|THE UNMARKED GRAVE OF PRIVATE THOMAS HANCOCK VC, 9TH LANCERS, HAS BEEN RECOGNISED BY THE PLACING OF A MEMORIAL PLAQUE OVER HIS BURIAL PLOT IN BROMPTON CEMETERY, WEST LONDON.|
|15 October 2011|
|Following Thomas Hancock's heroic action during the Siege of Delhi and his death on 12 March 1871 at the Westminster Workhouse, his grave has remained unmarked in the Brompton Cemetery, West London, until now. The project to recognise the burial location of Thomas Hancock was the brainchild of respected naval and military historian, Brian Horton, who has made it part of his life's work to ensure that service personnel who have been awarded the Victoria Cross are properly commemorated.
Therefore, a dignified ceremony took place on Saturday, 15th October 2011, to erect a memorial stone over Thomas Hancock's burial plot in Brompton Cemetery attended by the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, Cllr Julie Mills, Brian Horton and the sponsor of the stone Charles Ashton. Also in attendance was the Chief Executive of The Corps of Commissionaires to which Thomas Hancock was one of its first members.
|Thomas Hancock was born in Kensington, London, in July 1823 and at the age of 18 joined the 3rd Light Dragoons and a year later transferred to the 9th ( Queen's Royal ) Lancers. The 9th Lancers were present at the Gwalior Campaign of 1843 and the 1st and 2nd Sikh Wars of 1845-46 and 1848-49 from which Hancock was awarded the relevant campaign medals. The regiment was also involved in all three major campaigns during the Indian Mutiny, Siege of Delhi, Relief of Lucknow, and the retaking of Lucknow. However, owing to Thomas Hancock's grevious wound during his VC action he was unable to continue serving with the regiment after the Siege of Delhi. As a direct result of his injuries he subsequently lost an arm and was discharged from the army on arrival back in England.
While unemployed and living in London, Hancock wrote to Captain Sir Edward Walter who had recently set up the Corps of Commissionaires as a way to provide gainful employment for ex-servicemen. Hancock joined the Corps on the 12th March 1859 and was employed by Messrs Hunt & Roskell, silversmiths and jewellers to Queen Victoria. He has since become known as one of the 'original eight' Corps employees.
Medal entitlement of Corporal Thomas Hancock, 9th ( Queen's Royal ) Lancers
Iain Stewart, 2 November 2011