15 November 2014

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For several years the grave and marker stone over the burial plot for Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Borton VC CMG DSO in St Mary's Churchyard, Hunton, Kent, had been subsumed by high grass, foliage and brambles encompassing the whole churchyard. Several attempts to refurbish the grave didn't meet with much enthusiam from the church, Hunton Parish Council and the regiment.

Now, through the efforts of the 'Victoria Cross Trust', with the assistance of local school children, the grave has been cleared and cleaned by using the DOFF Stone Restoration System which causes no damage to the stone. The results are very impressive and should make the upkeep of the grave much easier in the future.

Arthur Borton's military career is quite extraordinary, serving firstly in the 2nd Boer War with the King's Royal Rifle Corps. Following the outbreak of the First World War, Borton rejoined the KRRC before transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in January 1915 as an observer, but suffered a serious flying accident in March 1915.

Arthur Borton then transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service Motor Machine-Gun Armoured Cars taking part in the Gallipoli landings at Suvla Bay in August 1915 as a Lieutenant Commander. It was during this action that Borton was awarded the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ).

Arriving back in England Borton transferred back into the Army and was appointed second in command of the 2nd / 22nd ( County of London ) Bn, The London Regiment, later achieving command of the whole battalion with whom he earned his Victoria Cross in Palestine.

For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 18 December 1917 ], Sheria, Palestine, 7 November 1917, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Drummond Borton DSO, 2nd / 22nd ( County of London ) Bn, London Regiment.

For most conspicuous bravery and leadership ( Sheria, Palestine ). Under most difficult conditions in darkness and in an unknown country, he deployed his battalion for attack, and at dawn led his attacking companies against a strongly held position. When the leading waves were checked by a withering machine-gun fire, Lieutenant Colonel Borton showed an utter contempt of danger, and moved freely up and down his lines under heavy fire. Reorganising his command, he led his men forward, and captured the position.

At a later stage of the fight, he led a party of volunteers against a battery of field guns in action at point-blank range, capturing the guns and the detachments.

His fearless leadership was an inspiring example to the whole Brigade.

Arthur Borton was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 23rd February 1918.

[ London Gazette, 31 May 1916 ], Created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order ( DSO ), Lieutenant Commander Arthur Drummond Borton, Motor Machine-Gun Cars ( Royal Naval Air Service )

In recognition of most valuable service whilst in command of a detachment of Royal Marine Motor Machine-Guns in difficult and dangerous parts of the line on the Gallipoli peninsular.

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Medal entitlement of Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Borton,
2nd / 22nd ( County of London ) Bn, London Regiment

  • Victoria Cross
  • Companion, Order of St Michael & St George ( CMG )
  • Distinguished Service Order ( DSO )
  • Queen's South Africa Medal ( 1899-1902 )
      3 clasps:
    • "Cape Colony" - "Transvaal" - "South Africa 1902"
  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal ( 1914-20 )
  • Victory Medal ( 1914-19 )
  • Knight, Order of the Nile ( Egypt )
  • Knight, Order of St Vladimir ( Russia )


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Iain Stewart, 15 November 2014