A HEADSTONE HAS BEEN ERECTED OVER THE BURIAL PLOT OF EDWARD JENNINGS VC, ROUGH-RIDER, BENGAL ARTILLERY, INDIAN ARMY
Research & photograph by ROBERT ANDERSON of Newcastle-upon-Tyne

On the 10th May 1889 Edward Jennings VC, was buried in a pauper's grave, unmarked and unattended, one of 190,000 bodies interred in Preston Cemetery, North Shields, North East England.

[ London Gazette, 24 December 1858 ]. Relief of Lucknow, India, 14 November to 22 November 1857, Rough Rider Edward Jennings, Bengal Artillery.

For conspicuous gallantry at the Relief of Lucknow. Elected by the officers and men of his regiment.

For most of his life Edward Jennings was employed by the local council as a road sweeper and must have fallen on hard times because he sold his Victoria Cross to a private collector.

A memorial service and the placing a headstone on Edward Jennings grave took place at 2pm Wednesday, 10th September 1997 in North Shields. The service was attended by members of the 7th Royal Horse Artillery and 101 Royal Artillery, other dignitaries included the Vice Lord Lieutenant, the North Tyneside deputy Mayor Councillor Arlene Richardson, and a number of other associations were represented. Three buglers and a piper were present and a volley of shots were fired over the grave.

The headstone was the result of an appeal launched 4 months earlier to raise the necessary £2000.

The whole service was instigated during an exhibition on VC winners held at the Newcastle Central Library earlier in 1997. The exhibition organiser was Phillip Pike of the Victoria Cross Commemoration Society and he was contacted by Edward Jennings' great-granddaughter, Mrs. Kathleen Lough, who lives in New York, North Tyneside. Mrs. Lough, her brothers Brian and John were united with a distant relative, Martin Jennings, 79, who travelled from County Mayo, Ireland. The family presented a citation of the VC to North Tyneside Council.

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Iain Stewart, 22 March 1998