Anthony Palmer (10th March to 12th December 1892)

 

It took about twenty minutes to find this grave. The A4 photo I had printed out showed a black weather-lashed stone. I did a fast power-walk around the graveyard, scanning all the black stones. Little did I know it had been cleaned up and is now almost white

 

Here lies Anthony Palmer whose act of bravery occurred when he was 35 years old. He was a private fighting with the Grenadier Guards in the Crimean War. On 5th November 1854 at the Battle of Inkerman he volunteered with two others to join their major to dislodge a party of Russians from the Sandbag Battery. Under heavy fire they attacked the Russians and succeeded in killing them. The major was being bayoneted to death but Palmer shot the Russian and saved his chief.He was also a member of a small team who were vastly outnumbered when under attacked from the enemy, leading his peers away from capture and probably death.

 

He was awarded the Victoria Cross in June 1857 by Queen Victoria in Hyde Park, London. After leaving the army in 1863 he rose to become the Head Constable of The Millwall Dock Company. His Victoria Cross medal was stolen during a bar brawl and a replacement was issued on the instructions of Queen Victoria (the original medal was eventually recovered.)

 

He died aged 73 in 1892 in Crumpsall Hospital, Manchester. He joins his parents in this grave. Wood Street in Heywood has since been named after this brave man.