b. 07/04/1833 Odcombe, Somerset. d. 25/08/1888 Sherston Magna, Wiltshire
George Strong (1833-1888) was born in April 1833 in Ham Hill, Odcombe, near Yeovil, Somerset. He was baptised on the 7th April 1833. He enlisted with the Coldstream Guards at Plymouth at the age of 19 on 27th November 1854. He would remain in the Regiment until 29th November 1864.
During his career in the Coldstream Guards, he did not receive any promotions, but for his services in the Crimea, he was awarded the Crimean Medal with clasp, the Turkish War Medal, and on the 24th February 1857, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in the month of September 1855.
On that occasion, he was on duty in the trenches at Sebastopol, when a live shell fell into the area near to where Private Strong was standing. Without any hesitation, Strong picked up the shell and threw it clear over the parapet, saving the lives of many men.
Strong was personally decorated with his Victoria Cross by Queen Victoria at the first investiture at Hyde Park on 26th June 1857. After his retirement from the Army in 1864, little is known about Strong except that he ended up in Wiltshire. He died aged 55 on the 25th August 1888 in the village of Sherston Magna, Wiltshire. The exact location of his burial in the Churchyard of Holy Cross Church, Sherston Magna is not known but a memorial headstone is placed next to the headstone of his brother Thomas. His medals were sold at auction in London on 17th April 1907. The medals are now held and displayed at the Coldstream Guards Museum, Wellington Barracks, London.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: COLDSTREAM GUARDS RHQ, WELLINGTON BARRACKS, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: CHURCH OF HOLY CROSS, SHERSTON MAGNA, WILTSHIRE.
Thomas Stewart – Image of the Strong VC Medal Group at the Coldstream Guards RHQ.