Francis Newton Parsons VC, OD (23 March 1875 in Dover – 10 March 1900), Is the first #olddovorian to be awarded the #VictoriaCross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Francis Parsons was a chorister educated at King’s College School, Cambridge, from where he proceeded to #DoverCollege, leaving the College in 1894/5, before entering the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, were he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Essex Regiment on 28 February 1896. He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 March 1898.
Lieutenant Francis Parsons was 24 years old, and in the 1st Battalion, The #EssexRegiment, #BritishArmy during the #SecondBoerWar when the following deeds took place for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross.
He was recommended by Lieutenant-General Kelly-Kenny, C.B. for the award and the citation was published in the London Gazette of 20 November 1900:
THE Queen (Queen Victoria), has been graciously pleased to award the decoration of the Victoria Cross to the undermentioned Officer, whose claims have been submitted for Her Majesty’s approval, for his conspicuous bravery during the engagement at Paardeberg, as stated against his name: —
Essex Regiment, Lieutenant Francis Newton Parsons (since deceased)
On the morning of the 15th February, 1900, at Paardeberg, on the south bank of the River Modder, Private Ferguson, 1st Battalion Essex Regiment, was wounded and fell in a place devoid of cover. While trying to crawl under cover, he was again wounded, in the stomach, Lieutenant Parsons at once went to his assistance, dressed his wound under heavy fire, went down twice (still under heavy fire) to the bank of the river to get water for Private Ferguson, and subsequently carried him to a place of safety.
This Officer was recommended for the Victoria Cross by Lieutenant-General Kelly-Kenny, C.B. on 3rd March.
Lieutenant Parsons was killed on the 10th March, in the engagement at Dreifontein, on which occasion he again displayed conspicuous gallantry.
Lieutenant Francis Newton Parsons VC, OD, was buried at Driefontein Cemetery, Driefontein, Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality, Free State, South Africa, Memorial ID 8543814
Lieutenant Parsons also received a posthumous Mention in Field Marshals Despatch, as recoded in the London Gazette of 8 February 1901.