b. 1835 Bloomsbury, London. d. 06/12/1881 Union Workhouse, London.
John Joseph Sims (1835-1881) was born in Bloomsbury, London in 1835. Very little is known about his early life except that his father died when he was 14, and the family then fell on hard times. It is probably this that saw John decide to join the Army and he enlisted with the 1st Battalion of the 34th Regiment of Foot (later The Border Regiment), and soon after his enlistment, the Regiment were embarking for the Crimea.
On the 18th June 1855, after his Regiment had retreated back to their trenches following the assault on the Redan, he went out into the open ground, under heavy fire, in broad daylight, and brought in wounded soldiers. Sims was awarded the Victoria Cross on 24th February 1857, and was fortunate enough to be still in England, when the first investiture took place on 26th June 1857 at Hyde Park, and he was personally presented with his medal by Queen Victoria.
After his Army service, Sims returned to live in his native London, but fell on hard times. He died on 6th December 1881, aged just 46 in the Union Workhouse, Thavies Inn, City of London from tuberculosis. He was buried in common ground in the City of London Cemetery, Manor Park. His grave was not marked with a headstone. Although he was buried in an unmarked grave, his burial plot location was known. On Friday, 11th April 2003, a memorial plaque was placed over the location of his grave. He is one of two VCs buried in the Cemetery, along with George Drewry VC. The location of Sims’ VC is unknown.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: CITY OF LONDON CEMETERY, MANOR PARK, LONDON.
SQUARE 311, GRAVE 46112
Kevin Brazier – Cemetery Map.