Capt Godfrey Meynell

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Reference WMO/267996


The Royal Memorial Chapel

Chapel Square

Royal Military Acadamy Sandhurst


GU15 4NR


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Status: On original site
Type: Non freestanding
Location: Internal
Setting: Inside a building - public/private
Description: Board/Plaque/ Tablet
  • Stone Marble
Lettering: Incised
  • Colonial India
About the memorial: Memorial to Captain Godfrey Meynell, VC, MC, Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides, 12th Frontier Force Regiment. Son of Brigadier General Godfrey and Edith Violet Meynell. Baptised on 18 Jun 1904 in Kirk Langley, Derbyshire. Educated at Eton College. Gentleman Cadet at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. Commissioned into the Indian Army. He was awarded the Military Cross on 8 Sep 1933 for distinguished services rendered in the field during the military operations in connection with the Chitral Reliefs between Sep-Oct 1932. In Sep 1935, he was thirty-one years old and was Adjutant of the 5th Battalion (Queen Victoria's Own Corps of Guides), 12th Frontier Force Regiment, deployed on operations in the Mohmand Campaign on the North West Frontier in British India. On 29 Sep 1935 at Mohmand, in the Nahaqi Pass within the Khyber Pass on the North West Frontier, he deployed forward to gather information for his Commanding Officer on the progress of the operation and became involved in the action which was to cost him his life but for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The citation reads "For most conspicuous gallantry and extreme devotion to duty. On the 29th September, 1935, while operating against Mohmand tribesmen in the attack on Point 4080, Captain Meynell was Adjutant of the Battalion. In the final phase of the attack, the Battalion Commander was unable to get information from his most forward troops. Captain Meynell went forward to ascertain the situation and found the forward troops on the objective, but involved in a struggle against an enemy vastly superior in numbers. Seeing the situation he at once took over command of the men in this area. The enemy, by this time, was closing in on the position from three sides. Captain Meynell had at his disposal two Lewis guns and about thirty men. Although this party was maintaining heavy and accurate fire on the advancing enemy, the overwhelming numbers of the latter succeeded in reaching the position. Both the Lewis guns were damaged beyond repair and a fierce hand to hand struggle commenced. During the struggle Captain Meynell was mortally wounded and all his men were either killed or wounded. Throughout the action Captain Meynell en-deavoured by all means to communicate the situation to Headquarters, but determined to hold on at all costs and encouraged his men to fight with him to the last. By so doing he inflicted on the enemy very heavy casualties which prevented them from exploiting their success. The fine example Captain Meynell set to his men, coupled with his determination to hold the position to the last, maintain the traditions of the Army and reflect the highest credit on the fallen officer and his comrades". Regimental records suggest that when the bodies of his men were mutilated by the enemy (as was their custom), Captain Meynell sought to defend those bodies even as he himself was dying. His Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously, and given to his widow during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace in July 1936. His body is laid to rest at the Guides Chapel in Mardan, near Peshawar in the North West Frontier Province, where he and his wife were married. Captain Meynell and his wife, Sophia Patricia (Jill) Meynell, were both speakers of Urdu. Meynell's son, Hugo Anthony Meynell, was born six months after his death. He is also commemorated on a memorial in St Michael's Church, Kirk Langley, Derbyshire where he was born and baptised, and on a memorial at St Luke's Church, Sydney Street, Chelsea, London (along with Lt Anthony Philip Shuttlewirth Rendell, M.C., Corps of Guides, who died in the same action).
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India, 1935 VC Capt G Meynell, MC. Lieut A P S Rendall MC QVO Corps of Guides Killed in action 29th September, NW Frontier, India.

Godfrey Meynell

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