Francis Newton Parsons

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Francis Newton Parsons
Victoria Cross Medal without Bar.png
Born 23 March 1875
Dover, Kent
Died 10 March 1900 (aged 24)
Dreifontein, South Africa
Buried Dreifontein Cemetery
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Years of service 1896-1900 
Rank Lieutenant
Unit Essex Regiment
Battles/wars Second Boer War
Awards Victoria Cross

Francis Newton Parsons VC (23 March 1875 in Dover – 10 March 1900) was educated at Dover College, joined the Essex Regiment and served in the Second Boer War. He 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.

Military career[edit]

Parsons was a chorister educated at King's College School, Cambridge[1] from where he proceeded to Dover College, and then to the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and on graduation was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Essex Regiment on 28 February 1896.[2] He was promoted to lieutenant on 1 March 1898.[3]

Parsons was 24 years old, and in the 1st Battalion, The Essex Regiment, British Army during the Second Boer War when the following deeds took place for which he was awarded the VC. 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:[4]

THE Queen 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 latt.

Lieutenant Parsons was killed on the 10th March, in the engagement at Dreifontein, on which occasion he again displayed conspicuous gallantry.

Parsons also received a posthumous Mention in Despatches on 8 February 1901.[5]

The medal[edit]

His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Essex Regiment Museum, Chelmsford, Essex, England.


  1. ^ Henderson, RJ (1981). A History of King's College Choir School Cambridge. p. 42. ISBN 978-0950752808. 
  2. ^ "No. 26716". The London Gazette. 28 February 1896. p. 1206. 
  3. ^ "No. 26953". The London Gazette. 1 April 1898. p. 2091. 
  4. ^ "No. 27248". The London Gazette. 20 November 1900. p. 7136. 
  5. ^ "No. 27282". The London Gazette. 8 February 1901. p. 849. 

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