b. 29/03/1835 Wareham, Dorset. d. 16/07/1893 Branksome, Dorset
Thomas Pride (1835-1893) was born on 29th March 1835 in Oldbridge, near Wareham, Dorset. Little is known of his early life prior to his enlistment with the Royal Navy. By the time of the Shimonoseki campaign of 1864, the then 29-year-old Pride was at the rank of Captain of the Afterguard aboard the HMS Euryalus.
On 6th September 1864, Pride was one of the two Colour Sergeants who volunteered to accompany Midshipman Duncan Boyes in carrying the Queen’s Colours into the action at the head of the leading company attacking the enemy blockade. They were targeted by heavy enemy fire, and the Colours were pierced six times by musket balls, and one of the Colour Sergeants was killed, and Pride was badly wounded. Despite this Pride continued to move forward with Boyes until a superior officer ordered them to stop.
Pride was awarded the VC alongside Boyes on 21st April 1865 in the London Gazette, and the two men were presented with their medals on 22nd September that year at Portsmouth from Admiral Sir M Seymour, Commander in Chief, Portsmouth. Little is known of Pride’s career following his VC action, though it is known he left the Navy still as a Captain of the Afterguard. He retired back to his native Dorset, where he died on 16th July 1893 at Parkstone. He was buried in All Saints Churchyard, Branksome Park, Bournemouth. His VC is held by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM, GREENWICH, LONDON. (NOT ON DISPLAY IN JAN 2015).
BURIAL PLACE: ALL SAINTS CHURCHYARD, BANKSOME PARK, DORSET.
Thomas Pride's medal on the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich website (not on display in Jan 2015).
Pride's grave renovated August 2019 (Victoria Cross Trust)