The Victoria Cross

James Osborne VC (13 April 1857 – 1 February 1928) 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.

Osborne was 23 years old, and a private in the 2nd Battalion, The Northamptonshire Regiment, British Army during the First Boer War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC.

On 22 February 1881 at Wesselstroom, South Africa, Private Osborne rode out under heavy fire, picked up a private who was lying wounded and carried him safely into camp. His citation read: For his gallant conduct at Wesselstroom, on the 22nd February, 1881, in riding, under a .heavy . fire, towards a party of 42 Boers, picking up Private Mayes, who was lying wounded, - and carrying him safely into. camp.

The London Gazette of 1882 wrote the following:

War Office, March 13, 1882. THE Queen has been graciously pleased to signify Her intention to confer the decoration of the Victoria Cross upon the undermentioned Officer and Men, whose claims .have been submitted for Her Majesty's approval, in recognition of their conspicuous bravery during the recent operations in South Africa, as recorded against their names :—2nd Battalion, the Northamptonshire Regiment Private James Osborne. For his gallant conduct at Wesselstroom, on the 22nd February, 1881 in riding, under a heavy fire, towards a party of 42 Boers, picking up Private Mayes, who was lying wounded, - and carrying him safely into camp.

 

 

 

The Pulpit Window

In the Spring of 2019 a new pulpit window was installed in honour of Private Osborne. The theme-Commemoration and the window was dedicated Archdeacon Jonathan Smith in the Summer of 2019. The beautiful window was designed and made by Thomas Denny.

"Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the Lord"   1 Chronicles 28: 20

 

A young man pauses, on the verge of an ordeal, his vunerability emphasized by his naked torso. Ahead of him the air is full of steel shards, the ground embedded with real and imagined horrors. There is some sense in the sky, however, of sacred light, a sign perhaps, that "God will be with thee". The distant landscape suggests that of Wesselstroom, the place in 1881 where Private James Osborne of Wigginton showed "good courage" rescuing a comrade and winning a Victoria Cross; the glimpse of the fiures on a horse refers to this moment of courage and inspiration.

 


Page last updated: 30th December 2019 10:33 AM

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