Henry William Engleheart VC

b. 14/11/1863 Blackheath, London. d. 09/08/1939 Datchet, Berkshire.

Henry William Engleheart (1863-1939) was born on 14th November 1863 in Blackheath, London, the son of Francis Engleheart, who was a stockbroker on the Stock Exchange, and grandson of N. B. Engleheart, the last of the Queen’s Proctors. Henry joined the 10th (Prince of Wales’ Own) Royal Hussars, and served with the regiment in the Second Boer War from 1899-1902.

Henry W Engleheart VC

At dawn on the 13th March, 1900, the party that had destroyed the railway north of Bloemfontein had to charge through a Boer piquet and get over four deep spruits, in order to make their way back through the Boer lines. At the fourth spruit Sapper Webb’s horse failed to get up the bank and he was left in a very dangerous position. In face of a very heavy rifle and shell fire, and, notwithstanding the great chance of being cut off, Sergeant Engleheart returned to Sapper Webb’s assistance. It took some time to get the man and his horse out of the sluit and the position became momentarily more critical owing to the advance of the Boers. He was, however, at last successful, and, retiring slowly, to cover Webb’s retreat, was able to get him safely back to the party. Shortly before this, Sergeant Engleheart had shown great gallantry in dashing into the first spruit, which could only be reached in single file and was still full of Boers hesitating whether to fly or fire. Had they been given time to rally, they must have destroyed the small party of British, as they outnumbered them by 4 to 1.

Engleheart was recommended for, and gazetted for the Victoria Cross on 8th October 1900, and he was one of the final five men to be presented with their medals by Queen Victoria, at Windsor Castle on 15th December 1900. Engleheart was eventually promoted to Quarter-Master Sergeant before retiring from the Army. He retired to Berkshire, where he died on 9th August 1939, at his home, “Fairlight” in Datchet. He was cremated at Woking Crematorium, and his ashes were scattered in Byron Garden South in the Garden of Remembrance. His medals are held and displayed by the King’s Royal Hussars Museum, Winchester, Hampshire.





Steve Lee www.memorialstovalour.co.uk – Image of the VC and GC Association Memorial Board at Woking Crematorium.

Derek Walker – Lewisham Shopping Centre Memorial.