New £1.1m Marines base named after hero soldier
A NEW £1.1M base for Royal Marines in Salford has been named in honour of a Crimean War hero.
The new base, on the site of Haldane Barracks Army Reserve Centre on Eccles New Road, was formally named the Prettyjohns Building, after Corporal John Prettyjohns who was awarded the Victoria Cross during the Crimean War.
Cpl Prettyjohns was awarded the VC for conspicuous gallantry after wrestling the leader of a Russian patrol to the ground during the 1854 Battle of Inkerman.
Low on ammunition, he ordered his men to collect stones to throw at the enemy patrol, which caused them to retreat.
He was discharged on June 16, 1865, after more than 21 years service and retired in Manchester with his wife Elizabeth, where he became a steward at Whalley Range Bowling Club.
He died in 1887 and is buried at Southern Cemetery.
During the opening ceremony at the new base, a plaque was unveiled by Major General Robert Magowan CBE, Commandant General Royal Marines, in the presence of Cpl Prettyjohn’s descendants Laura Walsh and Maria Gibbs.
The building is a training facility which will house Manchester Detachment RMR Merseyside.
Maj Gen Magowan said: “It gives me great pleasure to name this new facility in honour of a Corps hero, the first Royal Marine to be awarded the VC, who lies just a few miles away.
“It is even more of an honour to do so in the presence of two of Cpl Prettyjohns’ descendants, Laura Walsh and Maria Gibbs.
“The Prettyjohns Building will provide RMR Merseyside with a vital facility, allowing Royal Marines Reservists from across Manchester to train to the exacting standards required of them to deploy alongside their Regular counterparts on operations around the world.”
Major General Robert Magowan CBE with Cpl Prettyjohns’ great-great grandaughters Maria Gibbs and Laura Walsh
Corporal John Pettyjohns