The Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross
Awarded to Men of Portsmouth
- Henry Curtis VC -


 
Headstone
Headstone of the grave for Henry Curtis
 
Location of Grave:

Kingston Cemetery, Portsmouth. Plot 88. Row 10. Grave 22.
O/S: SU 657 008
 
HENRY CURTIS V.C.
BOATSWAIN'S MATE
ROYAL NAVY (NAVAL BRIGADE)
MEDAL WON IN THE CRIMEA 18 JUNE 1855
GAZETTED: 24 FEBRUARY 1857
BORN: ROMSEY 21 DECEMBER 1822
DIED: PORTSEA 23 NOVEMBER 1896
MEDAL: Not publicly held. Last known sale 27 April 1999 for £35,000 by Spinks on behalf of the British Steel Corporation.
 
Details of the Award:
On 18 June 1855, in the Crimea, immediately after the assault on Sebastopol, a soldier of the 57th Regiment, who had been wounded in both legs, was observed sitting up and calling for help. At once the second-in-command of the scaling party (Raby H.J.) another seaman (Taylor J.) and Boatswain's Mate Curtis left the shelter of their battery works and ran forward a distance of 70 yards, across open ground, through heavy gunfire and succeeded in carrying the wounded man to safety.
 
Both Raby and Taylor were also awarded the Victoria Cross. Admiral Raby is buried in Highland Road Cemetery.
 
Biography
Henry Curtis was born the son of Robert Curtis, a carpenter, at Romsey on 21st December 1822. He joined the navy as a Boy, 2nd Class at HMS Victory in 1841. He went on to serve on HMS Rodney and HMS Ringdove before joining the Coast Guard Service in 1856. He ended his career aboard HMS Marlborough as Boatswain's Mate in 1864. After leaving the Navy he was employed as a Quartermaster on a cross-channel steamer sailing from Southampton.
 
On 7th February 1856 he married Maria, daughter of William Morley, Brewer, at St Mary's Parish Church, Alverstoke. They had a son Henry William Curtis who was born on 17th June 1857, and three daughters, Maria (b.1859), Charlotte (b. 1872) and Mabel (b. 1877).
 
Curtis died at Portsea on 23rd November 1896 and was buried in Kingston Cemetery. His wife Maria followed him in 1919, being interred in the same grave which was re-used in 1972 which accounts for the third name on the headstone.
 

Headstone Inscription
IN
MEMORY OF
HENRY CURTIS V.C.
DIED 1896
AGED 74 YEARS
LEST WE FORGET
ALSO
HIS BELOVED WIFE
MARIA CURTIS
HERE ALSO LIES
MALAMA PAPADOPOULOU
DIED 11th MARCH 1972
AGED 71 YEARS
IN LOVING MEMORY
OF A DEAR WIFE
AND GRANDMOTHER
top