Regiment The Sherwood Foresters ( 2nd Bn, The Derbyshire Regiment )
Born 18 June 1874 - 8 Barton Villas, Dawlish, Devon
Educated - Eastbourne College ( Blackwater House ) 1887 - 1892
- Royal Military College, Sandhurst 1892 - 1893
Died 19 January 1907, aged 32
Cresta Toboggan Run, St Moritz, Switzerland
Buried 25 January 1907, St Gregory's Churchyard, Dawlish, Devon
Parents Edwin Pennell and Henrietta ( neé Copeland )
Brother /
Charles Lewin; Rosalie Frances; Hilda Mary

2nd Lieutenant - 21 October 1893 Derbyshire Regiment
Lieutenant - 18 July 1896 Derbyshire Regiment
Captain - 30 May 1900 Derbyshire Regiment
Company Commander - 1900 Derbyshire Regiment
Captain - 1903 Staff College
Staff Captain - 13 June 1905 Administrative HQ, Southern Command
Operations Tirah Field Force, North West Frontier, India 1897 - 1898
Served 24 December 1896 to 25 November 1898
- Dargai Heights
- Sampagha Pass
- Arhanga Pass
- Kanki
- Waran & Bazar Valley
MiD (Mentioned in Despatches) Once
India Medal 1895 - 1902 (2 clasps)
- Punjab Frontier 1897 - 1898
- Tirah 1897 - 1898
Operations 2nd Boer War 1899 - 1902
attached West Yorkshire Regiment, Natal Field Force
Served 20 October 1899 to 8 November 1900
- Colenso
- Laing's Nek
- Transvaal
- Relief of Ladysmith
- Spion Kop
- Vaal Krantz
- Tugela Heights (wounded)
MiD (Mentioned in Despatches) Twice
Queen's South Africa Medal 1899 - 1902 (5 clasps)
- Tugela Heights
- Orange Free State
- Relief of Ladysmith
- Transvaal
- Laing's Nek
Served 1905 - Staff Captain, Administrative HQ, Southern Command

Victoria Cross
20 October 1897
Dargai Heights, North West Frontier, India
VC Invested 2 September 1898 - Bareilly, NW India
by Colonel Edward Dowse, CO 2nd Bn The Derbyshire Regiment
VC Gazetted [ London Gazette, 20 May 1898 ] Dargai Heights, North West Frontier, India, 20 October 1897, Lieutenant Henry Singleton Pennell, 2nd Bn, The Derbyshire Regiment
VC Citation "Captain W.E. Clifton-Smith, who commanded 'D' Company of the 2nd Bn The Derbyshire Regiment at Dargai had been shot. Not knowing he had been killed, Lieutenant Pennell, in face of a terrific hail of bullets, rushed to him and made two gallant attempts to carry him into shelter. With great difficulty he carried him some distance and discovering now that Captain Smith had breathed his last, Lieutenant Pennell placed the dead officer's helmet over his face, and himself made for shelter, the enemy's bullets whizzing around him all the time".
Observation Extract from a letter by Lieutenant Colonel R.C. Hadow, Indian Staff Corps, dated 28 October 1898:

"He, Lieutenant Pennell, went out to bring in Smith, one of their captains, and only dropped him at the very end when he found he was dead. The Afridis were blazing at him the whole time, for he was so conspicuous walking back alone with Smith on his back, and bullets were cutting up the ground all around him. It was a well-bestowed VC".

VC Location The Sherwood Foresters Museum, Nottingham Castle
Medal Entitlement Captain Henry Singleton Pennell VC - The Sherwood Foresters ( 2nd Bn, Derbyshire Regiment )
  • Victoria Cross
  • India Medal ( 1895-1902 )
    • 2 clasps:
    • "Punjab Frontier 1897-98" - "Tirah 1897-98"
  • Queen's South Africa Medal ( 1899-1902 )
    • 5 clasps:
    • "Tugela Heights" - "Orange Free State"
    • "Relief of Ladysmith" - "Transvaal" - "Laing's Nek"

The accident Cresta Run, St Moritz, Switzerland - 19 January 1907

The Cresta Toboggan Run consists of a series of sharp bends, one of which is called the "Battledore" followed by the "Shuttlecock". Loose snow is packed up against the banks of the corners to act as a safety net for participants.

The rider preceeding Henry Pennell had fallen at "Battledore" and spectators had rushed forward to assist the man, inadvertently trampling down the deep snow which was normal protection for fallen riders. Following at speeds of between 40 mph and 50 mph, Henry Pennell fell at the same spot and with no snow protection, hit rocks and stones and suffered severe internal injuries from which he later died.

Henry Pennell's body was transported overland to Calais - Dover and then to St. John's House, Polsloe Road, Exeter, where his family were living at the time. His body was later taken to the family plot for burial in St. Gregory's Churchyard, Dawlish, Devon, on 25th January 1907.

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Iain Stewart, 1 November 2001