Captain Charles Fitzclarence

Royal Fusiliers

14th October 1899
Charles FitzClarance, V.C.

    The Victoria Cross was awarded to this officer for three distinct acts of bravery during the siege of Mafeking. On October 4, 1899, Captain FitzClarence,  with his squadron of the Protectorate Regiment, which consisted of only partially-trained men who had not before been under fire, went out to render assistance to an armoured train, sent out from the town. The Boers were numerically far superior, and the position began to look very serious for the squadron, who at one time were completely surrounded. Captain Fitzclarence, however, handled his men in so splendid a manner, and inspired them with such confidence by his calm bearing and personal courage, that they succeeded in relieving the armoured train, and inflicted, besides, a severe loss on the enemy, accounting for fifty killed and a great number wounded, the moral effect of which had a most important bearing in later actions with the enemy. Again, on October 27, 1899, he led a night sortie and attacked the enemy's trenches. A hand to hand combat ensued with the bayonet, and the enemy were driven out with great loss. He was the first in the trench, and killed four Boers himself with his sword. Major-General R. S. S. Baden-Powell, in command at Mafeking, reported that but for the personal bravery and dash of this officer, the attacks would have been failures, with heavy loss of life and prestige on our part as a result. On December 26, 1899, Captain FitzClarence was conspicuous for his spirit, leading and bravery during the action at Game Tree, near Mafeking, in which engagement he was severely wounded through both legs.

Born on May 8, 1865, Major FitzClarence is the son of Captain the Hon. George FitzClarence, R.N., third son of the first Earl of Munster. Educated at Eton and Wellington College, he entered the Royal Fusiliers November 10, 1886, serving for some years with the Egyptian Army, but the investment of Mafeking, in which he so greatly distinguished himself, was his first active service. In October, 1900, he was transferred to the Irish Guards, being, in the following month, promoted Major by brevet. He later served as a Staff College officer, and  Major of Brigade at Aldershot.

12th November 1914
Brigadier General Charles FitzClarence VC,  Commanding 1st Guards Brigade, General Staff and Irish Guards.  Killed in Action, age 49.  Husband of Mrs. V. FitzClarence, of 12, Lowndes St., Belgrave Square, London. At "the most critical moment" of the Battles of Ypres 1914 (on the 31st October), he directed the counter-attack of the 2nd Worcesters which recaptured Gheluvelt. Remembered with honour Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial


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