Ross L. Mangles VC

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Restoration of the memorial to Ross Lowis Mangles VC

The memorial to Ross Lowis Mangles before restorationOur restoration project for 2006 is the memorial commemorating Ross Lowis Mangles VC (1833-1905), which is located in plot 31. He is one of only five civilians to be awarded the Victoria Cross.

Mangles was awarded his VC for his action during the Indian Mutiny on 30 July 1857. As a civil servant, he had volunteered to serve in the force to relieve Arrah. Despite being previously wounded, he managed to bind the wounds of a soldier whilst under heavy fire, carried him for several miles across swampy ground, and got him safely into a boat.

Mangles retired from the Indian Civil Service in 1883. He died at Pirbright, Surrey, the village adjacent to Brookwood Cemetery.  He is also commemorated by a plaque in Pirbright church.

Once again the Brookwood Cemetery Society approached Pankhurst Graphic Masonry of West End, Woking, to quote for the restoration of this monument. As can be seen in the picture, the celtic cross memorial was leaning to the right and was in danger of toppling over.

The memorial to Ross Lowis Mangles VC partly restoredIn May, Pankhurst Graphic Masonry carried out the first stage of the restoration whereby the cross and its base was set upright. The inscription panels were also cleaned. Following the completion of this stage, the Society's small restoration group tidied the grave plot to reveal the decorative cast iron surround. The grave space was cleared, geotextile sheet was laid, and the area partly filled with gravel. This stage of the restoration is shown in the second photograph.

The final stage of the restoration was to clean and repaint the cast iron surround. From surviving paint fragments it was clear the ironwork was originally (or previously) painted green, so we have repainted it to the nearest colour available. Following this repaint, the grave space was finished off with more gravel.

We are left with a striking memorial commemorating a brave civilian who used to live locally. We have managed to complete this restoration during the 150th anniversary year of the Victoria Cross.

The restored memorial to Ross Lowis Mangles VCThe Society is very grateful for the continuing support and interest of Ramadan Guney, owner of Brookwood Cemetery, and the staff at Pankhurst Graphic Masonry. Thanks also to the hard work put in by our restoration team: David Cowley, Sue Culshaw, Eddie Evans, Margaret Hobbs, Ben Smith and Jo Toogood.

If you would like to make a donation towards our restoration projects, then please contact Margaret Hobbs on 01344 891041, or write to 75 Ranelagh Crescent, Ascot, Berks SL5 8LQ.

Details of other restoration projects may be seen here. Last year the Society restored the memorial to Horatia Nelson Johnson, one of Lord Nelson's grand-daughters.

Pankhurst Graphic Masonry may be contacted at Studio Unit 4, Pankhurst Farm, Bagshot Road, West End, Woking, Surrey GU24 9QR, or telephone 01276 855242

Photographs Margaret Hobbs and Anthony Montan

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This site was last updated 05-01-08 The Brookwood Cemetery Society