Francis Newton Parsons VC

b. 23/03/1875 Dover, Kent. d. 10/03/1900 Dreifontein, South Africa.

Francis Newton Parsons (1875-1900) was born on 23rd March 1875 in Dover, Kent, the son of Charles Parsons, a doctor, and Venetia Digby Parsons. He was educated at King’s College School, Cambridge, at Dover College, and then the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He then enlisted with the 1st Battalion, 44th Regiment of Foot (later Essex Regiment) on 29th February 1896.

Francis N Parsons VC

He was soon promoted to Lieutenant by March 1898, and was posted with his regiment to the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899.

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.

Sadly, Parsons would not live long enough to be aware that he would be recommended for, and awarded the Victoria Cross. He was killed in action on 10th March 1900 at Dreifontein. His Victoria Cross was gazetted on 20th November 1900, though sadly due to his death, there was no presentation of the medal, and it was delivered to his family. Parsons was buried in Dreifontein Cemetery on the site of the battle. His medals are held by the Essex Regimental Museum, Chelmsford, Essex.





Steven Baker – Image of the Parsons VC Medal Group at the Essex Regiment Museum, Chelmsford.