b. 10/03/1819 Brereton Green, Cheshire. d. 12/12/1892 Crumpsall Hospital, Manchester.
Anthony Palmer (1819-1892) was born on the 10th March 1819 in Brereton Green, Cheshire. Palmer enlisted with the Grenadier Guards prior to the outbreak of the Crimean War. On the 5th November 1854, Palmer was part of the 3rd Battalion who were in action during the Battle of Inkerman.
During the Battle, Brevet Major Sir Charles Russell (also awarded the VC) had volunteered to dislodge a party of Russians from the Sandbag Battery and was asking for men to follow him. Three men duly volunteered, Sergeant Norman and Privates Palmer and Bailey. Russell led the charge through the left embrasure and using his revolver began firing on the Russians. He soon became embroiled in close combat with the enemy. Russell was about to be bayoneted by a Russian soldier, when Palmer shot the assailant down, thus saving Russell’s life. The attack was a success, and they also saved the Colours of the Battalion from being captured.
Palmer was promoted to Corporal on parade the morning after the Battle, and on its institution the Victoria Cross was bestowed upon him. He was one of the first recipients to appear in the London Gazette on 24th February 1857. Palmer was present as one of the 62 men who were decorated by Queen Victoria in Hyde Park on 26th June 1857.
Palmer also was awarded the Crimean Medal with four clasps (Sebastopol, Alma, Balaklava and Inkerman), the Turkish Medal, the Long Service Medal and the Bentinck Medal for gallantry. After Crimea, Palmer became a Captain in the 3rd Essex Volunteer Regiment. When he left the Army in 1863, he rose to become the Head Constable of the Millwall Dock Company.
Palmer died on 12th December 1892 at the age of 73, in Crumpsall Hospital, Manchester. He was buried in the same grave as his parents in Heywood Cemetery, Rochdale. His medal has had an interesting history. It was stolen during a bar brawl, and a replacement was issued on the instructions of Queen Victoria. The original medal was eventually recovered, and after Palmer’s death originally was held by the United Service Institution in London. It is now held by the Grenadier Guards RHQ, Wellington Barracks, London.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: GRENADIER GUARDS RHQ, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: HEYWOOD CEMETERY, ROCHDALE, LANCASHIRE. SECTION E, GRAVE 183.
Anthony Palmer's medals on the Rochdale Council website where the photograph has been provided by the Guards Museum, London.
Heywood Cemetery, Rochdale
Anthony Palmer VC Parade, Rochdale
Plan - Kevin Brazier. Palmer VC buried in Section E, Grave 183
Kevin Brazier (June 2016)