Hello Norwood, A few years ago there was a VC site (now defunct) and I distinctly remember someone asking for information on a VC winner called Fitzmaurice ( it's an Irish name and so am I )and it turned out that he appeared on a collection of cigarette cards depicting VC Heroes, and some of the other members knew that the collection depicted six soldiers who had never won the VC, Fitzmaurice being one of them. Possibly the information in the publication came from the same sources.
I have had a look at your website on the VCs from the Boer War, and all of the VC winners from that campaign are there.
I'm not convinced that it is the Boer War era. The uniform isn't quite right and is that a Lee Enfield (SMLE) in the picture?
The only connection I can find (straight away) is that a Captain (later Colonel) saved a chap called Fitzmaurice, of the 24th, in 1879. The Captain was awarded the VC. He was Lord William Leslie de la Poer Beresford.
Another V.C. of my acquaintance ORG believes this to be Lord William de la Poer Beresford, recorded by Arthur (p. 128) as Lord William Leslie de la Poer Beresford, Captain, 9th Lancers, who went to the assistance of Sergeant Fitzmaurice whose horse had been speared by a Zulu saying 'If you don’t get up I’ll punch your head for you!'. They were joined by Sergeant O’Toole, who fired at the enemy, held the wounded Fitzmaurice upright in the saddle and received a Cross himself after Beresford told Queen Victoria that he could not accept a Cross unless O’Toole received one as well.
original oil painting depicting Sergeant John Fitzmaurice by Jason Askew. John Fitzmaurice enlisted in the 24th Regiment Foot in 1864. He served with distinction with the Mounted Infantry of the 1st Battalion in Frontier and Zulu wars in South Africa in 1878 and 1879. Near the White Umfolosi River during the advance towards the Zulu capital of Ulundi on 3rd July 1879, he was unseated from his horse when surprised by the Zulus. Sergeant Fitzmaurice would have been killed had not Captain Lord William Beresford, 9th Lancers and Sergeant Edmund O’Toole, Frontier Light Horse ridden back to save him. Captain Beresford and Sergeant O’Toole were later both awarded the Victoria Cross for their gallant action.
Does anyone have details on the claim that “Beresford told Queen Victoria that he could not accept a Cross unless O’Toole received one as well?” Since Beresford received his VC from the Queen in 24 August 1879, six weeks before the award to O’Toole was gazetted it is possible that he mentioned O’Toole to the Queen at the presentation. And could that have morphed into Beresford TELLING the Queen that he could not accept a VC unless O’Toole was also decorated.