23 January 2011

Victoria Cross: E. B. B. Towse


Captain, The Gordon Highlanders

Born: 23 April 1864, Westminster, London
Died: 21 June 1948, Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire

Citation: On the 11th December, 1899, at the action of Majesfontein, Captain Towse was brought to notice by his Commanding Officer for his gallantry and devotion in assisting the late Colonel Downman, when mortally wounded, in the retirement, and endeavouring, when close up to the front of the firing line, to carry Colonel Downman on his back; but finding this not possible, Captain Towse supported him till joined by Colour-Sergeant Nelson and Lance-Corporal Hodgson.
On the 30th April, 1900, Captain Towse, with twelve men, took up a position on the top of Mount Thaba, far away from support. A force of about 150 Boers attempted to seize the same plateau, neither party appearing to see the other until they were but 100 yards apart. Some of the Boers then got within 40 yards of Captain Towse and his party, and called on him to surrender. He at once caused his men to open fire and remained firing himself until severely wounded (both eyes shattered), succeeding in driving off the Boers. The gallantry of this Officer in vigorously attacking the enemy (for he not only fired, but charged forward) saved the situation, notwithstanding the numerical superiority of the Boers.

[London Gazette issue 27208 dated 6 Jul 1900, published 6 Jul 1900.]

Note: Captain Towse was Sir Beachcroft Towse, VC KCVO CBE, at the time of his death.

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