|John Franks Vallentin
14 May 1882|
Lambeth, London, England
|Died||7 November 1914
|Years of service||1899–1914|
|Unit||Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own)
Royal Sussex Regiment
South Staffordshire Regiment
|Battles/wars||Second Boer War
World War I
John Franks Vallentin, VC (14 May 1882 – 7 November 1914) 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.
Vallentin was the nephew of Brevet-Major John Maximilian Vallentin (1865–1901) and of the noted naturalist Rupert Vallentin (1859–1934). His grandfather Sir James Vallentin (1814–1870) was Knight Sheriff of London, and his cousin Archibald Thomas Pechey, the lyricist and author, adapted the family name for his nom de plume 'Valentine'.
He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the 6th (Militia) Battalion of the Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) in 1899, and promoted to lieutenant in the battalion on 25 July 1900. He served in the Second Boer War in South Africa where he was attached to the 3rd (Militia) Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. Following the end of hostilities in early June 1902, he left Cape Town with the other men of the Regiment on board the SS Wakool, and arrived at Southampton the next month.
Vallentin was 32 years old, and a captain in the 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment, British Army during the First World War when the following deed took place at the first Battle of Ypres for which he was awarded the VC.
On 7 November 1914 at Zillebeke, Belgium, when leading an attack against the Germans under very heavy fire, Captain Vallentin was struck down and on rising to continue the attack, was immediately killed. The capture of the enemy's trenches which immediately followed was in a great measure due to the confidence which the men had in their captain, arising from his many previous acts of great bravery and ability.
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - 1914 (Gerald Gliddon, 1994)
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