Alfred James Terence Fleming-Sandes VC

(1894 - 1961)

Local Connection:
Lewisham Resident living at 4 Knockholt Mansions, 57 Ravensbourne Park, Catford with his widowed mother and elder sisters from at least 1918 until about 1929. Invited at the 19 January 1916 LB Lewisham Council meeting to attend a meeting of the Council at the earliest opportunity to receive the congratulations of the Council and sign the Borough Roll of Honour. Only 2 previous names in the Book presented by Alderman Stebbing to the Borough (Other names were Sir Ernest Shackleton and Sir John Knill Bart)

War Service:
He was a Second Lieutenant serving in the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment
Digest of Citation for the Victoria Cross reads:
For most conspicuous bravery at Hohenzollern Redoubt on 25th September 1915. Second-Lieutenant Fleming-Sandes was sent to command a company which at the time was in a very critical position. The troops on his right were retiring and his own men, who were much shaken by continual bombing and machine-gun fire, were also beginning to retire owing to shortage of bombs. Taking in the situation at a glance, he collected a few bombs, jumped on the parapet in full view of the Germans, who were only twenty yards away, and threw them. Although very severely wounded almost at once by a bomb, he struggled to his feet and continued to advance and throw bombs until he was again severely wounded. This most gallant action put new heart into his men, rallied them and saved the situation.

Location of Memorial:
VC Stone memorial

He was the youngest son of Alfred (1870 - 1898) and Grace Emily Fleming Sandes (1867 - after 1911)(Nee Routh) (Married 1893 in Lewisham RD). He was born at Tulse Hill, London, on 24th June 1894, Fleming-Sandes was educated at Dulwich College Preparatory School and King’s School Canterbury. At the outbreak of War he was a master at Hull School, Sydenham. On 5th August, 1914, the day after the declaration of war, he at once enlisted in the Artists' Rifles and landed in France with the 1st Battalion in October He was commissioned into the East Surrey Regiment on 9th May, 1915, and joined the 2nd Battalion in Belgium. While recovering from the severe wounds which he received at the Hohenzollern Redoubt he was an instructor with an Officer Cadet Battalion at Trinity College, Cambridge, and he attended a full Council meeting in Lewisham 2nd February 1916 to receive the congratulations of the Council and sign the Roll of Honour. It was not until October 1918, that he was fit enough to rejoin the Regiment in France.

LB Lewisham Council Minutes 19 January 1916 and 2 February 1916
Queens Royal East Kent Regiment Website -
Lewisham Borough News 11 Feb 1916

This research came to light after the VC memorial was unveiled in May 2015

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by Local History and Archives Centre, Lewisham and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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