Hampden Zane Churchill Cockburn

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Hampden Zane Churchill Cockburn
Born (1867-11-19)19 November 1867
Toronto, Ontario
Died 12 July 1913(1913-07-12) (aged 45)
Maple Creek, Saskatchewan
Buried at St James Cemetery, Toronto
Allegiance  Canada
Service/branch Canadian Army
Years of service 1897 - 1913
Rank Major
Unit The Royal Canadian Dragoons
Battles/wars Second Boer War
Awards Victoria Cross

Major Hampden Zane Churchill Cockburn VC (19 November 1867 – 12 July 1913) was a Canadian 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.


Born in Toronto, Canada, he was a graduate of Upper Canada College in Toronto.

Cockburn was 32 years old, and a lieutenant in The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Canadian Army during the Second Boer War when the action took place for which he was awarded the VC. He was one of three men from his regiment (the other were Lieutenant Richard Ernest William Turner and Sergeant Edward James Gibson Holland) who were awarded the VC for actions on 7 November 1900 during the Battle of Leliefontein at the Komati River, South Africa. The citations were published in the London Gazette of 23 April 1901. His read:

Lieutenant Cockburn, with a handful of men, at a most critical moment held off the Boers to allow the guns to get away; to do so he had to sacrifice himself and his party, all of whom were killed, wounded, or taken prisoners, he himself being slightly wounded.[1]

He received the VC from the Duke of Cornwall and York (later King George V) in Toronto 11 October 1901, in a medal ceremony during the visit to Canada of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York.[2]

Further information[edit]

He later achieved the rank of Major, and died in a horse riding accident in 1913. Cockburn is buried at St. James Cemetery, Toronto, Ontario with a headstone at Hill A. Section S 1/2. Lot 11.

Front and back of actual VC

The medal[edit]

Cockburn's VC and sword were displayed in the lobby of Upper Canada College. In 1977, due to a number of recent thefts and "losses" of Victoria Cross medals the school replaced the VC with a top grade copy and moved the original to their bank safety deposit box.


  1. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27307. p. 2775. 23 April 1901. Retrieved 31 October 2009.
  2. ^ "The Royal tour" The Times (London). Saturday, 12 October 1901. (36584), p. 5.

External links[edit]