b. 18/03/1826 South Hill, Cornwall. d. 18/11/1871 Bridlington, Yorkshire
George Symons (1826-1871) was born in South Hill, Cornwall on 18th March 1826. As a young man, he enlisted with the 5th Battalion of the Military Train (Royal Artillery). He was posted to the Crimean War, where he served with great distinction.
The act of his gallantry for which he is most remembered was erroneously dated initially in the London Gazette. The entry which appeared on 20th November 1857, dated his action as 18th October 1854, when in fact (as was corrected in the London Gazette at a later date) it was on 6th June 1855.
On the 6th June 1855 at Sebastopol, Symons volunteered to unmask the embrasures of a five gun battery in the advanced right attack, and when so employed, under a terrific fire, which the enemy commenced immediately on the opening of the first embrasure, and increased on the unmasking of each additional one, in having overcome the great difficulty of uncovering the last by boldly mounting the parapet and throwing down the sand-bags, when a shell from the enemy burst and wounded him severely.
Symons recovered from his wounds, and received his Victoria Cross. He left the Army as Captain and Adjutant of the Royal Artillery. He retired to Yorkshire, where on 18th November 1871 he died in Bridlington, aged just 45 years. He was buried in the churchyard of Bridlington Priory. His medals were originally held by the United Services Institute, South West London, but are now held by the Royal Logistic Corps Museum, Camberley, Surrey.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: ROYAL LOGISTIC CORPS MUSEUM, CAMBERLEY, SURREY
BURIAL PLACE: BRIDLINGTON PRIORY CHURCHYARD, BRIDLINGTON, YORKSHIRE.
Thomas Stewart – Image of the Symons VC Medal Group at the RLC Museum, Camberley.