The Fighting Spirit of Sussex Men in the Crimean War
A new book, which was 40 years in the making, entitled The Victoria Crosses of the Crimean War by historian James Bancroft, includes a detailed biographical tribute to an Eastbourne man.
Henry Mitchell Jones settled in Eastbourne when he retired from distinguished military and civil service.
He was born in 1831 and joined the 7th Royal Fusiliers for service in the Crimea.
On June 7 1855, Captain Jones distinguished himself by gallantly leading his men against a position known as The Quarries before Sebastopol, even though he had been severely wounded early in the fighting, and he remained at his post throughout the night.
Several officers who served with him confirmed he had been wounded eight times and broke out of hospital twice to get back into action.
He is said to have threatened to resign his commission if he was not awarded the Victoria Cross, which he did three months before the announcement in the London Gazette of September 25 1857.
He entered the diplomatic service in 1858, seeing service all over the globe until he retired in 1898.
About 39 years after being shot at the Alma he complained of toothache and a doctor removed the bullet which had been lodged in his jawbone.
He claimed his recipe for long life was “eighteen holes of golf before lunch, eighteen holes after lunch, and a couple of glasses of whiskey”.
Henry died in 1916 at his home in Eastbourne and was buried at Ocklynge Old Cemetery.
Only one other Crimean War holder of the Victoria Cross survived him.
Copies of the new book: The Victoria Crosses of the Crimean War are available at all good bookshops and from Amazon.
Copies signed by James at no extra cost are available at £25.
For more details write to James c/o 280 Liverpool Road, Eccles M30 0RZ, or contact him at [email protected]