Samuel Meekosha

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Samuel Meekosha
Born 16 September 1893
Leeds, West Yorkshire
Died 8 December 1950 (aged 57)
Blackwood, Monmouthshire
Buried at Glyntaff Crematorium, Pontypridd
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank Major
Unit West Yorkshire Regiment
Corps of Military Accountants
Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Victoria Cross

Samuel Meekosha VC (16 September 1893 – 8 December 1950), who changed his name by deed poll to Samuel Ingham in 1942, was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.


Samuel Meekosha, born in Leeds, his family moved to Bradford when he was a baby, and Samuel always looked on that city as his home.[1] Samuel's mother was English and he had a Polish father,he was proud of his Eastern European roots but was such a reluctant hero that he changed his surname to Ingham, from his mother's maiden name of Cunningham.

He was 22 years old, and a corporal in the 1/6th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (The Prince of Wales's Own), British Army based at Belle Vue Barracks, Manningham, Bradford when during the First World War the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 19 November 1915 near the Yser, France, Corporal Meekosha was with a platoon of about 20 NCOs and men holding an isolated trench. During a very heavy bombardment six of the platoon were killed and seven wounded, while the rest were more or less buried. When there were no senior NCOs left in action Corporal Meekosha took command, sent for help and in spite of more big shells falling within 20 yards of him, continued to dig out the wounded and buried men in full view of and at close range from the enemy. He was assisted by Privates Johnson, Sayers and Wlkinson who were all awarded the DCM. Their courage saved at least four lives.

Meekosha was commissioned into the West Yorkshire Regiment in 1917. He was promoted Lieutenant in 1918 and Captain in 1919. He transferred to the Corps of Military Accountants in 1919, retiring in 1926. He rejoined the West Yorkshire Regiment as a Captain in 1940 and transferred to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps, based in Leicestershire, later the same year. He was later promoted Major.

It was reported in the 3 April 2001 issue of The Times that James Morton, Sotheby's medal specialist, said: "Meekosha was a very modest man who was quite dismissive of the act that earned him the VC. He joined up for the Second World War and because of his unusual name people kept asking him: 'Aren't you the chap that won the VC?' In an attempt to stop the questions he changed his name [to Ingham] by deed poll in 1941 or 1942."

After the First World War he became a representative for the tobacco company John Player. He died at his home in Oakdale, Blackwood, Monmouthshire, on 8 December 1950.

The medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross was sold for £101,200 at Sotheby's on 3 May 2001[2]


  • Jim Macmillan-murphy, Greg Patton
  • The Times 3 April 2001 and 4 May 2001

External links[edit]