In World War One Jack Cornwell was a boy gunner serving at the 1916 Battle of Jutland – a huge battle fought in the North Sea between the Royal Navy and the Germany Navy. Whilst serving as a Boy Gunner on board HMS Chester, Jack was fatally injured when his gun was hit by a German shell – for his bravery and devotion to duty he was awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). Scouts today can still earn the Cornwell Scout Badge which was created in his memory.
Watch the video below to find out about Jack Cornwell and his bravery on board HMS Chester in the the World War One Battle of Jutland in 1916. He is the youngest recipient of the Victoria Cross, the UK’s highest military award for bravery.
More detail can be found on this link:
Jack’s Memorial and Grave
Jack’s grave is located in Manor Park Cemetery, Newham at the junction of Centre Drive and Cornwell Crescent. It can be viewed on Google Street View using this link. He was a Scout at St Mary’s Mission, Little Ilford. A more detailed article about Jack Cornwell can be found on Wikipedia.
The Naval Victoria Cross
Jack’s VC had a blue medal ribbon as he was a member of the Royal Navy and he was decorated before 1918. After 1918, VCs awarded to members of the Royal Navy have since been the more familiar crimson (see picture). Until 1907 VCs could not be issued posthumously (after the person died).
Jack Relative and Medals
Jack’s great great nephew Alex Saridis also serves in the Royal Navy (correct as of 2016). The photo shows him with his uncle’s medals.
From left to right they are the Naval Victoria Cross with blue medal ribbon, the British War Medal and the WW1 Victory Medal with an oak leaf on the Ribbon to denote that Jack had been “Mentioned In Dispatches”.