28 – Sir Walter Norris Congreve
General Sir Walter Norris Congreve
1862 – 1927
Governor of Malta 1924-1927
General Sir Walter Norris Congreve VC, KCB, MVO, DL (November 20, 1862 – February 26, 1927) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces. Later, he rose to the rank of general and was knighted. He was also the the father of Major William La Touche Congreve, VC – they are one of only three father and son pairs to win a VC.
He was 37 years old, and a captain in The Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort’s Own), British Army during the South African War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.
From 1924 to 1927, Sir Walter served as the governor of Malta, where he died. At his request, he was buried at sea in the channel between the coast and Filfla Island; there is a small monument to him on the coast between Hamrija Tower and the pre-historic site of Mnajdra.
On 15 December 1899 at the Battle of Colenso, South Africa, Captain Congreve with several others, tried to save the guns of the 14th and 66th Batteries, Royal Field Artillery, when the detachments serving the guns had all become casualties or been driven from their guns. Some of the horses and drivers were sheltering in a donga about 500 yards behind the guns and the intervening space was swept with shell and rifle fire. Captain Congreve, with two other officers (Frederick Hugh Sherston (The Hon.) Roberts, Harry Norton Schofield) helped to hook a team into a limber and then to limber up a gun. Although wounded himself, seeing one of the officers fall, he went out with an RAMC Major (William Babtie) and brought him in.
His Victoria Cross is on display at the Royal Green Jackets Museum (Winchester, England).