Thomas Riversdale Colyer-Fergusson
|Thomas Riversdale Colyer-Fergusson|
18 February 1896|
Portman Square, London
31 July 1917 (aged 21)|
|Buried||Menin Road South Military Cemetery, Ypres|
|Years of service||1914-1917 †|
|Unit||The Northamptonshire Regiment|
|Battles/wars||World War I|
Thomas Riversdale Colyer-Fergusson VC (18 February 1896 – 31 July 1917) 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.
Born in London in February 1896 to Thomas Colyer Colyer Fergusson and the late Beatrice Stanley.
Colyer-Fergusson was 21 years old, and an acting captain in the 2nd Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment, British Army when performed the deed on 31 July 1917 at Bellewaarde, Belgium which earned him the Victoria Cross. He was shot dead by a sniper that day.
For most conspicuous bravery, skilful leading and determination in attack. The tactical situation having developed contrary to expectation, it was not possible for his company to adhere to the original plan of deployments, and owing to the difficulties of the ground and to enemy wire, Captain Colyer Fergusson found himself with a Sergeant and five men only. He carried out the attack nevertheless, and succeeded in capturing the enemy trench and disposing of the garrison. His party was then threatened by a heavy counter-attack from the left front, but this attack he successfully resisted. During this operation, assisted by his Orderly only, he attacked and captured an enemy machine gun and turned it on the assailants, many of whom were killed and a large number driven into the hands of an adjoining British unit. Later, assisted only by his Serjeant, he again attacked and captured a second enemy machine gun, by which time he had been joined by other portions of his company, and was enabled to consolidate his position. The conduct of this officer throughout forms an amazing record of dash, gallantry and skill, for which no reward can be too great, having regard to the importance of the position won. This gallant officer was shortly afterwards killed by a sniper.— The London Gazette," No. 30272, dated 4 September 1917
His Victoria Cross is part of the collection at the Museum of The Northamptonshire Regiment (48th & 58th Foot), Northampton, England and he is buried in Menin Road South Military Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery. There is a memorial in his memory in St Peter's Church, Ightham, Kent.
The VC medal is presently (July 2017) on loan to the National Trust, and on display at Ightham Mote, family home of Sir Thomas Colyer-Ferguson
- Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
- The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
- VCs of the First World War - Passchendaele 1917 (Stephen Snelling, 1998)
- Thomas Riversdale Colyer-Fergusson at Find a Grave
- No Time to Spare? A History of Summer Fields War Dead (Chris Sparrow, 2006)https://web.archive.org/web/20060518190326/http://www.summerfields.oxon.sch.uk/user_pages/no_time_to_spare/NTTS.php