William Addison (VC)

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William Robert Fountaine Addison
Born (1883-09-18)18 September 1883
Cranbrook, Kent
Died 7 January 1962(1962-01-07) (aged 78)
St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex
Buried (51°17′54″N 0°37′35″W / 51.298319°N 0.626347°W / 51.298319; -0.626347Coordinates: 51°17′54″N 0°37′35″W / 51.298319°N 0.626347°W / 51.298319; -0.626347)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1914–1938
Rank Chaplain
Unit Army Chaplain's Department
Battles/wars First World War Second World War
Awards Victoria Cross
Order of St. George IV class (Russia)

William Robert Fountaine Addison VC (18 September 1883 – 7 January 1962) was an English recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

Early life

The Reverend William Addison attended Salisbury Theological College, was ordained in 1913 and became curate of St Edmund's Church, Salisbury (now closed).

First World War

During the First World War he was a Temporary Chaplain of the Forces, 4th Class in the Army Chaplain's Department, British Army, when the following deed took place on 9 April 1916 at Sanna-i-Yat, Mesopotamia, for which he was awarded the VC "for most conspicuous bravery":

He carried a wounded man to the cover of a trench, and assisted several others to the same cover, after binding up their wounds under heavy rifle and machine gun fire.
In addition to these unaided efforts, by his splendid example and utter disregard of personal danger, he encouraged the stretcher-bearers to go forward under heavy fire and collect the wounded.[1]
Addison's grave in Brookwood Cemetery

Later life

Addison was a Freemason and was initiated into Aldershot Camp Lodge No. 1331 on 14 November 1923.[2]

After the war Addison continued as an army chaplain and served at Malta, Khartoum and Shanghai and at army bases in England. He was Senior Chaplain to the Forces from 1934 to 1938 when he left the army and became a parish priest. He was Rector of Coltishall with Great Hautbois in Norfolk from 1938 to 1958. However, on the outbreak of World War II he returned to the army and again served as Senior Chaplain to the Forces. He is buried in Brookwood Cemetery in Surrey.

A replica set of Addison's medals is on display at the Museum of Army Chaplaincy, and at Sarum College in Salisbury.[citation needed]


  • ADDISON, Rev. William Robert Fountaine, Who Was Who, A & C Black, 1920–2008; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2007, accessed 19 Nov 2012
  1. ^ "No. 29765". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 September 1916. p. 9417.
  2. ^ "Five freemasons from the province who won VCs". Insight (The Journal of Hampshire & Isle of Wight Freemasonry) (14): 18–19. November 2017.

External links

  • Grave refurbished
  • Burial location of William Addison (Brookwood Cemetery)
  • The Brookwood Cemetery Society (Holders of the Victoria Cross Commemorated in Brookwood Cemetery)
  • William Addison at Find a Grave
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