THE MARKER OVER THE GRAVE OF LANCE CORPORAL JOSEPH TOMBS HAS BEEN RENEWED CANCELLING OUT AN ERROR IN THE ORIGINAL MARKER.
12 November 2015
( My thanks to Bill Mullen for the grave marker image )

Corporal Joseph Tombs VC, King's ( Liverpool ) Regiment, died on the 28 June 1966 and was buried in the Pine Hills Cemetery in Toronto. A grave marker was placed over his grave describing his life and military career with one error, the inclusion of the post nominal letters C.M.G. ( Companion to the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George ).

This British Order was specifically awarded to those who had performed distinguished service in the colonies and protectorates of the British Empire and more recent times has been used as an award to ambassadors and senior diplomats, as well as colonial governors. Following his emigration from England to Canada in 1921 Joseph Tombs was employed as a clerk by the Sun Life Assurance Company in Montreal.

It is believed the award of the Cross of St George to Joseph Tombs, a Russian decoration, was mistaken as a CMG on the original marker. This has now been recitified by a new grave marker being laid over the burial plot of Joseph Tombs VC in Pine Hills Cemetery.



Tombs' marker
before and after


For the award of the Victoria Cross

[ London Gazette, 24 July 1915 ], near Rue du Bois, France, 16 June 1915 (*), Lance Corporal Joseph Harcourt Tombs, 1st Bn, King's ( Liverpool ) Regiment.

For most conspicuous gallantry near Rue du Bois, on 16th June 1915. On his own initiative he crawled out repeatedly under a very heavy shell and machine-gun fire, to bring in wounded men, who were lying about 100 yards in front of our trenches. He rescued four men, one of whom he dragged back by means of a rifle sling placed round his own neck and the manís body. This man was so severely wounded that unless he had been immediately attended to he must have died.

(*) There was an error in the citation for the award of the Victoria Cross. Tombs' VC action took place on the 16th May 1915 and not on the 16th June.

Joseph Tombs was invested with his Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace on the 12th August 1915.



The medals of
Joseph Tombs

Joseph Tombs' Victoria Cross and campaign medals are held by the Royal Regiment of Canada Foundation in Toronto.

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Iain Stewart, 12 November 2015