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About Lieut.-Col. Francis Aylmer Maxwell, VC
Brigadier General Francis Aylmer Maxwell VC, CSI, DSO & Bar (7 September 1871 – 21 September 1917) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
Maxwell was 28 years old, and a lieutenant in the Indian Staff Corps, Indian Army, attached to Roberts's Light Horse during the Second Boer War when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC:
On 31 March 1900 at Sanna's Post (aka Korn Spruit), South Africa,
Lieutenant Maxwell was one of three Officers not belonging to "Q" Battery, Royal Horse Artillery, specially mentioned by Lord Roberts as having shown the greatest gallantry, and disregard of danger, in carrying out the self-imposed duty of saving the guns of that Battery during the affair at Korn Spruit on 31st March, 1900.
This Officer went out on five different occasions and assisted, to bring in two guns and three limbers, one of which he Captain Humphreys, and some Gunners, dragged in by hand. He also went out with Captain Humphreys and Lieutenant Stirling to try to get the last gun in, and remained there till the attempt was abandoned.
During a previous Campaign (the Chitral Expedition of 1895) Lieutenant Maxwell displayed gallantry in the removal of the body of Lieutenant-Colonel F. D. Battye, Corps of Guides, under fire, for which, though recommended, he received no reward.
Major Edmund Phipps-Hornby, Sergeant Charles Parker, Gunner Isaac Lodge and Driver Horace Glasock also earned the Victoria Cross in this action.
He was killed in action, shot by a German sniper, at Ypres, Belgium, on 21 September 1917 while commanding the 27th Brigade, 9th (Scottish) Division and is buried in Ypres Reservoir Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery.
General Maxwell is commemorated with a plaque in St. Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, Scotland. Maxwell's medals are now held in the Lord Ashcroft collection after sale at auction. His wife, Charlotte Maxwell, published a volume of his edited letters in 1921.