Monument to bravery

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On this day in 1888 it was reported in the Hampshire Telegraph that a ‘monument to bravery’ had been put up in Highland Cemetery, Southsea, on the grave of a Mrs Fox.

Annie Fox had accompanied her husband, a sergeant major in the Connaught 94th Regiment of Foot, to the Transvaal during the first Boer War in 1880.

An attack by the Boers cut the Connaughts to pieces and Mrs Fox was seriously injured.

The Boers were reported by the British commanding officer to have been ‘very sorry at having wounded a woman and the minute after arms were laid down they became most obliging and civil. They offered to get us everything they could for our comfort and it was not a hollow promise’.

Mrs Fox was held prisoner for four months during which time she acted as a nurse to her wounded fellow prisoners despite her own serious injuries. For this she was decorated by Queen Victoria with the Royal Red Cross.

In Cambridge Barracks, Portsmouth, eight years later, Mrs Fox succumbed to her wounds.

The funeral procession went from the barracks to Highland Cemetery with many people lining the route to pay their respects.

The monument to her bravery was later put up by the soldiers of the barracks – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.