The VC Medal ‘Forgotten’ by the Brighton Museum for Six Decades

Brighton Museum rediscovers a forgotten  Victoria Cross medal of WWI hero Major George Godfrey Massy Wheeler which has been in their care for six decades.

The Royal Pavilion and Museums in Brighton received the donated VC medal of the WWI hero way back in the 1950s after the widow of WWI Major Wheeler passed away. However, the Brighton museum ‘lost’this valuable war decoration among the other memorabilia that are in its care throughout the years and has only been rediscovered recently when staff were looking for items to display in commemoration of the outbreak of the First World War.

In their defense, the Brighton museum was well aware that they had the other medals of the WWI hero; they did not just realized they also had the most outstanding one among the military decorations he earned.

His Story

Major George Godfrey Massy Wheeler was given the Victoria Cross posthumously for the bravery he displayed while he led his squadron into battle way back in 1915. He was serving with the Indian Army’s 7th Hariana Lancers at that time.

According to accounts, he drove his squadron to capture a flag that was situated at the center of a group of enemy soldiers who was battling against his troops in Mesopotamia, now Iraq, on April 12, 1915.

The citation on his Victoria Cross reads as follows: He was seen far ahead of his men riding single-handed straight for the enemy’s standards.

The remains of the WWI hero was buried in the Basra cemetery in Iraq along with over 2,550 other troops from Britain and the Commonwealth.

Lost and Found

Andy Maxted the curator of the Brighton museum, expressed his delight when they found Major Wheeler’s VC medal saying that the war honor was a great piece of history right from the Great War.

Maxted said that they rediscovered the medal while they were going through the items in their collection looking for interesting objects which had ties to the First World War. As they were searching their database, they came across references to the WWI hero’s award, he recounted.

He added that after finding that piece of information, the Brighton museum promptly went through their storage to look for it and were elated upon seeing it. The medal was in very good condition and the Brighton museum is hoping they could put it on display.

It is expected that the VC medal of WWI hero Major Wheeler would be put on exhibit at the Victoria Cross Trust’s new museum which is situated at Ashworth Barracks, Doncaster.

Heziel Pitogo

Heziel Pitogo is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE