Colour Sergeant John Prettyjohns VC, RM

Date of birth: 
11th JUNE 1823
20thJanuary 1887
On his 21st birthday, when he journeyed to Plymouth and enlisted for unlimited service in the Royal Marines; collecting his 2/6d for attestation and bounty of £3.17/6d when he took the oath the following day – his 21st birthday.
His VC was awarded to a Corporal but he retired a Colour Sergaeant.
59th Company, Plymouth Division
Victoria Cross. (One of the first to be awarded such.)
Crimean War
VC Awarded: 
24th February 1857
Awarded posthumously: 


"On 5th November 1854, at the Battle of Inkerman, the Inkerman caves were full of Russian sharpshooters who were picking off officers and gunners. The caves were ordered to be cleared, and the Marines were selected for the task. A division under Sergeant Richards and Corporal Prettyjohns was tasked to do the job. Richards and Prettyjohns managed to clear the caves, but the ammunition was almost spent, and the enemy began to creep back up the hillside to re-take the caves. In a report by Sergeant Turner, RM, the following then happened….

“Prettyjohns, a muscular West Countryman, said, ‘Well lads, we are just in for a warming, and it will be every man for himself in a few minutes.  Look alive, my hearties, and collect all the stones handy, and pile them on the ridge in front of you.  When I grip the front man, you let go the biggest stones upon those fellows behind’. 

As soon as the first man stood on the level, Prettyjohns gripped him and gave him a Westcountry buttock, threw him over upon the men following, and a shower of stones from the others knocked the leaders over.  Away they went, tumbling one over the other, down the incline; we gave them a parting volley and retired out of sight to load; they made off and left us, although there was sufficient to have eaten us up.”

Further Information

Prettyjohns was physically presented with his VC in the Far East in late 1857. He served a full career, fighting in many campaigns before retiring in 1865.

Grave Restoration

We utilised D2 Biosolution to clean the stone. In the coming days it will brighten further as the solution does it’s job.

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