b. 29/01/1865 Audenshaw, Manchester. d. 10/10/1931 Connaught Gardens, London.
Harry Norton Schofield (1865-1931) was born on 29th January 1865 in Audenshaw, near Manchester, son of Christopher James Schofield, a JP from Lancashire. He entered the Royal Artillery from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich as a Lieutenant in February 1884, and was promoted to Captain in February 1893.
Captain Schofield served throughout the Second Boer War in 1899-1900, as Aide-de-Camp to General Sir Redvers Buller VC, GCB, GCMG. He was present at the relief of Ladysmith, including the Battle of Colenso; at the operations on the Spion Kop in January 1900, and at the Tugela Heights in February 1900. Later that year, he was involved in actions in the Natal, east of Pretoria.
For his services in this campaign, he was mentioned in despatches four times, the Queen’s South Africa Medal with six clasps, and awarded the DSO (19th April 1901). Later that year, the award of his DSO was cancelled, as it was decided he would be awarded the Victoria Cross instead (30th August 1901), for his actions at Colenso nearly 2 years before.
On 15 December 1899, at the Battle of Colenso, South Africa, Captain Schofield with several others tried to save the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, when the detachments serving the guns had all become casualties or been driven from their guns by infantry fire at close range. Captain Schofield went out with two other officers (Walter Norris Congreve and Frederick Hugh Sherston (The Hon.) Roberts) and a corporal (George Edward Nurse) when the first attempt was made to extricate the guns and helped in withdrawing the two that were saved.
He was presented with his medal on 29th October 1901 by King Edward VII. Shortly afterwards, he was promoted to Major, before he retired from the Army in December 1905. He then became a member of His Majesty’s Honourable Corps of Gentleman-at-Arms. On the outbreak of World War One, he was re-employed, firstly at the British Remount Commission in Canada and the USA, and afterwards as Commandant on Lines of Communication for the British Expeditionary Force. He became a temporary Lieutenant-Colonel between 1915 and 1918, and retired finally with that rank at the end of the War. In June 1917, he had married Dorothy Evelyn Vere, the eldest daughter of Arthur Charles Isham.
In retirement, Lieutenant-Colonel Schofield lived in London, where he died at his home, 28 Connaught Gardens, on 10th October 1931, aged 66. He was buried in Putney Vale Cemetery. His medals are held by the Ashcroft Trust and displayed in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: PUTNEY VALE CEMETERY, LONDON.
BLOCK L, GRAVE 29
Kevin Brazier – Image of the Schofield VC Grave in Putney Vale Cemetery.