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Mrs Congreve, wife of a VC and mother of a VC

Mrs Congreve, wife of a VC and mother of a VC


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Mrs Congreve, wife of a VC and mother of a VC

Mrs Congreve, wife of General Sir Walter Norris Congreve, VC and mother of Major Congreve. The latter was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at at Longueval, France, between 6 and 20 July 1916 (shortly after his wedding). He constantly inspired those round him by numerous acts of gallantry. As Brigade Major he not only conducted battalions up to their positions but when the Brigade headquarters was heavily shelled he went out with the medical officer to remove the wounded to places of safety, although he himself was suffering from gas and other shell effects. He went out again on a subsequent occasion tending the wounded under heavy shell fire. Finally, on returning to the front line to ascertain the position after an unsuccessful attack, he was shot and died instantly. A baby daughter, Mary Gloria Congreve, who was a god-daughter of Queen Mary, was born posthumously. It is notable that his father, General Sir Walter Norris Congreve, was also awarded the V.C. (during the Second Boer War) and they are one of only three father and son pairs to have achieved this. Mrs Congreve is pictured with a kitten which was found wounded in France. Date: 1917

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Media ID 14143505

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Congreve Kitten Major Nurse Nurses Nursing


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EDITORS COMMENTS
Mrs. Congreve: A Mother's Love and Courage in the Face of War This poignant photograph captures Mrs. Congreve, the proud wife of General Sir Walter Norris Congreve, VC, and the mother of another Victoria Cross recipient, Major Congreve. The image was taken in 1917, during the height of the First World War. Major Congreve, who married just before being deployed to the Western Front, displayed exceptional bravery and leadership during the Battle of Longueval, France, between 6 and 20 July 1916. He constantly inspired those around him with numerous acts of gallantry, even as he himself suffered from the effects of gas and other shell wounds. Despite his own injuries, Major Congreve went out on multiple occasions to tend to the wounded under heavy shell fire. Tragically, while returning to the front line to ascertain the position after an unsuccessful attack, he was shot and died instantly. Mrs. Congreve's loss was compounded by the knowledge that her husband, General Sir Walter Norris Congreve, VC, had also been awarded the Victoria Cross during the Second Boer War, making them one of only three father-son pairs in history to have achieved this remarkable feat. In this photograph, Mrs. Congreve is seen cradling a wounded kitten, a reminder of the fragility and innocence of life amidst the chaos and destruction of war. The kitten, found in France, may have provided a small measure of comfort and solace in the midst of her grief.

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