The following year he was invested with the Victoria Cross by King George V at Buckingham Palace and a military parade was held through the streets of Bermondsey in his honour. The Borough of Bermondsey presented him with a testimonial and a purse of gold.
Today a commemorative stone was set in the pavement by the Mayor of Southwark in Abbey St, close to where Corporal Frederick Holmes lived, in a moving ceremony attended by civic and military representatives, which included the Last Post and Reveille, and prayers led by the Assistant Chaplain General of the Army. His great-grandaughter and great-great grandchildren were in the congregation.
Today the Assistant Chaplain General told us that VCs are only awarded for acts of gallantry where there was at least a 90 per cent chance of death.
That was a sobering thought, as was the presence at today's ceremony of Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry, awarded the Victoria Cross in 2005 for service in Iraq, and subsequently granted the Freedom of the Borough of Southwark.
You can hear the Victoria Cross citation read at the ceremony by the Civic Orator here
|Corpl Holmes family, the Mayor & Johnson Beharry VC|