A Victoria Cross awarded to John Williams during the Anglo-Zulu war, 1879
The Victoria Cross is Britain's highest award for gallantry and was instituted in January 1856. Only 1,354 (including three bars to soldiers who have received the coveted decoration twice) have been awarded since its inception. Eighty-one servicemen with Welsh connections have gained this highly prized decoration and the Victoria Cross shown here was awarded to Private John Williams VC 2/24th Foot for his actions at the defence of Rorke's Drift during the 1879 Anglo-Zulu war. John Fielding (who served under the name John Williams) was born in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, lived in Cwmbran, and is buried in Llantarnam.