George Monger (1840-1887)
George Monger was born in Woodmancote and served with the 23rd Regiment, the Royal Welsh Fusileers. He enlisted as a drummer boy aged 15 at Winchester during November 1855. At the age of 17, whilst engaged in the campaign arising from the Indian Mutiny, he was awarded the Victoria Cross for conspicuous bravery on the 18th of November 1857, when he remained by the side of a wounded Corporal exposed to cross-fire from the Sepoy rebels. After approximately one and a half hours, he and Lieutenant Hackett succeeded in returning the injured man to his regiment without sustaining any injury. The citation reads:
At the Secundra Bagh, Lucknow, on November 18th 1857, Monger displayed great bravery in accompanying Lieutenant Hackett to assist in carrying in a corporal of his regiment who, being wounded, was lying in a most exposed position
The Victoria Cross was instituted only two years prior to his award, so he is almost certainly one of the earliest recipients of that honour.
Returning to England, George continued his service with the 1st Class Army Reserve from 1869 until worsening health necessitated his medical discharge from military service. Suffering with asthma, he worked to support him and his wife as a stone-mason and plasterer, living in modest accommodation at 25 Tower Road, until he was no longer able to continue in that occupation.
A subscription was raised to ease his financial worries in May of 1887, raising over £6 from public donations in the first week. He is buried at Hastings Cemetery in grave E18 of section H. A Blue Plaque is situated above the front door of what was his final abode at Tower Road; this being placed during 1998.
References & Notes
- British Newspaper Archive Hastings & St. Leonards Observer 21 May 1887 Pg. 0003
- George Monger – Bohemias only resident to be awarded the Victoria Cross | The Bohemia Village Voice, accessdate: 1 November 2020