Six VC’s before breakfast – The Fusilier Museum’s search for a missing Victoria Cross for a new, commemorative exhibition to open in 2015

20/05/2014

The Fusilier Museum, Bury is searching for a missing Victoria Cross (VC) to be included in a new and exciting exhibition to commemorate the centenary of the ill-fated Gallipoli landings in which the Lancashire Fusiliers famously won “Six VC’s before breakfast”. The ground breaking exhibition due to open in April 2015 will hopefully include all six Victoria Crosses if successful in their search and it will be the first time ever in 100 years that the VC’s have been on display in one place. The museum currently has two in its collection and three will be kindly loaned to the museum from Lord Ashcroft’s collection of VC’s which is the largest collection of its kind in the world. The three VC’s in Lord Ashcroft’s collection are currently on display as part of the Extraordinary Heroes exhibition in the Lord Ashcroft gallery in London’s Imperial War Museum.

The missing medal belonged to Major Cuthbert Bromley who was a temporary major in the 1st Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers during the First World War. He was awarded the VC for his actions on 25 April 1915, during the landings at W BeachGallipoliTurkey, and during which he was wounded.
Sarah Stevenson, Collections Officer at the Fusilier Museum said, “Major Bromley’s family was from Seaford in East Sussex, son of Sir John Bromley CB and Lady Bromley of Sutton Corner, Seaford. He is remembered in the local church, St Leonard’s, on a war memorial and a road in the town is actually named after him. The last record we have of the medal was when it was put up for auction in the late 80’s but nothing has been recorded since then. Someone must still be in procession of the missing medal so our mission is to find it so it can take its place alongside the other VC’s in the exhibition.”
Colonel Brian Gorski MBE and Chairman of The Fusilier Museum, said: “We are thrilled to be able to develop this exciting exhibition to commemorate Gallipoli and we are extremely grateful to Lord Ashcroft for his generous loan of the three VC’s to make this happen. The last piece of the puzzle is to find Bromley’s VC so we can re-unite them again and tell their story to this generation.”

Lord Ashcroft KCMG,PC  said: "The Victoria Crosses known collectively as the ‘Six before Breakfast’ comprise one of the most celebrated batches of gallantry medals from any action of the entire Great War. By a combination of luck and remarkable coincidence over the past twenty-five years, I have been able to acquire three of the famous ‘Six’, and I regard them all as being amongst the finest I own. I am therefore extremely proud to be able to loan them for this Centenary Exhibition when, hopefully, all ‘Six’ of these iconic VCs will be assembled together for the very first time.”

The Fusilier Museum in Bury, Lancashire, is home to the collections of XX The Lancashire Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Documenting over 300 years of history and heritage through permanent and temporary exhibitions, the Museum tells the rich and fascinating stories of the people who have served and continue to service in the Regiments.

The new exhibition is due to open on the 25th April 2015 and will be part of a weekend of events to commemorate Gallipoli.
Anyone with any information about the missing VC should contact Sarah Stevenson, Collections Officer at the Fusilier Museum on 0161 763 8962 or sarah.stevenson@fusiliermuseum.com

ENDS

 

Notes to editor

The Gallipoli Campaign - At dawn on the 25th April 1915 The Lancashire Fusiliers landed on W Beach, to the west of Cape Helles the southernmost top of the Gallipoli Peninsula where the Turks opened fire. Despite heavy losses for the Fusiliers, six VC’s were awarded for this action and W Beach was renamed the Lancashire Landing in honour of the Battalion that had captured it.

The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest military decoration awarded for valour to members of British, Commonwealth and Empire armed forces. The Lancashire Fusiliers have been awarded nineteen VC’s, eighteen of which were awarded during the First World War, more than any other regiment in that conflict. The Fusilier Museum holds seven VC’s as part of its collection including two of the six awarded “before breakfast” to the 1st Battalion at Gallipoli in 1915. They were awarded to Sergeant Frank Stubbs and Private William Keneally.

The three "Six before Breakfast" VCs in Lord Ashcroft's collection are those awarded to: Corporal John Grimshaw, Sergeant Joseph Richards and Captain Richard Willis.

For further media information please contact Gini Wilde, Marketing Manager or Sarah Stevenson, Collections Officer at The Fusilier Museum.
Gini Wilde – 07967019099 or gini.wilde@fusiliermuseum.com
Sarah Stevenson – 0161 763 8962 or sarah.stevenson@fusiliermuseum.com

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