 100 yards through intense fire and placed him under cover of a fallen tree whilst he went in search of assistance and a stretcher. He then returned and succeeded in getting Lance Corporal Glascoe down to the dressing station. At the dressing station he was told that the enemy was using gas shells to a large extent in the valley below and, as the wind was blowing the gas towards the line of shell holes occupied, he started on the right of the line and personally warned every post of the whole company of the danger, the whole time exposing himself to the direct fire of rifles and machine guns. The shell fire too was incessant the whole time. Private Clare was subsequently killed by a shell early on the morning of 29th November.
Awarded Victoria Cross 12.1.1918.
London Gazetted on 11th January 1918.
Medal collected by father at Buckingham Palace 2nd March 1918
Memorials at Cambrai Memorial, France, St Peter’s and St Paul’s Church, Chatteris Cambridgeshire and the War Memorial, Chatteris, Cambridgeshire.
Charles Wooden was born on: 24th March 1827 at Kiel, Denmark (now Germany).
He enlisted 17th Lancers c.1845, and served with the Regiment in the Crimean war 1854-55, and was present at Alma, Balaclava (Light Brigade Charge), Inkerman and the siege of Sebastopol
He rode in the Charge of the Light Brigade 25.10.1854 (His horse was killed).
Wooden was awarded the Victoria Cross for gallantry at Balaclava.
The citation reads “For having after the retreat of the Light Cavalry at the Battle of Balaclava, being instrumental, together with Dr James Mouat C.B. in saving the life of Lieutenant Colonel Morris C.B. 17th Lancers, by proceeding under a heavy fire to his assistance when he was lying very dangerously wounded in an exposed situation”.
London Gazetted on 26th October 1858.
He was promoted Troop Sergeant Major 1.10.1855, and Regimental Sergeant Major 18.4.1856).
He was promoted to Lieutenant and Quartermaster in the 6th Dragoons 26.10.1860.
Exchanged into 5th Lancers 21.3.1865.
Left the regiment in 1871 and exchanged into 104th Bengal Fusiliers 4.2.1871.
Died on 24th April 1876 at Dover, Kent It is believed that he shot himself at the age of 49, one month after his birthday.
Buried at St. James’s Cemetery, Dover in unmarked grave.
Wooden appeared as a witness at the Court Martial of Lieutenant Colonel Crawley of the 6th Dragoons at Aldershot on 17.11.1863.
He had a ginger beard and was known in the 17th Lancers as, “tish me–the devil.”
The nick-name came about because of a broken English reply he gave when challenged by a sentry who didn’t recognise him.
His Medals and Clasps : VICTORIA CROSS, Crimea (clasps Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman, Sebastopol), Turkish Medal, French War Medal, Indian Mutiny Medal.