Walter Norris Congreve

Walter Norris Congreve

General Sir Walter Norris Congreve VC, KCB, MVO, DL (November 20, 1862 - February 28, 1927). He was 37 years old, and a captain in The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own), British Army during the South African War when he won the VC. During World War I, Congreve lost a hand in action. Later, he rose to the rank of general and was knighted. From 1924 to 1927, Sir Walter served as the governor of Malta, where he died. At his request, he was buried at sea in the channel between the coast and Filfla Island; there is a small monument to him on the coast between Hamrija Tower and the pre-historic site of Mnajdra; the channel between Malta and Filfla is now known as Congreve Channel.

Sir Walter was also the father of Major William La Touche Congreve, VC - they are one of only three father and son pairs to win a VC.

Action at Colenso

On 15 December 1899 at the Battle of Colenso, South Africa, Captain Congreve with several others, tried to save the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, when the detachments serving the guns had all become casualties or been driven from their guns. Some of the horses and drivers were sheltering in a donga (gully) about 500 yards behind the guns and the intervening space was swept with shell and rifle fire. Captain Congreve, with two other officers (The Hon. Frederick Hugh Sherston Roberts and Harry Norton Schofield), and Corporal George Edward Nurse retrieved two of the guns. All four received the VC for this action. (F.S.H. Roberts was the son in one of the two other father and son pairs of VC winners.) Then, although wounded himself, seeing one of the officers fall, Congreve went out with Major William Babtie, RAMC, who also received the VC for this action, and brought in the wounded man.

Congreve's Victoria Cross is on display at the Royal Green Jackets Museum "(Winchester, England)".


*Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
*The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
*Victoria Crosses of the Anglo-Boer War (Ian Uys, 2000)

External links

* [ Find-A-Grave profile for Walter Norris Congreve]

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