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Victoria Cross Trust
Victoria Cross Trust
Charles Russell VC - Grenadier Guard

Charles Russell VC - Grenadier Guard

Why we need your help

From Duane Ashworth, former Grenadier Guard & father of James Ashworth VC

As most of you are aware I am a trustee of The Victoria Cross Trust since my Son was awarded his Victoria Cross posthumously, I was appalled at the way some of our national heroes graves have been neglected by the nation they so bravely fought and made the ultimate sacrifice. We are now starting a new project for the trust on Major Russels grave. Below is his Citation and a photo of his grave in its present state and a link to the charity to raise funds to put the site of this heroes resting place back to the way it should be.

As we get closer to the date we will also require volunteers to help clear the site and general gardening.

Russell was the second but eldest surviving son of Sir Henry Russell, 2nd Baronet, British 'Resident' at the court of Hyderabad in India, and his second wife, Marie Clotilde daughter of Benoit Mottet de la Fontaine, Baron Fieffé de St Corneille. He was educated at Eton College and entered the Grenadier Guards in 1847. Charles inherited the baronetcy and the family estate of Swallowfield Park in Berkshire in 1852. He became a lieutenant and a captain the following year and accompanied his regiment to the Crimea where he took part in the Siege of Sebastopol and the Battles of Alma, Balaclava and Inkerman. He was a 28-year-old Brevet Major in the 3rd Battalion in the latter battle when the following action took place for which he was awarded the VC.

Depiction of the battle of Inkerman
On 5 November 1854, Brevet Major Russell offered to dislodge a party of Russians from the Sandbag Battery if anyone would follow him. A sergeant and privates, Anthony Palmer and another who was subsequently killed - were the first to volunteer. The party met much resistance and several times seemed to be on the point of annihilation but their skill, especially with the bayonet, finally brought success. Major Russell himself fought with great valour and in single combat wrenched the rifle out of the grasp of a powerful Russian. His citation read:

“ Offered to dislodge a party of Russians from the Sand-bag Battery, if any one would follow him; Serjeant Norman, Privates Anthony Palmer, and Bailey (who was killed) volunteered the first. The attack succeeded.[1] ”
His Victoria Cross is displayed at The Guards Regimental Headquarters (Grenadier Guards RHQ), Wellington Barracks, London, England. He later achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel.


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