15 May 2002

A ceremony took place in Weston-Super-Mare Cemetery on the morning of Tuesday, 14th May 2002 to place a headstone, unveiled by the Mayor of Weston, over the grave of Captain George Day VC, CB, Royal Navy.

George Day moved to Weston with his wife and daugher in 1875, but died on the 18th December 1876 following a long illness. He was buried in the town's cemetery without a headstone, even though his funeral was well attended. The burial plot was later bought by a Reverend Foster who placed his daughter Caroline in the same grave and marked it by placing a small plaque over it bearing her name.

George Fiott Day joined the Royal Navy as a First Class Volunteer in August 1833 and sailed the world during his active service. His first vessel sailed to the Pacific and was wrecked off the coast of Patagonia in 1835. In 1837 he was serving off the West Coast of Africa, returning to Portsmouth in August 1838. In November 1838 he departed for six and a half years service in the Mediterranean, taking part in the bombardment of St. John d'Acre on the Syrian Coast in 1840. 1845 found him in the African Station, 1848 back to Gunnery School at HMS Excellent, then off to the Cape of Good Hope; coast of Brazil; and employed up the Rivers Plate and Paraguaya during the hostilities between Buenos Ayres and the Argentine Confederation. In 1854 Day was sent to the Baltic then back to the Mediterranean Fleet and eventually to the Black Sea where in 1855 he won his Victoria Cross. In 1857 he was again off the West Coast of Africa and in late 1858 sailed for the China Station. George Day was placed on the Captains' Retired list, owing to ill health, in February 1867.

[ London Gazette, 24 February 1857 ]. Genitichi, Sea of Azov, 17th September 1855, Lieutenant George Fiott Day, Royal Navy.

"With great enterprise and gallantry, landed and successfully carried out a reconnaissance within the enemy's lines at Genitchi. This service was performed by Lieutenant Day with the view to ascertaining the practicability of reaching the enemy's gun-vessels, which lay within the Straits of Genitchi, close to the town. It was performed by Lieutenant Day alone on a dark but fine night, with the assistance of a pocket compass.

After traversing four or five miles of low, swampy ground, occasionally up to his knees in water, he at length advanced to within about 200 yards of the vessel. From the perfect silence on board it was his conviction that they were without crews, and when he returned it was with the full impression that the expedition was a feasible one. This opinion, however, he was induced to change on the following day in consequence of the increasing activity which was apparent in the direction of the enemy vessels, and therefore he determined on making a second visit to the spot.

On this occasion the night was squally, and the journey longer and more difficult than before. On reaching the spot and finding the enemy vessels manned, and their crews apparently on the alert, he decided the effort to surprise them was out of the question. Lieutenant Day was so long on shore that the seamen stationed to pick him up gave him up for lost and returned without him. Mr. Parker, however, came to look again and found Day lying exhausted on the shore and took him back to the ship where he eventually recovered from his exposure."

George Day was invested with his Victoria Cross by the Commanding Officer of HMS 'Firelfy' in 1857.

Captain George Day's Victoria Cross and other decorations are in the possession of the Sheesh Mahal Collection, Patiala, Punjab, India.

Medal entitlement of Captain George Day - Royal Navy

  • Victoria Cross
  • Companion, The Most Honourable Order of the Bath ( CB )
  • Naval General Service Medal ( 1793-1840 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Syria"
  • Indian General Service Medal ( 1854-1895 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Pegu"
  • South Africa Medal ( 1854 )
  • Baltic Medal ( 1854-1855 )
  • Crimea Medal ( 1854-1856 )
    • 2 clasps:
    • "Sebastopol" - "Azoff"
  • Second China War Medal ( 1857-1860 )
    • 1 clasp:
    • "Taku Forts 1860"
  • Knight, Legion of Honour ( France )
  • Order of the Medjidieh ( Turkey )
  • St Jean d'Acre Medal ( 1840 ) ( Turkey )
  • Turkish Crimea Medal ( 1855-56 )


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Iain Stewart, 15 May 2002